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Department

Applied Linguistics Department

Description

This essay shows that Richard Le Gallienne’s 1897 edition of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is an original literary text and that it, along with other versions of the Rubáiyát published in the same period, was a response to FitzGerald’s wildly popular translation of a few decades earlier. Le Gallienne’s paraphrased versions of Persian poetry, Khayyam and later Hafez, are linked to his close involvement with the commercial publishing industry while his primary reliance in these paraphrases on academic translations highlights the parallel trend of scholarly reaction, often corrective, to FitzGerald’s edition. By examining how Le Gallienne composed his paraphrase and how he crafted an original work of literature, this essay helps us better understand the extent to which the Rubáiyát quickly ceased to be regarded as an original Persian literary artefact and was adopted as a constellation of literary tropes with which English literature could engage unreservedly. Le Gallienne’s Rubáiyát has been mistaken for a genuine translation and been derided as such, but this essay demonstrates that when seen as an original, and opportunistic, work of literature, it helps us to understand the contemporary tensions surrounding academic and commercial translation and the place of the Rubáiyát in English literary history.

Publication Date

2013

Document Type

Book Chapter

Book Title

In FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect

Editors

Adrian Poole, Christine van Ruymbeke, William H. Martin, and Sandra Mason

ISBN

9781783081011

Publisher

Anthem Press

City

London

First Page

175

Last Page

192

Keywords

Rubáiyát, Omar Khayyám, literature

Disciplines

Arabic Language and Literature | Arabic Studies | Arts and Humanities

Le Gallienne’s Paraphrase and the limits of translation

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