Nizami's fame spread far and wide both East and West - Former President of Latvia
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Mar. 31
Nizami is a particularly great narrative poet and his fame spread far and wide both East and West, Former President of Latvia, Co-Chair Nizami Ganjavi International Center Vaira Vike-Freiberga said, Trend reports.
Vike-Freiberga explained that that is because of what is called known as the "Khamsa" ("The Five", "The Quintet") of five narrative poems also known as the "Panj Ganj" ("The Five Treasures").
“One of them – "The Tale of the Seven Beauties" is one I'd like to tell you about a bit more in detail today because it's one that I happen to be working on. I find it extremely exciting and I hope that it gives you a taste for the sort of work that Nizami did. Nizami is not as well known in the Western world as his talent really deserves, and the reason is very simple: there are too few good translations of his work into modern languages, particularly Western ones. Only a few specialized scholars are able to read his works in the original Farsi and to read the script of the time. Even fewer have been able or willing to translate it, although fragments of part of his work (larger or smaller fragments) have been appearing over the last hundred years and more in English, Russian, French and German and probably some other languages,” Vike-Freiberga said.
However, as Vike-Freiberga said she knows from experience, frequently these editions are extremely difficult to obtain.
“They're out of print and in other words, there's a huge amount to be done by various academies and by bodies of scholars to continue with translations into Nizami's work in as many world languages, frankly, as it is possible, because, I think, he deserves it. The work of Nizami Ganjavi was preserved throughout nearly nine centuries, when we know that so many authors of Greek and Roman Antiquity have completely disappeared or the majority of their work has disappeared into the various fires, lootings, destructions, ideological wars, or simply in the case of vellum manuscripts, by literally, the "tooth of time". In other words, a "bookworm" that actually chews up the substrate on which the text is written,” Vike-Freiberga said.
Now in the case of Nizami, the manuscripts are great many of them had been preserved, because of the fortunate circumstance that they were transcribed absolutely beautiful calligraphy, lavishly blonde, richly, superbly illustrated by what came to be known in the world as Persian miniatures, Vike-Freiberga said.
“Even as the language that the poet used became more and more difficult of access to successive generations of readers, the pictorial illustrations retained their fascination and helped to have the manuscripts copied and recopied and thus preserved over the centuries, which is no small thing,” she said.