Download A Literary History of Persia by E.G. Browne PDF

By E.G. Browne

Browne's well-known paintings, first released in 1902, used to be the fundamental textual content on literary historical past in Persian stories for a few years. As an summary of Persian literature from the earliest instances till Firdawsi, it remains to be a worthy reference. Out of print for your time, it truly is now reissued as a library version, in facsimile to seize the texture of the unique variation.

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For the more popular Háfiz, Nizámí, Omar, and Ferdousi may be regretted from some points of view, but will at least generally save the student from doubts as to the correct spelling in the original character of the names occurring in the following pages. I only regret that this consistency has not been more complete, and that I have in a few cases (notably Ádharbáyján, Ázarbáyján) allowed myself to be swayed by actual usage at the expense of uniformity. But at least the reader will not as a rule be puzzled by finding the same name appearing now as ‘Uthmán, now as ‘Usmán, and again as ‘Osmán, according as it is sought to represent its Arabic, its Persian, or its Turkish pronunciation.

W. Gibb to his monumental History of Ottoman Poetry, of which the first volume opens with a general discussion on Oriental thought, taste, poetry, and rhetoric, which applies not only to Turkish, but also to Persian, and, in large measure, to Arabic and other Muhammadan languages also. These Prolegomena of Mr. Gibb’s (especially ch. ii, treating of Tradition, Philosophy, and Mysticism, and ch. iii, treating of Verse-forms, Prosody, and Rhetoric, pp. 33–124) form one of the best introductions to the study of Muhammadan literature with which I am acquainted, and should be read by every student of this subject.

Year by year, almost, the number of independent Muslim States grows less and less, while such as still remain—Persia, Turkey, Arabia, Morocco, and a few others—are ever more and more overshadowed by the menace of European interference. Of course it is in part their own fault, and Asiatic indifference and apathy combine with European “earth-hunger” and lust of conquest to hasten their disintegration. To the unreflecting Western mind the extinction of these States causes no regret, but only exhilarating thoughts of more “openings” for their children and their capital; but those few who know and love the East and its peoples, and realise how deeply we are indebted to it for most of the great spiritual ideas which give meaning and value to life, will feel, with Chesterton’s “Man in Green,” that with the subsidence of every such State something is lost to the world which can never be replaced.

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