Constance Bobroff,


The Truthful Dream, Beginnings of the Persian Novel

Roʾyā-ye Sādeqe” (The Truthful Dream) was a document
written in secrecy during Irans Constitutional Era and smuggled to
Russia for publication and dissemination. Although dates and details
of its publication are unknown, authorship is attributed to the
cleric, Sayyed Jamāl-al-Din Vāez Esfahāni (1863-1908) and other
collaborators. The work is an attack against the ruling establishment
of Esfahān which put the personal safety of the authors in great
While this work usually finds mention in histories of Iran, its role
as precursor to the modern Iranian novel has somehow been overlooked.
The work is virtually unknown to scholars of modern Persian
literature, all the more unbelievable since the son of author, Sayyed
Jamāl, is none other than Mohammad-`Ali Jamalzadeh, the father of the
modern Persian short-story. No English translation of this text is
This project proposes in its first phase to put this text online in
the formats of 1) scanned image, 2) html Persian text with 3) parallel
English translation as well as 4) audio recording.