- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393292185
- ISBN-13: 978-0393292183
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Conference of the Birds 1st Edition
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“Attar’s grand allegory for the journey of the soul as it seeks union with the divine has influenced countless artists, poets, mystics, and believers around the world. But never before has it been rendered in English with such beauty, elegance, and precision. Wolpé’s translation of this epic is sure to be as timeless as the masterpiece itself.”
- Reza Aslan, author of Zealot
“I was struck by this accomplished translation, which moves the reader along from one stanza to the next in strong, compelling rhythms. I think what Sholeh Wolpé has done exceedingly well is to bring this medieval poem over into lively, contemporary English that feels absolutely right and not at all forced.”
- Edith Grossman, author of Why Translation Matters
“In Sholeh Wolpé’s version, this sly, knowing Sufi classic will surprise and delight a new generation of readers.”
- Jack Miles, general editor of The Norton Anthology of World Religions
“As close to the original a reader can come in translation, and imbued with the same kind of revelation, it makes clear why Attar remained such a strong influence on Rumi. The reader travels, along with the poet’s birds, to greater spiritual insight through transcendent verse.”
- Roger Sedarat, Queens College
About the Author
Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-American poet and writer. The author of more than ten books of poems, translations, and anthologies, she is the recipient of a PEN/Heim grant, the Midwest Book Award, and the Lois Roth Persian Translation prize, among others. Wolpé lives in Los Angeles.
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The translation has clearly benefited from previous translations done by scholars of Persian (Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis as well as Peter Avery). There is nothing wrong with that. Most translators look at previous translations in order to better establish the need for a re-translation. However, Wolpe does not credit or mention any of the previous translators who have brought this seminal work into English before. Instead, she hides behind a nebulous and unexplained claim that this is not a "scholarly" translation and instead it is an artistic rendition. This is nothing but a disclaimer for her numerous errors in the translation. I find this practice unethical. Perhaps this is why the translation didn't get an endorsement from a scholar of Persian who would be able to consult her translation with the source text.
I don't recommend this translation.