The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 1
206 Pages
English
Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 1

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer
206 Pages
English

Description

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan,and The Gulistan , by Anonymous, et alThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The GulistanAuthor: AnonymousRelease Date: November 26, 2003 [eBook #10315]Language: EnglishChatacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PERSIAN LITERATURE, VOLUME 1,COMPRISING THE SHAHNAMEH, THE RUBAIYAT, THE DIVAN, AND THE GULISTAN ***E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Karen Lofstrom, Tom Allen, and the Project Gutenberg Online DistributedProofreading TeamPERSIAN LITERATUREcomprisingTHE SHÁH NÁMEH, THE RUBÁIYÁT THE DIVAN, AND THE GULISTANRevised Edition, Volume 11909With a special introduction byRICHARD J. H. GOTTHEIL, Ph.D.SPECIAL INTRODUCTIONA certain amount of romantic interest has always attached to Persia. With a continuous history stretching back into thosedawn-days of history in which fancy loves to play, the mention of its name brings to our minds the vision of things beautifuland artistic, the memory of great deeds and days of chivalry. We seem almost to smell the fragrance of the rose-gardensof Tus and of Shiraz, and to hear ...

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 72
Language English

Exrait

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan , by Anonymous, et al This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan Author: Anonymous Release Date: November 26, 2003 [eBook #10315] Language: English Chatacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PERSIAN LITERATURE, VOLUME 1,COMPRISING THE SHAH NAMEH, THE RUBAIYAT, THE DIVAN, AND THE GULISTAN *** E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Karen Lofstrom, Tom Allen, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team PERSIAN LITERATURE comprising THE SHÁH NÁMEH, THE RUBÁIYÁT THE DIVAN, AND THE GULISTAN Revised Edition, Volume 1 1909 With a special introduction by RICHARD J. H. GOTTHEIL, Ph.D. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION A certain amount of romantic interest has always attached to Persia. With a continuous history stretching back into those dawn-days of history in which fancy loves to play, the mention of its name brings to our minds the vision of things beautiful and artistic, the memory of great deeds and days of chivalry. We seem almost to smell the fragrance of the rose-gardens of Tus and of Shiraz, and to hear the knight-errants tell of war and of love. There are other Oriental civilizations, whose coming and going have not been in vain for the world; they have done their little bit of apportioned work in the universe, and have done it well. India and Arabia have had their great poets and their great heroes, yet they have remained well- nigh unknown to the men and women of our latter day, even to those whose world is that of letters. But the names of Firdusi, Sa'di, Omar Khayyám, Jami, and Háfiz, have a place in our own temples of fame. They have won their way into the book-stalls and stand upon our shelves, side by side with the other books which mould our life and shape our character. Some reason there must be for the special favor which we show to these products of Persian genius, and for the hold which they have upon us. We need not go far to find it. The under-current forces, which determine our own civilization of to-day, are in a general way the same forces which were at play during the heyday of Persian literary production. We owe to the Hellenic spirit, which at various times has found its way into our midst, our love for the beautiful in art and in literature. We owe to the Semitic, which has been inbreathed into us by religious forms and beliefs, the tone of our better life, the moral level to which we aspire. The same two forces were at work in Persia. Even while that country was purely Iránian, it was always open to Semitic influences. The welding together of the two civilizations is the true signature of Persian history. The likeness which is so evident between the religion of the Avesta, the sacred book of the pre- Mohammedan Persians, and the religion of the Old and New Testaments, makes it in a sense easy for us to understand these followers of Zoroaster. Persian poetry, with its love of life and this-worldliness, with its wealth of imagery and its appeal to that which is human in all men, is much more readily comprehended by us than is the poetry of all the rest of the Orient. And, therefore, Goethe, Platen, Rückert, von Schack, Fitzgerald, and Arnold have been able to re-sing their masterpieces so as to delight and instruct our own days—of which thing neither India nor Arabia can boast. Tales of chivalry have always delighted the Persian ear. A certain inherent gayety of heart, a philosophy which was not so sternly vigorous as was that of the Semite, lent color to his imagination. It guided the hands of the skilful workmen in the palaces of Susa and Persepolis, and fixed the brightly colored tiles upon their walls. It led the deftly working fingers of their scribes and painters to illuminate their manuscripts so gorgeously as to strike us with wonder at the assemblage of hues and the boldness of designs. Their Zoroaster was never deified. They could think of his own doings and of the deeds of the mighty men of valor who lived before and after him with very little to hinder the free play of their fancy. And so this fancy roamed up and down the whole course of Persian history: taking a long look into the vista of the past, trying even to lift the veil which hides from mortal sight the beginnings of all things; intertwining fact with fiction, building its mansions on earth, and its castles in the air. The greatest of all Eastern national epics is the work of a Persian. The "Sháh Námeh," or Book of Kings, may take its place most worthily by the side of the Indian Nala, the Homeric Iliad, the German Niebelungen. Its plan is laid out on a scale worthy of its contents, and its execution is equally worthy of its planning. One might almost say that with it neo- Persian literature begins its history. There were poets in Persia before the writer of the "Sháh Námeh"—Rudagi, the blind (died 954), Zandshi (950), Chusravani (tenth century). There were great poets during his own day. But Firdusi ranks far above them all; and at the very beginning sets up so high a standard that all who come after him must try to live up to it, or else they will sink into oblivion. The times in which Firdusi lived were marked by strange revolutions. The Arabs, filled with the daring which Mohammed had breathed into them, had indeed conquered Persia. In A.D. 657, when Merv fell, and the last Sassanian king, Yezdegird III, met his end, these Arabs became nominally supreme. Persia had been conquered—but not the Persian spirit. Even though Turkish speech reigned supreme at court and the Arabic script became universal, the temper of the old Arsacides and Sassanians still lived on. It is true that Ormuzd was replaced by Allah, and Ahriman by Satan. But the Persian had a glorious past of his own; and in this the conquered was far above the conqueror. This past was kept alive in the myth-loving mind of this Aryan people; in the songs of its poets and in the lays of its minstrels. In this way there was, in a measure, a continuous opposition of Persian to Arab, despite the mingling of the two in Islam; and the opposition of Persian Shiites to the Sunnites of the rest of the Mohammedan world at this very day is a curious survival of racial antipathy. The fall of the only real Arab Mohammedan dynasty—that of the Umayyid caliphs at Damascus—the