Fathers and Sons: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Vol II.by Firdawsei
Among the masterpieces of world literature, perhaps the least familiar to English readers is the Persian Book of Kings (Shahnameh, in Persian). This prodigious national epic, composed by the poet Ferdowsi between 980 and 1010, tells the story of ancient Persia, beginning in the mythic time of Creation and continuing forward to the Arab-Islamic invasion in the 7th century. Fathers and Sons covers the second third of the Shahnameh and will be followed by volume III to complete the epic. Brilliantly translated and magnificently illustrated, these volumes give English-language readers access to a world of vanished wonders.
Volume II of our series of the major stories from the Shahnameh opens and closes with tales of tragic conflict between a king and his son: Prince Seyavash and Prince Esfandyar are both driven from the court by their foolish fathers to confront destiny and death in distant lands. Interwoven with Seyavash's story is the tale of his stepmother Sudabeh's lust for him, and of his escape from her wiles by the famous trial by fire. Esfandyar's story involves the last combat of the great Rostam, a fight to the death which leads to Rostam's own demise at the hands of his evil brother Shaghad. Between these two stories the reader travels through a wondrous landscape of romance (Bizhan and Manizheh), demons (The Akvan Div), heroic despair (Forud, the Son of Seyavash) and mystical renunciation of the world (The Occultation of Kay Khosrow).
Breathtaking miniatures from the finest Persian Shahnameh manuscripts of the 16th and 17th centuries heighten the emotional impact of the text. Volume III will be available in 2002.
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