Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Hardcover – Feb 1997
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"Christopher Decker has come forward with a splendid critical edition of the poem, containing FitzGerald's introductory essay and notes to each version. It prints all four printed versions along with manuscript variants and, most usefully indeed, appends a comparative version in which each quatrain appears in a column with its variants keyed to their order of placement in the four editions as well as revised copy- and proof-texts for that of 1872.--John Hollander "Yale Review "
About the Author
Christopher Decker is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has also published articles on allusion, literary influence, the history of reading, and appropriations of Shakespeare in Victorian poetry and culture.
Top Customer Reviews
Regarding the Muslim calendar, Fitzgerald wrote in an endnote for the forth tetrastich (included in all four original editions): "NEW YEAR--Beginning with the Vernal Equinox, it must be remembered; and (howsoever the old Solar Year is practically superseded by the clumsy Lunar Year that dates from the Mohammedan Hijra) still commemorated by a Festival that is said to have been appointed by the very Jamshyd whom Omar so often talks of, and whose yearly Calendar he helped to rectify." Again, these are FitzGerald's words, NOT Decker's, and we can only be thankful that there is finally a solid, scholastic edition of these works available--one that takes the trouble to include FitzGerald's original notes. In any case, these words are hardly "enraging"--they are about as unprepossessing as could be written by a Victorian pen; and, moreover, it would be well to keep in mind FitzGerald's known preference for "Persian" over "Arabic", for example, in transcription of words into Roman letters--a bias of the poet, not his editor.
Again, the reviewer complained of the reference to Mohammed as a "false prophet".Read more ›
this edition is extremely useful, with christopher decker's insightful notes always a helpful guide to the multiple editions of the poetry and an excellent source of knowledge on khayyam's work as well as the victorian age.
i would recommend this book to all readers, since it's the essential translation of the rubaiyat. christopher decker is to be highly commended for his excellent work.
to quote keats on another translation-
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific--and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
...BR>buy this book and enjoy it-- it's a good friend.
In this edition, an introduction written by Decker provides very good and much needed background for Khayyam's work. Most importantly, all four of the author's editions are included in their entirety, first individually and then, in an appendix, by quatrain, so one can compare the texts. A table providing the sequence of the quatrains is also provided, a pronunciation guide and a small glossary. An added bonus, to be found only in this edition, I believe, is the inclusion of FitzGerald's Latin translation of the poems.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is beautiful and classic poetry encompassing simple quatrains where East seems to meet West in a mingling of Eastern mysticism and Western language and expression of the nineteenth century.
Anyone who is serious about these gorgeous poems will find this text most useful. Although this is not the most visually beautiful of the translations, it is certainly the most comprehensive and the one that will most enhance your knowledge. Definitely worthy of adding to your collection. In fact, a necessity.
Most recent customer reviews
I wish I could have met him! I feel sure that the translation as good as it is does not capture his wisdom and brilliant verse. Read morePublished on July 30 2002 by Barbara R. Akin
My father introduced me to the Rubiiyat when I was very young and I have always enjoyed quoting from it because it reflects such a wise philosophy on various aspects of life. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 1999
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