9781620406533

Nearer the Heart's Desire Poets of the Rubaiyat: A Dual Biography of Omar Khayyam and Edward FitzGerald

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781620406533

  • ISBN10:

    1620406535

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/14/2016
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

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Summary

Written in Persian in the eleventh century, Omar Khayyam's quatrains, known as rubai, were written individually for an audience at court, and explored the meanings of life, love, and friendship. They were almost completely unknown in the West until Edward FitzGerald--himself a relatively obscure critic--translated and organized some one hundred of them into a unified whole that he called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which he published anonymously in 1859. Ignored initially, it soon became a sensation--and FitzGerald with it, his work now translated into seventy languages--and one of the most-read works of literature of all time.

Deftly and eloquently recounting in turn the life stories of Khayyam and FitzGerald, linking them over the span of eight centuries, acclaimed biographer Robert Richardson has crafted the story of the legendary Rubaiyat itself, illuminating a literary classic and reinforcing its place in the canon of great world literature.

Author Biography

Robert D. Richardson is the acclaimed author of several biographies, including William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism, Emerson: The Mind on Fire, and Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind. He has edited anthologies such as Three Centuries of American Poetry and Ralph Waldo Emerson: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Poems, and has taught at Harvard, Yale, the University of Denver, and UNC-Chapel Hill, among many others. He and his wife, Annie Dillard, live in Key West; Cripple Creek, Virginia; and South Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

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