Layla & Majnun Hardcover – Jun 1997
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.