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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

A New Translation from the Persian

Omar Khayyam Juan Cole (University of Michigan, USA)



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I.B. Tauris
30 April 2020
A repository of subversive, melancholic and existentialist themes and ideas, the rubaiyat (quatrains) that make up the collected poems attributed to the 12th century Persian astronomer Omar Khayyam have enchanted readers for centuries. In this modern translation, complete with critical introduction and epilogue, Juan Cole elegantly renders the verse for contemporary readers. Exploring such universal questions as the meaning of life, fate and how to live a good life in the face of human mortality, this translation reveals anew why this singular collection of poems has struck a chord with such a temporally and culturally diverse audience, from the wine houses of medieval Iran to the poets of Western twentieth century modernism.
By:   Omar Khayyam
Translated by:   Juan Cole (University of Michigan USA)
Imprint:   I.B. Tauris
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
Weight:   198g
ISBN:   9780755600519
ISBN 10:   0755600517
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   30 April 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Omar Khayyam (1048 - 1131) was a Persian astronomer and mathematician born in Nishapur in northeastern Iran who lived and worked at the courts of the Seljuk dynasty. Modern scholars agree that there is very little (if any) of the collected work of poetry know as the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that can be certainly attributed to the historical figure. A tradition of attribution grew up in the centuries after Khayyam's death which culminated in Edward Fitzgerald's translation in the 19th Century. Juan Cole is a public intellectual, prominent blogger and essayist, and the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, USA. He is the translator of Broken Wings and The Vision by Khalil Gibran.

Reviews for The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A New Translation from the Persian

'To read Juan Cole's deft, plain-spoken translation of the Rubaiyat is to find companionship, to rejoin a thousand-year human conversation about how to endure, enjoy, and find a fleeting beauty in everlastingly dire times. The lucid, cogent and mind-opening Epilogue is a kind of grace, a gift freely given, from one of our most astonishing and generous intellects.' * Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Moonglow (2017) * 'Omar Khayyam is a Persian treasure and Juan Cole's new translation brings him anew to Western audiences who for centuries have been both delighted and educated by this medieval sage! Reading The Rubaiyat is a thrill - you feel the echoes of the 12th century seamlessly into our 21st, as this is a holy book of wisdom and magic. In another perilous era for Iranians, it's wonderful to see this enchanting volume make its way through the world yet again!' * Porochista Khakpour, novelist, essayist and author of Brown Album (2020) *

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