“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)

Jaarboek 7

Jaarboek 7Jaarboek 7. 25 jaar Genootschap is now published, as always by Avalon Pers, Woubrugge. The book contains a number of shorter articles in which the members of the Club look back onto their membership. Jos Biegstraaten, president from 1990 till 2014, presents a short history of the Society. Hans de Bruijn ponders on the eternal and unanswered questions surrounding the origins of the rubáiyát. Jos Coumans explains how and why he started to collect the editions of the rubáiyát. For Marco Goud the exploration of life and work of the Dutch poet P.C. Boutens leads to confrontations with Khayyám’s influence on Boutens’ work he cannot evade. Rokus de Groot first encountered Khayyám’s poetry in the leather workshop of Stavros Melissinos in Athens, who presented him with a signed copy of his ‘Persian Rubáiyát’. Johan ter Haar is fascinated by the diversity of interpretations of Khayyám’s poetry that range from pure mysticism to sheer nihilism, and Remi Hauman looks at the rubáiyát as a collective, national oeuvre by various Persian ghostwriters, with international dimensions. For Dirk Meursing the Society was a useful and joyful resource while working on his own translation, and Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, now president, remembers how in his youth in Tehran he was fascinated by the secrets and mysteries that Khayyám’s verses seemed to conjure. Jos Biegstraaten finally describes how Khayyám influenced the work of the Dutch graphic artist Siep van den Berg.

The book is illuminated with a number of colour illustrations by various artists. It was printed in various states, in soft and hardbound copies, and was issued on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dutch Omar Khayyám Society. Copies are available from Avalon Pers, Woubrugge, at € 45,00.

Omar in Spanish-America

PeripheralIn “Otras inquisiciones, 1937-1952” (1952) the famous Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges published a short essay “El enigma de Edward FitzGerald”, in which he suggests that Omar might be reincarnated in Edward FitzGerald. In his earlier work “Inquisiciones” (1925) Borges also wrote a short essay called “Omar Jaiyám y FitzGerald” in which he refered to a translation to Spanish of a number of quatrains of Omar Khayyám by his father, Jorge Guillermo Borges (1874-1934). This reference to his father was left out in the later Inquisiciones of 1952.

Borges Jr.’s later essay may be familiar to the Omar devotees, but that his father was one of the first to translate Khayyám’s quatrains to Spanish is probably new to many of us. We learn more about early Spanish translations in a chapter “Omar Khayyam’s Epicureanism” by Axel Gasquet (Université de Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand), with the subtitle “The Spanish translations of Rubaiyats”. The author gives a brief summary of a number of translations published in Spanish-American countries. Here, and in the Phillipines twelve translations of the Rubáiyát were issued in twenty-six years. The first translation was by Juan Dublan (Mexico, 1904), followed by Gregorio Martinez Sierra (Madrid, 1907), and finally by Francisco Propata (Paris, 1930).

Four works are discussed more in detail: the versions by Dublan, Muzzio Sáenz-Peña, González and Bernabé. Gasquet describes the socio-cultural conditions of their time, and the sources of their work. He also shows how the hedonist-mystic debate played a role in these works.

Though the analysis is limited to only four translations, the chapter is rather interesting as it informs us about a number of translations that are not all in Potter, and that are probably unknown to many of our readers. One reason might be that these unknown translations were published in magazines or journals, or were part of anthologies.

The twelve translations that are refered to are:

  • DUBLAN, Juan. “Ruba’iyyat” de Omar Khayyam. Mexico, Caranza, 1904. (online at archive.org) (Potter 509)
  • SIERRA, Gregorio Martinez. Los Rubayata de Omar Khayyam de Naishapur. In: ‘Renacimiento’, March 1907, pp. 89-104 (Potter 510)
  • MUZZIO SÁENZ-PEÑA, Carlos. Rubaiyat de Omar-al-Khayyam. La Plata, Sesé, 1914.
  • CASTELLOT, José. Rubaiyat de Omar Khayyam. Prologo por Jose Juan Tablada. New York, [s.n.], 1918. (Potter 584)
  • BORGES, Jorge Guillermo. (Sixty-two quatrains). In: ‘Proa’, 1924. (A smaller number of quatrains was published in ‘Gran Guignol’, 1920.
  • EULATE SANJURJO, Carmela. Rubayyat. In: ‘Antología de poetas orientales’. Barcelona : Editorial Cervantes, 1921.
  • GUIRAO, Pedro. Omar Khayyam. Las mejores poesías (líricas) de los mejores poetas. XXXI. Barcelona, Cervantes, 1922 (Potter 517)
  • BERNABÉ, Manuel. Rubáiyát de Omar Khayyam. Manilla, Imp. de la Vanguardua, 1923.
  • GARCIA CALDÉRON, Ventura. Omar Kheyyam. Rubaiyat. San José de Costa Rica, El Convivio, 1925.
  • GONZÁLEZ, Joaquín V. Rubáiyát de Omar Khayyám. Buenos Aires, Roldán, 1926. (Potter 518)
  • PROPATO, Francisco. Ensayo crítico sobre Las Rubáiyát de Umar-i-Khayyám. Acompañado de la versión castellana y de notas. Paris, Bourdon, 1930.

Peripheral Transmodernities : South-to-South Intercultural Dialogues between the Luso-Hispanic World and “the Orient.” Ed. by Ignacio Lopez-Calvo. Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, c2012. ISBN 9781443837262.

Read about about this book on: http://ignaciolopezcalvo.blogspot.nl/2012/02/peripheral-transmodernities-south-to.html

A number of Borges’s rubaiyat can be found at: http://cronicasdeotros.blogspot.nl/2010/03/del-poema-de-omar-jaiyiam-omar-khayyam.html

A Millennium of Persian Literature

OmarKhayyamThe Library of Congress opened an exhibition on March 29, titled “A Thousand Years of the Persian Book”. Purpose of the exibition is to take visitors on a visual journey of the rich literary history of Persian language, and to explore works of religion, science, modern literature, children’s books, women’s literature and the highly illustrated masterpieces of classical poetry for which Persian literature is most famous.

“The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it,” Khayyám wrote in “Rubaiyat,” a work that centuries later still would inspire artists from Eugene O’Neill to Agatha Christie, from Woody Guthrie to Van Morrison.

Read more in the Library of Congress Blog: http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2014/03/a-millennium-of-persian-literature/?loclr=fbloc

Rose Bay Rubaiyat

Len Green recently published Rose Bay Rubaiyat, in which he highlights the history and rosebayrubaiyatbackground of Khayyám’s poetry. He also published some paraphrases, written by himself. The book Rose Bay Rubaiyat has been published not for profit, and with appropriate authorization it is currently available for sale in support of Médecins Sans Frontières – Doctors Without Borders.

The price of the book is AUD$22.00, and you can order it:
(a) by cheque or money order payable to: L. Green, C/O Robert Green PO Box 1151 Darlinghurst  NSW  1300 Australia.

(b) or visit: www.paypal.com.au and select “pay money”. Enter Green’s email address: lbzgreen@iprimus.com.au then email him at this address to advise payment. Don’t forget to include a postal destination.

The Great ‘Umar Khayyám

GreatUmarThe book The Great ’Umar Khayyam, which consists of 18 essays about Khayyam’s influence, shows that traces of Khayyam can be found throughout Western literature and culture. Dutch poets such as Leopold and Boutens were inspired by him, for instance, but the quatrains also made their mark in 20th century painting and music.

The volume is the result of a two days conference held in Leiden, July 2009, as part of a number of events that took place to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Edward FitzGerald’s first version of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám and the transaltor’s 200th birthday.

Published in 2012, there is a digital edition available now. Click here.

‘FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect’

AnthemPressVolumeThis title from Anthem Press, edited by Adrian Poole, Christine van Ruymbeke, William H. Martin and Sandra Mason, was initially published in 2011, but is now available as Ebook.

The volume of essays is based on a conference held in July 2009 at Trinity College, Cambridge to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Edward FitzGerald (1809) and the 150th anniversary of the first publication of his ‘Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’ (1859). The ‘Rubáiyát’, loosely based on the 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 (the year of FitzGerald’s fourth edition) to the present day, and translated into over eighty different languages. And yet, with a few exceptions, it has been systematically ignored or at best patronized by the academic establishment. This volume sets out to explore the reasons for both the popularity and the neglect. Broadly speaking, the essays are divided into two main blocks. The first six chapters focus primarily on the poem’s literary qualities (including consideration of its place in the tradition of verse translation into English, the idea of ‘nothingness’, and ‘syntax and sexuality’), the last five on aspects of its reception (including essays on the late-Victorian Omar Khayyám Club, on American parodies, and on the many illustrated editions). They are linked by three essays that address key ‘facilitators’ in the poem’s transmission (including the significant but neglected issue of cheap reprints).

Click here for more information, and to order the book.