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The Afshārid, Zand, and part of the Qājārid period
 
This period in Persian literature spread between the first half of the 12th Century AH/18th Century AD and the first half of the 14th Century AH/19th Century AD and can be classified into two parts; the first one being between the fall of the Safavid Empire until the onset of the reign of Fath ‘Ali Shāh of the Qājārid Dynasty in the year 1212 AH/1797 AD - also referred to as the “dormant period” – and the second one being the period between the reign of Fath ‘Ali Shāh and the onset of the Constitutional Revolution, also referred to as the “period of revival”.
Poetry: The above-mentioned “dormant” period was one of the poorest literary periods of Iran during which the footsteps of the Voqu’ school and the Sabk-e Hendi can be traced in the works of the poets. The most important poets of this period were Hātef Esfahāni and his son Sahāb Esfahāni.
Discussions on bringing about changes in the style of poetry ensued among the talented poets of Esfahān, Shirāz, and Kāshān during the “dormant” period. The emergence of ministers and statesmen like Mirzā Mahdi Astarābādi and Mirzā Sādeq Nāmi resulted in the dominance of the style of the educated poets popularly known as the “Sabk-e Araqi” over the style of the tradesmen, popularly known as the “Sabk-e Hendi”, and, therefore, this new style came to be known as the “Sabk-e Bāzgasht” or the “style of revival”.
The earliest sparks of the “revival period” can be found in the period of the reigns of Nāder Shān and Karim Khān Zand. Although these two kings did not show any apparent inclination towards poetry, it was during their periods that poets like Moshtāq Esfahāni (1101-1171 AH/1690-1758 AD) and later on, Abdul Wahhāb Neshāt established literary associations, the members of which were poets like Āsheq and Āzar Bigdeli. By reverting back from the “Sabk-e Hendi” to the “Sabk-e Araqi”, these poets and their students, established a new phase in Persian literature which is referred to as the “period of literary revival”.
During the Qājār period poetry became so popular that even religious scholars and jurists began to study the works of the earlier poets and tested out their own talents in this field and even went to the extent of rejecting the views of their opponents by composing poems. From among the scholars, theologians, and philosophers who were talented in the area of poetry and who have left behind Gnostic poems, mention must be made of Ākhund Mollā ‘Ali Nuri (1246 AH/1830 AD), Hāj Mollā Hādi Sabzevāri (1289 AH/1872 AD), and Āqā ‘Ali Modarres Zanuzi (1307 AH/ 1890 AD).
Prose: During the early part of the period under discussion, Persian prose continued to remain intricate and full of complex imagery and dreary phraseology. The most prominent example of the “moghlaqnevisi” (lit. elaborate writing) of this period can be found in the “Dorre-ye Nādereh” of Mirzā Mahdi Khān - who was Nāder Shāh’s secretary - which is an exaggerated imitation of the style in which the book, the “Visāf al-Hazarah” had been written, the study of which has left even experts in this field confounded.
From among the prose writers of the Qājār period, Neshāt Esfahāni in the field of letter-writing, Mirzā Taqi Khān Sepehr in the field of historiography, and Rezā Qoli Khān Hedāyat in the field of biography-writing have contributed valuable works.
However, the most outstanding examples of literary prose belonging to this period can be found in the works of Mirzā Abu al-Qāsem Qā’em Maqām Farāhāni (1193-1251 AH/1779-1835 AD). Since Qāem Maqām was involved in writing as part of his professional position, his works were considerably free of the customary formalities and imagery, and by adopting short sentences and beautiful rhythms and without including flattering adjectives and praises, this writer created fine prose works that remind its readers of the “Golestān” of Sa’di. After Qāem Maqām, Qā’āni, too, continued replicating the style of the “Golestān” in his work entitled “Parishān”.
 
* source: Ghamar, Aryan "Iran Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 ,pp.572 – 573
 
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