Persian Literature in the World literature

Maryam Kalati

Adab Al-Kufa, 2018, Volume 1, Issue 34, Pages 81-92

The subject of the present research is in the field of comparative literature. It aims at studying and analyzing the effect of Persian literature, especially Maulana’s works, on the authors, thinkers, and translators. In the present study, it is attempted to know the great English and American literary figures who have provided outstanding works through translation or adaptation and they have played a great role in knowing the Persian literature and making it known in the English-speaking countries.
Maulana is the well-known Iranian poet and mystic of the seventh century hegira. He is mostly known for his mystic poems. He is indeed one of the great Sufi poets. His simple and appealing words are associated with a fervent love and zeal. His soft language and charming words arising from his broken heart express the mystic facts in a special way. His view toward allegories and mentioning different parables and tales while expressing a mystic subject has simplified the intentions of the khanqah’s hermits for the ordinary people(1).
Since the 18th century, Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi’s Masnavi has been translated to various European languages, including and most specifically English. The process of translating Masnavi, alongside other poems of Maulana, has been accelerated over the last two decades. Given the wide range of fans of his works all over the world, the translation of Maulana’s works has been developed both in quality and quantity. However, these translations are not the same authority. The first English translations of Masnavi were done by Whinfield, Wilson, and Nicholson. These translations enjoyed a high level of accuracy and faithfulness. The contemporary translations, preferring words to sense, are seeking to attract more readers to the extent that some of them, such as Barks’ and Helsinki’s, are rewritings of the previous translations. One of the newest translations is a poetic one done by Mojaddedi. Being faithful and transferring the concepts to the maximum, this translation creates a better communication between Maulana and the English readers through the poetic techniques used in this version (2).