Persian version of Goethe’s “West-East Divan” republished

April 12, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Goethe’s “West-East Divan” (West-Östlicher Diwan), which contains poems, notes and essays of the German poet, dramatist, novelist and philosopher, has recently been republished in Persian.

Inspired by the Divan of Hafez (c. 1325-1389), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) blends his own character with that of the Persian poet, who was well acquainted with Quranic and theological subjects.
The book will be offered by the Parseh Publications during the 24th Tehran International Book Fair in May.
“The book was rendered and published in Persian ten years ago,” translator Mahmud Haddadi, a professor in the German Language, Literature and Humanities Department at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University, told the Persian service of Mehr News Agency on Monday.
“I am glad to see that the book will be read by Iranians again,” he added.
“Through an in-depth study on Hafez poetry, Goethe became deeply familiar with the poems of Hafez. His efforts in the study of Persian literature resulted in acquaintance with other Persian literature luminaries such as Attar, Sadi, Ferdowsi, and Rumi,” Haddadi explained.
He said that Goethe was familiar with Islam when he was at 20 years old and knew well Persian literature at 60 when he wrote “West-East Divan”.
“Based on this familiarity, he composed 200 poems with a Persian literary ambiance. It can be said that ‘West-East Divan’ was composed based on Goethe’s outlook on Islam and Persian literature,” Haddadi stated.
“West-East Divan” was first translated into Persian by Shojaeddin Shafa in 1949. There is another translation of the book by Kurosh Safavi.
Photo: The first edition of Goethe’s “West-Östlicher Diwan”