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Layla & Majnun [Hardcover]

Nizami , Colin Turner


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Book Description

June 1997 1857821610 978-1857821611
The text is a prose rendition of Nizami's 12th-century poetic masterpiece, in which he reshapes the legends of Majnun, the quintessential romantic fool, into a tale of the ideal lover. For the Sufis, Majnun represents the perfect devotee of the "religion of the heart," and the story is an allegory of the soul's longing for God. This is a beautiful production, and it includes a final chapter newly translated from the Persian by Omid Safi and Zia Inayat Khan.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hushion House (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857821610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857821611
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,806,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing Job with a World Masterpiece May 24 2000
By Matrina Lesko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I hate being negative; but I have to in this case. I have been a student of epic literature for a long time and I particularly enjoy the early Islamic/Persian poems in the genre. Nizami tops the list of these poets with the likes of Omar Kayyam and Farid uddin al Attar. So, I was particularly happy to discover this translation of the Majnun and Layla and ordered it from Amazon.com. My joy quickly turned to disappointment. There is so much compression, so much excision of the philosophical and allegorical content of the work, it becomes little more than a 3rd rate Romeo and Juliet. In fact, it is much much more than that. Three stars because it is great to have a translation, any translation. But now (2000), one of the great modern classic translations, first made available from Shambala press (1978), is available again and you should get that one. Translated by Omid Safi and reprinted by Omega Publications. The work, particularly in this guise, will knock your socks off.
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful retelling of the true-life Muslim 'Romeo+Juliet' Dec 11 2001
By Mr. A. Jehangir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The tale of Majnun (whose real name was Qays ibn al Mulawwah and who lived in the latter half of the 7th century) and Layla, his beloved, of the Banu Amir tribe is based on true events which have become legendary in the whole of the Islamic world to the extent that their names have become parts of common and everyday sayings and proverbs to do with love.
The most famous retelling of their love story is this one by Nizami Ganjavi, a Persian Sufi, of the 12th (?) century. He correctly understood that Majnun's love for Layla was a metaphor for his of God--in other words by loving Layla he was actually loving God as he totally consumed his ego into nothingness through his love for Layla so that he didn't percieve himself and her as separate entities but as One; in other words this story is an allegory for the Sufi's journey towards, and eventual annihilation, in the Divine.
He has described it in wonderful poetical rhyme and rhythm and although this translation changes his poetic form into prose, the rich metaphors and exquisite descriptions are kept and so the prose also reads like poetry. The central plot, in addition to being based on real-life incidents, is also very interesting and there are a host of wonderful characters too who play a part in this tale.
A must read: not only a classic love story but also a classic text of Sufism and one of the world's great literary masterpieces of poetry.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic May 26 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have owned a copy of this book since 1991 and I have read and re-read it many times. This is one of those rare books which get better each time you read it. This is the most moving and dramatic lovestory I have ever read and ever will read. Romeo and Juliet to the power of ten!! The emotions portrayed here are so intense and real. It is my advise to everybody to read this book and enjoy it as much as I do.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! April 12 2011
By Christina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Simply stated, I loved reading this book even though it was a college course requirement. One of the best love stories I've ever read.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, Tragic and Strangely Hopeful Dec 29 2008
By WhiteOleander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a beautiful story about what love is capable of doing to the human person. Majnun was driven mad by his hopeless longing for Layla, but his longing also drove him to a transendance of human weakness and petty desire. This is a story about a love that is so all consuming that it completely transforms you. Majnun and Layla were so enraptured with their love for one another that they became one another. He is Layla and she is Majnun. They suffered agonizing sorrow from being parted, but they are never truly seperated becuase they exist for and within one another. This is the comforting aspect of the story, that love could burn so brightly even when the lovers are forced to be apart. Brilliant work about the beautiful and terrifying power of love.

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