The Confluence of wisdom …

The Confluence of Wisdom Along the Silk Road. Omar Khayyam’s Transformative Poetry. Mostafa Vaziri. [S.l.] : Vernon Press, 2021. 208 p. ISBN: 9781648893162.

For centuries along the vibrant cultural corridor of the Silk Road of Central Asia, philosophers and thinkers from Hellenic, Chinese and Indian traditions debated existential issues. Out of this stimulating milieu, the iconic poet-mathematician Omar Khayyam emerged in the eleventh century, advancing a transformative intercultural philosophy in his poetic work, the Rubaiyat.
Vaziri traces the themes of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat back to the highly influential philosophical traditions of the Silk Road and uncovers fascinating parallels in original works by Heraclitus, Zhuangzi (Daoism), Nagarjuna (Mahayana Buddhism), and the Upanishads. In addition, Vaziri’s elegant translation and unique classification of the verses of the Rubaiyat reveal an existential roadmap laid out by Khayyam.
In this pioneering volume, Vaziri not only fuses the multiple disciplines of literature, philosophy, culture, history and medicine but also takes the approach of the Rubaiyat to a new level, presenting it as a source of wisdom therapy that stands the test of time in the face of doubt and confusion, offering a platform for self-restoration.

Contents

  • List of Figures
  • Prelude
  • Part I: Interwoven Philosophies of Life
  • Chapter 1 A Nexus of Wisdom on the Silk Road
  • Chapter 2 Life is Like a River: Heraclitus and Khayyam
  • Chapter 3 The Liberated Drunkard: Daoism and Wine in the Rubaiyat
  • Chapter 4 Self-Rule, Joy and Emptiness: The Bedrock of the Buddhist and Khayyamian Paths
  • Chapter 5 The Immortal Clay: An Echo of the Chandogya Upanishad in Khayyam’s Allegory
  • Part II: Therapeutic Approach: Four Essays
  • Chapter 6 Poetry-Philosophy as Medicine: A Historical Background
  • Chapter 7 The Entrapped Mind and Psychosomatic Alarms
  • Chapter 8 Wisdom Therapy and Khayyam’s Poetry
  • Chapter 9 Khayyamian Thought as a Psychological Alternative
  • Conclusion
  • Part III: The Quatrains
  • Chapter 10 The Flow of the Rubaiyat: New Translation and Classification
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Friedrich Rosen: orientalist and diplomat

In the recently published Friedrich Rosen. Orientalist scholarship and international politics Amir Theilhaber describes the diplomatic career and scholarly-literary productions of Friedrich Rosen “to investigate how politics influenced knowledge generated about the “Orient” and charts the roles knowledge played in political decision-making regarding extra-European regions. This is pursued through analyses of Germans in British imperialist contexts, cultures of lowly diplomatic encounters in Middle Eastern cities, Persian poetry in translation, prestigious Orientalist congresses in northern climes,leveraging knowledge in high-stakes diplomatic encounters, and the making of Germany’s Islam policy up to the Great War.”

An extensive chapter 6 deals with Omar Khayyam’s Ruba’iyat and Rumi’s Masnavi, in the context of politics and scholarship of translating Persian Poetry.

Friedrich Rosen. Orientalist scholarship and international politics. Amir Theilhaber. Berlin, Munich, Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2020. viii, 627 pp. ISBN: 978-3-11-063925-4.
Also available as Open Access document.

“The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art”

A three volume catalog of the first artists of FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát, “The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art, 1884-1913” is now available. The volumes are compiled  by Danton H. O’Day, “to stimulate new interest in detailing the complete artistic history of the amazing collection of Fitz’s and Omar’s four-line verses. Another was to provide in one place detailed examples of each of the artists who contributed to The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art.”

The 8 x 10” hard-cover books are printed on photo-quality paper with a full colour printed cover.
The lavishly illustrated books contain photos not available since their first publication, two new artists, charts and tables, and more.

The books are available from Blurb Bookstore.

Volume ISBN # Pages Hardcover
I. The Illustrators 9781366232786 168 US$ 84.99
II. Popular Themes 9781366232717 68 US$ 59.99
III. The Decorators 9781366232656 90 US$ 64.99

 Please contact: Danton H. O’Day for more information (danton.oday@utoronto.ca)

New editions

Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Introduction and notes by Robert D. Richardson; original art by Lincoln Perry. New York, Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781620406564
The mystic Rubáiyát. [Illustrated by Penelope Cline]. Fig Tree Press, 2016.
75 tarot cards.
The quatrains of Omar Khayyam. Translated from the Persian by Joobin Bekhrad. Bloomington, Balboa Press, 2016. ISBN 9781504362542
The Rubáiyát. Along the Red Book Road.Quatrains of Omar Khayyám rendered into English verse by Edward FitzGerald. Introduction by Louis Untermeyer. Paintings by Linda Carter Holman. Oregon House, Red Shoe Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9780976973225.
John Morris-Jones: Penillion Omar Khayyâm. Golygwyd Dafydd Glyn Jones. Bangor, Dalen Newydd, 2015. ISBN 9780993251016

 

The Cinderella of the Arts

Shepherds bookbinders, in co-operation with Oak Knoll Press, recently published The Cinderella of the Arts. A short history of Sangorski & Sutcliff, a London bookbinding firm established in 1901.

It is a successor to Bob Shepherds book Lost on the Titanic (2001), and this new edition draws a wider perspective of the firm’s history, including the dramatic story of the second ‘Great Omar’. The history also highlights the Sutcliffe years and the years that Stanley Bray was in command. It is illustrated with colourfull images of some of the finest bindings, and with photographs of the people of the firm.

London and New Castle, DE: Shepherds and Oak Knoll Press, 2015. 200 pp.
ISBN: 9781584563402.

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Holyoak’s “Rubáiyát”

Potter139-1One of the more intriguing entries in Potter’s Bibliography of the rubáiyát is number 139, the ‘Cyclostyle Edition’. There are several aspects that draw attention to this edition.

First there is the title ‘Cyclostyle edition’, suggesting an early adaptation of advanced office technology: cyclostyles were only invented in the early 1880’s. Second there appears to exist a number of versions of this edition, published from 1885 unto 1899 in various forms and formats, under varying titles and printed in varying numbers of copies.

A more fascinating aspect however is the interference with Holyoak’s work by Macmillan, the London publisher who had acquired the copyrights of FitzGerald’s work. They regarded Holyoak’s printings as a serious threat to their business and threatened him with a court action. The affair drew the attention of G.J. Holyoake who came to his namesake’s defence.

Finally there is the nature of Holyoak’s editions, which are issued in a limited number of copies, and being handwritten and printed with the cyclostyle, they were probably regarded as somewhat ephemeral printings. The various editions differ in a number of details such as misspellings or choice of paper. If copies have survived outside libraries, they are probably very rare.

The cyclostyle editions of the rubáiyát have never drawn too much attention, and until recently hardly anything was known about them. Only when a proof print copy was offered for sale a few years ago, which was purchased by a private collector, a search was initiated by John Drew and myself to find out more about the editions and the actors involved. These efforts resulted eventually in the discovery in the USA of a copy of the original “Book Store Monthly” edition of April 1885.

BSM Cover adjusted

Book Store Monthly, April 1885

An extra feature to the story was to find out how Holyoak’s selection had its roots in an earlier pirate Rubáiyát: the so called Madras edition of 1862. John Drew has published about this before.

The story of this highly interesting piece of rubáiyát history is now recorded, together with documents and publications, in a pamphlet called The erring finger writes. The Leicester pirate cyclostyles of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, by Jos Coumans and John Drew (Cambridge Poetry Workshop, 2015). ISBN 978-1-871214-26-0.
A copy can be ordered at £ 6,00 from cambridgepoetry@hotmail.com or € 7,50 from info@omariana.nl.

A ‘Rubáiyát’ with Steve McCurry

WomanInNiqab

Image by Steve McCurry

21st Editions, considered the purveyors of some of the finest books in the world, recently announced a new Deluxe title combining Edward Fitzgerald’s first edition (1859) of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” with photographs by Steve McCurry in platinum.

It is a limited edition of fifty copies, with an introduction by John Stauffer, containing 9 bound and 3 free-standing platinum prints, each signed.

Steve McCurry is an American editorial photographer best known for his 1984 photograph “Afghan Girl” which originally appeared in National Geographic.

For more details see 21st Editions.

René Bull

Bull 2014 CoverBodleian Library issued a reprint of the edition of the Rubáiyát that was illustrated by René Bull (1872-1942). Bull started his career studying engineering in Paris where he soon switched to the art of illustrating. When he settled in London in 1892 he started to draw for newspapers and magazines, and from 1898 till 1900 he worked as a photographer in India, Sudan and South Africa, where he covered several campains. Bull also illustrated “The Arabian Nights”, “The Russian Ballet” and “Andersen’s Fairy Tales”.

There is an introduction by Susan Scollay. The original twenty-nine coloured illustrations are reproduced, though in another sequence, as well as the drawings and decorations, here printed in brown colours. The text is printed with varying decorative borders above and below.

Though this new edition is less exuberant than the original by Hodder & Stoughton, 1913, it has a certain air of luxury because of the dark blue cloth binding with an imprint in gold, and the heavy 135 gsm Tatami Ivory that it is printed on.

Earlier issues of Bull’s edition were done by the Golden Medal Library (London, New York, 1927), Grammercy Books (New York, 1992) and Smithmark Publishers (New York, 1995).

“The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. With illustrations by René Bull.” Oxford, Bodleian Library, 2014. ISBN 9781851244171. Available from the Bodleian Library Bookshop, at £ 30.00.