|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||von Goethe JWolfgang, Ormsby EL|
|ISBN Number||Cloth: 9781909942240; ebook: 9781909942417|
Translated from the German and annotated by Eric Ormsby, Ph.D. 1981
In 1814, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe read the poems of the great fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz in a newly published translation by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall. For Goethe, the book was a revelation. He felt a deep connection with Hafiz and Persian poetic traditions, and was immediately inspired to create his own West-Eastern Divan as a lyrical conversation between the poetry and history of his native Germany and that of Persia. The resulting collection engages with the idea of the other and unearths lyrical connections between cultures.
“This fine volume — which also contains a translation of the essays on Eastern culture that Goethe added to make the poems more intelligible — should make the Divan accessible to many more readers.”--Times Literary Supplement
“Ormsby wisely makes no attempt to simulate Goethe’s elaborate rhyming stanzas; rather, he provides en face literal prose translations, with helpful explanatory notes at the bottom of each page. Goethe’s polyphonic sequence folds lines and phrases from his Persian and Arabic sources into German lyric so as to create an East-West complex at once intimate and theatrical.”--Marjorie Perloff Times Literary Supplement - Books of the Year 2019