Philosopher, astronomer and mathematician, Khayyam as a poet possesses a singular originality. His poetry is richly charged with evocative power and offers a view of life characteristic of his stormy times, with striking relevance to the present day. This translation by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs is beautifully and lavishly illustrated in colour with numerous examples of Persian miniature painting. It also contains a valuable introduction and several appendices, including an essay on Persian painting.
The book presents the text of Edward FitzGerald’s three main versions of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in an easily accessible form, together with a non-technical commentary on the origins, role and influence of the poem. The reader is given a chance to evaluate each of FitzGerald’s alternative texts as a whole and to examine how the poet presented his texts to the public and annotated the verses. The commentary discusses the lives and work of Khayyam and FitzGerald, and recounts the fascinating story the publication of the Rubaiyat and its rise to great fame and popularity, including a look at the wide-ranging spin-offs the poem has generated in art, music and other fields. The editors use the latest research to analyze the poem’s worldwide influence during the 150 years since its first appearance and the continuing relevance of the poem in the world of the 21st century.
Oh, come with old Khayy m, and leave the WiseTo talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;The Flower than once has blown for ever dies.-XXVIThough it's difficult to imagine, these 12th-century stanzas-oft quoted and frequently looked to for inspiration by those seeking to live life to the fullest-did not come to the public's attention until Edward FitzGerald published them in English in 1859... and even then they were ignored until the painter Dante Rossetti discovered a remaindered copy two years later and excitedly spread news of it around his intellectual and artistic circles.Not a direct translation, these liberal interpretations make Khayy m's verse accessible to readers in the English language. Several editions of FitzGerald's work are included in this volume, allowing the reader multiple approaches to their wisdom and beauty.Persian astronomer and poet OMAR KHAYY M (1048-1131) also authored works on music and mathematics.British poet and translator EDWARD FITZGERALD (1809-1883) also wrote Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances (1852) and translated from the Spanish Six Dramas of Pedro Caulderon (1853).
This book describes a phenomenon unique in publishing history -- a book of poetry, published anonymously nearly 150 years ago -- purporting to be the translation of an 11th century Persian work -- which has remained almost continuously in print and stimulated at least 130 illustrators attempting to illuminate the verses it contains. The poetry in question is Edward FitzGerald's version of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Khayyam was a mathematician, astronomer and philosopher in 11th century Persia. Edward FitzGerald was first introduced to Khayyam's verses in the original Persian in 1859. Since then, there have been many hundreds of separate editions and reissues of the Rubaiyat, including many further translations of FitzGerald's work into other languages. Today, FitzGerald's Rubaiyat is one of the most universally known of all poems. It is also probably the most widely illustrated of all literary works. William Martin and Sandra Mason have produced the first serious attempt to examine the illustrated editions in detail. The authors tell the extraordinary story of the popularity of FitzGerald's Rubaiyat, and looks at how different illustrators have approached the task of interpreting the individual themes and topics of the fascinating poem. Although the book focuses on one literary work, it provides a history of the changes in book illustration, mostly in Britain and America, over the past century and a half. With some 300 color illustrations and covering the work of over 100 artists, it also provides detailed documentation on the illustrators and a bibliography of the illustrated version of FitzGerald's Rubaiyat. This will prove a unique reference tool for collectors and bibliographers.
Edward FitzGerald's ‘Rubáiyát’, loosely based on verses attributed to the eleventh-century Persian writer, Omar Khayyám, has become one of the most widely known poems in the world, republished virtually every year from 1879 to the present day, and translated into over eighty different languages. And yet it has been largely ignored or at best patronized by the academic establishment. This volume sets out to explore the reasons for both the popularity and the neglect.