Friday, April 14, 2006
316. شاهنامه در گُستره ي ِ جهان: نقدي بر ترجمه ي ديك ديويس
چندي پيش بررسي ي كوتاهي را كه بانو رؤيا حكّاكيان درباره ي ترجمه ي انگليسي ي شاهنامه از ديك ديويس در وال ستريت جُرنال نشرداده بود، در اين تارنما آوردم. اكنون فرصت ديگري پراي شناخت ژزف تر ِ اين ترجمه پيش آمده تا نقدي را كه اريك آرمزبي استاد دانشگاه مك گيل كانادا در نشريّه ي نيويورك سان منتشر كرده است، براي آگاهي ي بيشتر ِدوستداران فرهنگ ايراني و شاهنامه پژوهان در اين صفحه بياورم. همراه با متن اين نقد، نشاني ي تارنمايي را كه خواننده مي تواند گفت و شنود شيرين مَراجي با ديك ديويس و نيز آذر نفيسي را با رويكرد بدان بشنود، مي آورم. از دوست پژوهشگر ارجمندم سعيد هنرمند كه متن نقد و نشاني ي گفت و شنودها را از اوهايو برايم فرستاده است، سپاس مي گزارم. افزون بر اين همه، دو نشاني را هم براي شنيدن يا خواندن متن شاهنامه و نكته هايي در شاهنامه شناسي، در پايان مي آورم.
شنبه 26 فروردين 1385
پانزدهم آوريل 2006
March 15, 2006
Edition > Section: Arts and Letters
New Light on a Mythic Poem Readings
By ERIC ORMSBY
Of all the great national epics, the "Shahnameh" or "Book of Kings" by the Persian poet Ferdowsi is the least known to English readers. There have been dozens of translations of Homer and Virgil; even such obscure ancient writers as Statius and Lucan have found interpreters. The sheer length of the "Book of Kings" does pose a daunting obstacle - one edition runs to nine thick volumes of more than 50,000 verses - but other, even longer epics such as the Sanskrit "Ramayana" and the "Mahabharata" have now appeared in English. The formal difficulty of rendering medieval Persian into readable English constitutes another stumbling block. Ferdowsi's language is light and swift, capable of fierce momentum yet shot through with delicate tints. How sustain this in English so that its distinctive flavor - an unfamiliar blend of relentless force and baffled pathos - survives?A deeper hindrance remains. The "Book of Kings" is a mythic poem.The Iran it unfurls has little or nothing to do with current perceptions of that ancient land. Stranger still, the legends it recounts have virtually no Islamic content or coloration, even though its author was born some three centuries after conquering Muslim armies had hunted down and butchered Yazdegird III, the last Sasanian king, in 651, and Iran had long been converted to the new faith. Instead, the tales concern the fabulous exploits of such pre-Islamic heroes as Feraydun, Rostam and his tragic son Sohrab, Kay Khosrow, and Seyavash, touching recorded history only with the entry of Sekandar (Alexander the Great) into the epic. Even in mullah-ridden Iran these tales strike deep chords in readers, but to most Americans they will be unknown and wonderfully strange.In the opening lines of the poem,Ferdowsi converts the obligatory Muslim formula ("In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate") into something with more primordial overtones:Now in the name of God whose power controlsWisdom, and has created human souls,Exalted beyond all that thought or speechIs able to encompass or to reach,The lord of Saturn and the stars at night,Who gives the sun and moon and Venus light,Above all name and thought, exceeding allOf his creation, and unknowable.The translation is by Dick Davis from his "Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings" (Viking, 926 pages, $45) and gives a tiny foretaste of what is a magnificent accomplishment. Though abridged, this is not only the fullest representation of Ferdowsi's masterpiece in English but the best; an earlier English verse translation by A.G. and E. Warner appeared in several volumes in 1905 but is almost impossible to find nowadays (and in any case, the Warners' verse is quite pedestrian). By contrast, Mr. Davis, a remarkable scholar of Persian literature, is also a superb poet in his own right with several brilliant collections to his credit; in his new translation, he brings both his erudition and his poetic gift seamlessly into play.Mr. Davis calls his translation a "prosimetrum," that is, prose interspersed with verse; in this he adheres to a hallowed Persian tradition that includes such celebrated compilations as the later poet Sa'di's "Rose Garden" (an inimitable confection of anecdote, lyric, and apothegm that I hope Mr. Davis turns to next).
But in fact, the genre is widespread, including works as disparate as Dante's "New Life" or the Japanese poet Basho's "Journey to the North." At its best, as here, verse and prose not only complement but sharpen and surprise one another.Though the "Book of Kings" abounds with robust characters, from the "demon king" Zahhak from whose shoulders twin serpents writhe to the pleasure-loving Bahram Gur, besotted with wine and the loveliness of women, the great hero Rostam, invariably astride his brave horse Rakhsh, dominates the epic. This champion, familiar to readers of English poetry from Matthew Arnold's long poem, embodies an ancient principle of nobility: courage in battle, incomparable horsemanship, a love of justice, and a hatred of lies characterize him throughout. When he dies, lured with Rakhsh into a pit lined with swords, he still contrives to avenge himself on his betrayer. And like the heroes of the "Iliad," he manages to deliver a speech of surpassing nobility before giving up the ghost: "All the great kings of Iran, all those who were lions in battle, have departed, and we are left here like lions at the wayside."Ferdowsi often describes Rostam as "elephant-bodied" to convey his huge strength and, fittingly enough, he is carried to his grave on the back on an elephant, and "from Kabol to Zabol the land was filled with lamentation." Rakhsh too is washed and shrouded in fine brocade:In a garden they built a great tomb whose roof reached to the clouds. Within, two golden daises were built, on which were laid the dead heroes: freemen and slaves came together and poured rosewater mixed with musk over the heroes' feet, and addressed Rostam:Why is it grief and musk that we must bringAnd not the glory that attends a king?You have no need for sovereignty, no needFor armor, weapons or your warlike steed,Never again will your largesse rewardCourtiers with gifts from your rich treasure hoard.Justice was yours, and truth, and chivalry,May joy be yours for all eternity.Ferdowsi was born in 940 in the northeastern Iranian city of Tus, razed by the Mongols in 1220, and remembered now chiefly as the site of his tomb. Countless pilgrims, for more than a millennium, have paid their respects to him, drawn as well by the nearby shrine of the eighth Shi'ite imam at nearby Meshhed. On November 18, 1933, the English traveler Robert Byron, following in their tracks, visited the ruins. In "The Road to Oxiana," he described the site:Mounds and ridges betray the outlines of the old city. An antique bridge of eight arches spans the river. And a massive domed mausoleum, whose brick is the colour of dead roseleaves, stands up against the blue mountains. ...
It alone survives of the splendours of Tus. Ferdowsi toiled for 35 years on his epic, hoping to please the fickle and uncouth conqueror Mahmud of Ghazna, a hope that was dashed. At the end of the poem he wrote of his supposed patrons, "I had nothing from them but their congratulations; my gall bladder was ready to burst with their congratulations! Their purses of hoarded coins remained closed, and my bright heart grew weary at their stinginess." His only consolation, he went on, was that "when I reached the age of 71, the heavens humbled themselves before my verses." He died in 1020 in poverty, a decade after completing the poem. Thanks to Mr. Davis, his bright heart continues to shine.
گفت و شنود شيرين مَراجي با ديك ديويس و آذر نفيسي را با رويكرد به نشاني ي زير بشنويد:
همچنين براي خواندن و يا شنيدن متن شاهنامه و نكته هايي درباره ي آن، مي توانيد به نشاني هاي زير روي آوريد: