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Vis and Ramin Hardcover – February 14, 2008
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Dick Davis has refreshed the classic verse form of the English epic--iambic pentameter couplets--and brought a very non-Western poem into the Western canon. His accomplishment is such that one wonders what might have happened to Western literature if Persia had triumphed at the Battle of Salamis. Vis & Ramin may not be the truest or greatest epic ever written, but it is the sexiest, and at times I could not help thinking that Davis’ translation might be one of the most beautiful things I had ever read. --Mark Jarman, The Hudson Review.
AN ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL AND POWERFUL POEM. . .
I can't think of a modern metrical translation of a long poem that is more natural and readable, that is never embarrassing either as translation or as aesthetically effective verse. --Philip White, author of The Clearing.
LOVE ON THE ROOF
One of the most extraordinary and fascinating love narratives produced anywhere in the medieval world, Islamic or Christian....Excellent introduction makes a convincing case for Vis and Ramin being the source for Tristan and Isolde....New translation by the poet Dick Davis, widely regarded as our finest translator of Persian poetry, in heroic couplets....This wonderful work should win Gorgani the Western audience he richly deserves.
--Times Literary Supplement.
A MASTERPIECE of both its author's and its translator's arts.
--Booklist, Ray Olson.
FULL OF STRIKING CHARACTERS AND SITUATIONS. . .The translation is delightful and should remain the standard English version for a long time. . .This important volume should be part of any collection. . .Highly recommended.
Top Customer Reviews
(Vis o Ramin) is an ancient Persian love story. The epic was composed in poetry by the Persian poet Asad Gorgani in 11th century.
The story dates from pre-Islamic Persia. Gorgani claimed a Sassanid origin for it, however it is now being regarded as a Parthian dynastic origin, probably the first century AD.
The Vis and Ramin story has had a noticeable influence on Persian literature. Significantly, Nezami, himself a major poet of Persian romantic traditions, took the bases of much of his rhetoric from Gorgani.
The romance also has had its influence beyond Persian culture. The story became very popular also in Georgia through a 12th-century free translation in prose known as Visramiani which proved to have a long-lasting effect on the Georgian literature. Being the oldest known manuscript of the work and better preserved than the original, it is of great importance for the history of the Persian text and helped restore several corrupted lines in the Persian manuscripts.
Some scholars have strongly suggested that Vis and Ramin may have influenced the Tristan and Iseult legend, and the two plots have distinct resemblances.
Thank God Dick Davis was up for the task and has masterfully translated the poem into an easy reading and wonderfully sweet book. Vis and Ramin has been largely ignored for far too long and has not been given its deserved recognition as probably one of the most influential books ever written that still remains largely unknown. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Prof. Davis for this fantastic revival.
I was so impressed by Vis and Ramin, I found myself bitter that my high school wasted time on crap like "the odyssey" which was both unpoetic and droned on with overtly literal translation that drowned the entire story of what could have been it's original elegance. Dick Davis painstakingly made sure to translate not only story and metaphors, but the very rhythm and aural eloquence of the story, which may not be the most literal translation, but one that's sure to transform English readers into huge fans of this beautiful niche of historical literature.Read more ›
An extra treat is that this story comes from the time before all Persian love stories came to be mixed up with mysticism: it's just a deeply human love story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a fascinating poem! It's so interesting to read such an ancient story and have it be enjoyable. I commend the translator for their wonderful work.Published 5 months ago by Roxana G. Morgan
This translation by Dick Davis is superb. It is a love story with tenderness, betrayal, and war motivated by love. This is an epic that matches the Helen of Troy story.Published 9 months ago by DTS@BigIslandRanch
Love is eternal for all ancient civilizations. It is not mere chemical reaction, "evolutionary instinct" nor "active brain function" as our modern science teaches us..... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Denisa
I thought I would get a version as pictured, but I got the penguin version instead. It is also used and kind of messed up.Published on April 7, 2014 by Bryan E. Miller