Fathers and Sons: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Vol II.

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
This second volume of stories from the Persian national epic, Book of Kings (Shahnameh, composed by the poet Ferdowsi between 980 and 1010 C.E.) is so beautifully produced and so exquisitely illustrated with 181 rare color miniature reproductions that it could be used for an art class. The stories themselves are fascinating, as illustrated by the adventures of princes Seyavash and Esfandyar, whose respective fathers/kings push them to face the realities of life through extraordinary trials in faraway places. Probably the most famous story here, however, is not laden with violence but romance. It depicts the touching love story of Bizhan and Manizheh, who, like Romeo and Juliet, are the children of sworn enemies. In addition to the seven main sections, the useful introduction by translator Davis (Persian, Ohio State Univ.) gives some background to the Shahnameh and to Persian miniature art. A glossary of names and their pronunciation as well as a guide to the illustrations providing provenance and other credits conclude the book. Highly recommended for all collections.--Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780934211536
Publisher:
Mage Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2002
Series:
Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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