[FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great
Views expressed here are not necessarily the views & opinions of ActivistChat.com. Comments are unmoderated. Abusive remarks may be deleted. ActivistChat.com retains the rights to all content/IP info in in this forum and may re-post content elsewhere.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Shahnameh Declared as one of the 10 best books of the Year

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> General Discussion & Announcements
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
cyrus
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Shahnameh Declared as one of the 10 best books of the Year Reply with quote

Shahnameh Declared as one of the 10 best books of the Year by Washington Post

Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, by Abolqasem Ferdowsi (Viking). A new translation, by Dick Davis, of the great epic of ancient Persia, opening with the creation of the universe and closing with the Arab Muslim conquest. A violent and beautiful work.

Michael Dirda
This marvelous translation of an ancient Persian classic brings these stories alive for a new audience.

By Michael Dirda
Sunday, May 14, 2006; Page BW15

SHAHNAMEH

The Persian Book of Kings


"Ferdowsi [figure on the far left] encounters the Court poets of Gbazna" (ca. 1532) (Jacket Art From A Painting By Aqa Mirak)


By Abolqasem Ferdowsi

Translated from the Persian by Dick Davis

Viking. 886 pp. $45

The Shahnameh is the great epic of ancient Persia, opening with the creation of the universe and closing with the Arab Muslim conquest of the worn-out empire in the 7th century. In its pages, the 11th-century poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi chronicles the reigns of a hundred kings, the exploits of dozens of epic heroes and the seemingly never-ending conflict between early Iran and its traditional enemy, the country here called Turan (a good-sized chunk of Central Asia). To imagine an equivalent to this violent and beautiful work, think of an amalgam of Homer's Iliad and the ferocious Old Testament book of Judges.

But even these grand comparisons don't do the poem justice. Embedded in the Shahnameh are love stories, like that of Zal and Rudabeh, that recall the heartsick yearnings of Provenšal troubadours and their ladies; tragedies of mistaken identity, hubris and irreconcilable moral obligations that might have attracted Sophocles; and meditations on the brevity of life that sound like Ecclesiastes or Horace. Though ostensibly historical, the poem is also full of myth and legend, of fairies and demons, of miraculous births and enchanted arrows and terrible curses, of richly caparisoned battle-elephants and giant birds straight out of the Arabian Nights. Little wonder that artists have often taken its stories as the inspiration for those manuscript illuminations we sometimes call Persian miniatures.

All this is swell, a modern reader is likely to think, but can Americans living in the 21st century actually turn the pages of the Shahnameh with anything like enjoyment? Yes, they can, thanks to Dick Davis, our pre-eminent translator from the Persian (and not only of medieval poems, but also of Iraj Pezeshkzad's celebrated comic novel, My Uncle Napoleon ). Davis's diction in this largely prose version of the Shahnameh possesses the simplicity and elevation appropriate to an epic but never sounds grandiose; its sentences are clear, serene and musical. At various heightened moments -- usually of anguish or passion -- Davis will shift into aria-like verse, and the results remind us that the scholar and translator is also a noted poet:

Our lives pass from us like the wind, and why

Should wise men grieve to know that they must die?

The Judas blossom fades, the lovely face

Of light is dimmed, and darkness takes its place.
___________________________________________



Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings(Hardcover) by Abolqasem Ferdowsi, Dick Davis (Translator)
__________________________________________________________
Book World's 10 Best of the Year Sunday, December 3, 2006; Page BW05
FICTION

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/30/AR2006113001839.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


After This, by Alice McDermott (Farrar Straus Giroux). There are no excesses, no look-at-me pyrotechnics in this story of a family over several decades in the middle of the 20th century. With the mastery of a fine poet, McDermott distills each life to its essence.



The Holiday Issue
Best of 2006: Read Book World's recommendations for the finest releases of the year, along with gift book ideas for the holidays.

All Aunt Hagar's Children, by Edward P. Jones (Amistad). With this collection of 14 short stories about African Americans in Washington, D.C., Jones has established himself as one of the most important writers of the present day.

The Dream Life of Sukhanov, by Olga Grushin (Putnam). A sophisticated, ironic and witty story about the midlife crisis of a Soviet art critic on the eve of glasnost.

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf). An unnamed man and his young son -- two of the last survivors on Earth -- walk through an incinerated wasteland foraging for food and hiding from gangs of cannibals. A frightening, profound tale.

Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, by Abolqasem Ferdowsi (Viking). A new translation, by Dick Davis, of the great epic of ancient Persia, opening with the creation of the universe and closing with the Arab Muslim conquest. A violent and beautiful work.

NONFICTION



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian, by Robin Lane Fox (Basic). With erudition, drive and wit, an Oxford scholar triumphantly brings the Greeks' and Romans' civilizations to life.

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, by Thomas E. Ricks (Penguin Press). A reporter's bristling, unflinching account shows that the war soured because of blunders made by a thousand fathers.

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright (Knopf). A chilling, beautifully written exploration of the rise of Osama bin Laden, his fanatical deputies and their murderous milieu.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press). This enthralling explanation of the sources of our diet persuades us that we are what we eat.

Stravinsky: The Second Exile -- France and America, 1934-1971, by Stephen Walsh (Knopf). The masterful, elegant conclusion to an epic biography of one of the 20th century's most influential composers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> General Discussion & Announcements All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group