Frequent LH commenter MOCKBA has a fascinating post at Poemas del río Wang about Aleksandr Gruenberg-Cvetinovic, “an Iranologist and obsessive field researcher who documented countless small languages in the remote mountain valleys of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and saved and translated great many legends and folk poems.” If you’re interested in Azerbaijani Tats, Pamiri languages, and rare languages of Hindu Kush valleys—not to mention yetis—you’ll want to read it, and there’s a nice excerpt from Tales and Legends of Sistan (“The archaic vocabulary, and the unique recurrent verbal formulas and twists of a plot, suggest that it follows an old oral epic tradition, which may at its root be quite distinct from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh”).

A couple of quick pointers: Sashura’s latest post reminds us that the famous song “Moscow Nights” was originally “Leningrad Nights,” and John E. McIntyre helpfully compiles a list of “the bogus rules and superstitions, sometimes called ‘zombie rules,’ that distract people from real editing.”


  1. For those readers who have Spotify, there is Sistani instrumental music and some epic recitation from Zabol (I think) on this disc (Iran Epic Music: Shahnameh-khani 10) from the Hozeh Honari series– perhaps the disc that MOSCKBA mentions–at this address:

  2. Paul (other Paul) says

    Thanks to MOCKBA and LH for clarifying “shiner” for me on Poemas del rio Wang.

  3. Thanks Paul 🙂 It’s still kind of surprising how rio Wang linked the Murka of the jailhouse ballad classic with private enterprise and capitalist riches 🙂
    In most of the “Murka” texts, those fancy high heels which Murka used to wear are long gone by the time her old pals murder her, because she has left the underworld, and all she can wear now are mishapen torn slippers fit for a snitch.
    Back to topic, I also found this interesting 2012 interview with a Russian grad student where he explains that nobody works with Dardic / Nuristani languages in today’s Russia, and so he couldn’t find an advisor for a thesis on Nuristan but still works on this subject, sort of secretly. He also includes a link to an English-language site of Richard Strand, an (apparently) retired American anthropologist?

  4. Чорхона на пяти столбах
    (The chorkhona on five pillars)
    В чем древний символизм архитектуры традиционного памирского дома
    (What is the ancient symbolism of the architecture of the traditional Pamir house?)


    Пять причин побывать в таджикском Хороге
    (Five reasons to visit Khorugh in Tajikistan)



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