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Accounting for Difference: A Comparative Look at the Autobiographical Travel Narratives of Hazin Lāhiji and 'Abd-al-Karim Kashmiri

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This paper examines the mid-eighteenth century historical memoir of Mohammad Ali Hazin Lāhiji and the auto-biographical travel narrative of 'Abd al-Karim Kashmiri as a way to understand a shared tradition of cultural conceptions and textual borrowing, even in the midst of different attributions of historical meaning and valuations within that culture. Hazin often serves as an iconic figure, representative of the changing relationship between Iran and Hindustan in the eighteenth century. Reading Hazin's memoir in relation to Kashmiri's travels with Nadir Shah's army from Delhi to Iran on his way to hajj problematizes this dominant reading. Underneath diverging and sometimes conflicting claims in these texts, history is represented in a way that evinces similar ideas of home, country, and ideal political rule in the context of travel and exile.


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