September 25, 2023

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“Persecution and the Art of Writing” at Iranian bookstores

TEHRAN –A Persian translation of German-American scholar Leo Strauss’s book “Persecution and the Art of Writing” has recently been published by Qoqnus Publications in Tehran.

Yashar Jeirani and Shervin Moqimi are the translators of the book first released in 1952.

The essays collected in “Persecution and the Art of Writing” all deal with one problem—the relation between philosophy and politics. Here, Strauss sets forth the thesis that many philosophers, especially political philosophers, have reacted to the threat of persecution by disguising their most controversial and heterodox ideas.

The debate surrounding Strauss’s ideas put forth in “Persecution and the Art of Writing” has been ongoing due to the differing interpretations of the exoteric-esoteric dichotomy. Despite numerous academic discussions and debates, there is still no widely accepted interpretation of this dichotomy.

Several scholars, including Lampert, Frazer, and Drury, argue that Strauss wrote in an esoteric manner, while others such as Batnitzky, finds this idea to be incorrect. This disagreement has resulted in conflicting interpretations of Strauss’s ideas and character, leading to a highly charged dispute. Some view him as a fascist, while others defend him as a champion of democracy.

This lack of acceptance has further complicated the controversy surrounding Strauss’s ideas and has led to misunderstandings that are hard to reconcile. The exoteric-esoteric dichotomy remains an enigma, with various interpretations on either side of the debate. It is essential to understand the nuances of this debate before reaching definitive conclusions about Strauss’s ideas and beliefs.

Photo: A combination photo shows Leo Strauss and the front cover of the Persian edition of his book “Persecution and the Art of Writing”



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