Volume. 11925

‘The French have dreamlike image of Persian poetry’
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Leili Anvar in an undated photo
Leili Anvar in an undated photo
TEHRAN – Leili Anvar, a Professor of Persian language and literature at the Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris, says that the French have a dreamlike image of Persian poetry.
Anvar, who last week received Iran’s Book of the Year Award for her French translation of “Le cantique des oiseaux” (The Conference of the Bird) by Persian poet and mystic Attar Neyshaburi (C. 1145-1221), said that her personal interest in mystical literature inspired her to translate these types of works.
In an interview with the Persian service of IRNA, she added that in her belief the high importance of literature is in its mysticism and that is why she found more interest in the poetry of Attar and Persian mystic and poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273).
She also said that the translation of these books helps to provide a new image of Islam for those who want to learn more about Islamic mysticism. 
The translation of the book took about four years, she said, adding that it is the poetry which makes her translation different from previous translations.
The poetry of Attar is so beautiful and deep in concept, and its music is familiar to the spirit, so if it was rendered into prose, it would be disloyalty, she continued.
Asked about the interest of French students in the Persian language, she added that the French may not know much about Persian poetry but they have a dreamlike image of it.
Anvar has studied Persian and English literature and civilization at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris), where she received her Ph.D. in Persian Literature.
Her publications include other translations of Rumi’s poetry as well as “The Art of Spiritual Flight” (2007) and “Malek Jan Nemati” (2007). 

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