West-East Divan : Poems, With "Notes and Essays": Goethe's Intercultural Dialogues

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In West-East Divan (1819), Germany's greatest poet J. W. von Goethe offered a work of lasting appeal. Stimulated by the Divan ("Collection") by medieval pub poet Hafiz, Goethe blends his own identity with that of the Persian Sufi master who sang the delights of wine and tavern romance in a context of Qur'anic allusion. Martin Bidney accompanies his rendering with commentary poems; and Peter Anton von Arnim joins him to offer, as well, the first translation into English of Goethe's "Notes and Essays," a pioneering guide to the cultural history of the Middle East. Bidney's "Introduction" clarifies the transformation brought about in Goethe's thought by his Muslim mentor.
Publication Date: 
December 15, 2010