Clinton, Jerome W(right) 1937–2003
Clinton, Jerome W(right) 1937–2003
PERSONAL: Born July 14, 1937, in San Jose, CA; died of cancer November 7, 2003; married Asha Clinton, 1983; children: Julia, Matthew, Gabriella. Education: Stanford University, A.B., 1959; University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1962; University of Michigan, M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1972.
CAREER: Member of Peace Corps serving in Iran, 1962–64; schoolteacher in Tehran, Iran, and Amman, Jordan, 1964–70; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, faculty member, 1970–74; Tehran Center of the American Institute of Iranian Studies, Tehran, faculty member, 1972–74; Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 1974–2002, became professor of Near-Eastern studies, professor emeritus, 2002–.
MEMBER: Society of Iranian Studies, Mideast Studies Association, American Institute of Iranian Studies.
AWARDS, HONORS: National Defense Foreign Language fellowship, 1965–66; Fulbright-Hayes research fellow, 1968–69; National Endowment for the Humanities, curriculum development grant, 1978–79, translation grant, 1988–89; Princeton 250th-Anniversary Curriculum Development grant, 1998–99; Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize, American Institute of Iranian Studies, 2002, for In the Dragon's Claws; J. Paul Getty grants for translation of Persian works and curriculum development.
(Coauthor) Modern Persian: Spoken and Written, Desktop, 1971.
The Divan of Manūchihrī Dāmghānī: A Critical Study, Bibliotheca Islamica (Minneapolis, MN), 1972.
(Translator and editor) Abolqasem Ferdowsi, The Tragedy of Sohráb and Rostám from the Persian National Epic the Shahname of Abol-Qasem Ferdowsi, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1987.
(Translator and author of introduction) Abolqasem Ferdowsi, In the Dragon's Claws: The Story of Rostám & Esfandiyar, from the Persian Book of Kings by Abdolqasem Ferdowsi, Mage Publishers (Washington, DC), 1999.
(Editor, with Kamran Talattof) The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric, Palgrave (New York, NY), 2000.
Author of articles for academic journals, including Edebiyat: A Journal of Middle Eastern and Comparative Literature.
SIDELIGHTS: Jerome W. Clinton's academic interests were primarily in the area of Persian language teaching, translation, and literary criticism. He was also interested in classic Islamic civilization and the cultural history of Iran. Clinton was best known for his study and translation of the Iranian national epic poem Shahname (also variously spelled as "Shahnama" and "Shahnameh"), which is referred to in English as the Book of Kings. As the editor and translator of The Tragedy of Sohráb and Rostám from the Persian National Epic the Shahname of Abol-Qasem Ferdowsi, Clinton presents his translated English version of a story from Shahname about Rostám, a warrior who lived for more than five hundred years who unknowingly kills his son Sohráb. Michael Beard, writing in the Middle East Journal, noted that "Clinton's version balances well with the various narrative components—to show with what complexity and ingenuity Rostám's character and his fate are intertwined. In rendering those details he rescues the story from its usual textbook meaning: 'example of literary filicide.'"
Clinton also translated and wrote the introduction for In the Dragon's Claws: The Story of Rostám & Esfandiyar, from the Persian Book of Kings by Abolqasem Ferdowsi. This time the story focuses on Rostám's death at the hands of Esfandiyar, son of Iran's shahanshah, Goshtasp. Booklist contributor Ray Olsen noted that "Clinton translates so well that reading it is a fascinating pleasure, not a multicultural obligation." In Clinton's obituary in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, Patricia Allen quoted Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, a professor of Persian language and literature at the University of Washington in Seattle, as saying that the author's work "helped define the field of Shahanama studies for over two decades and his translations of episodes from it have been a staple of university classrooms."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 15, 1999, Ray Olson, review of In the Dragon's Claws: The Story of Rostám & Esfandiyar, from the Persian Book of Kings by Abdolqasem Ferdowsi, p. 412.
Middle East Journal, spring, 1989, Michael Beard, review of The Tragedy of Sohráb and Rostám from the Persian National Epic the Shahname of Abol-Qasem Ferdowsi, p. 319.
Princeton University Web site, http://www.princeton.edu/ (January 28, 2005), "Jeome W. Clinton."
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Princeton Weekly Bulletin Online, http://www. princeton.edu/pr/pwb/ (December 8, 2003).