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Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings

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Author: Ferdowsi

Brand: Liveright Publishing Corporation

Edition: Illustrated Edition, Slipcased

Binding: Hardcover

Format: Illustrated

Number Of Pages: 592

Release Date: 21-11-2017

Details: Product Description Vividly translated and lushly illustrated, this edition of the Persian epic Shahnameh is fully illuminated for new audiences. Ferdowsi’s classic poem Shahnameh is part myth, part history–beginning with the legend of the birth of the Persian nation and its tumultuous history, it contains magical birds and superhuman heroes and centuries-long battles. Written over 1,000 years ago, it was meant to protect Persian collective memory amidst a turbulent sea of cultural storms. Originally written in couplets, the translation and adaptation by Ahmad Sadri retells the mythological tales in prose format. The spectacular illustrations in this edition were created from elements culled from thousands of manuscripts, lithographs, and miniatures dating from the thirteenth through the nineteenth centuries, and each panel becomes a new work of art, an exquisite collage of traditional forms. 500 + full-color illustrations Review A gorgeous new translation of the Persian epic. -- NPR, All Thing Considered One of the most beautiful books I've ever been given. -- Neil Gaiman  An Iranian epic for the masses   -- CNN international A Persian Masterpiece, Still Relevant Today. -- The Wall Street Journal Simply breathtaking. -- Huffington Post Brings new, vivid life to the epic tales of the ancient Persian kings. -- The Atlantic One of the most beautiful books I've ever been given. Neil Gaiman  From the Author The ancient legends of the Persian Book of Kings (Shahnameh)1 were versified by Abolqasem Ferdowsi (940-1020 CE), who was born to a -family of small landowners near the city of Tus, in northeastern Iran. He dedicated thirty-three years of his life to Shahnameh and finished its second redaction one thousand and three years ago, in March 1010.  Shahnameh is of the essence of Iranian nationhood. Unlike the Egyptian, Syrian, and other North African populations of the Roman Empire that were thoroughly Arabized after their Islamic conquest in the seventh century, Persians were able to hold on to their language and calendar even after they converted to Islam. It has been argued that this was made possible because the Iranians' national identity was not fully invested in their pre-Islamic faith. Rather, it resided in a secular body of myth and legend that they preserved and which later would form the basis of Ferdowsi's great work. To this day men, women, and children in Persianate societies from Asia Minor to China are able to recite lines of Shahnameh by heart. The book continues to be read in family gatherings and performed by professional reciters in the teahouses of Tajikistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. It was awareness of this living tradition of Shahnameh recitations that gave me and my colleagues Melissa Hibbard and Hamid Rahmanian the -audacity to go where angels fear to tread. As we embarked on the -journey to -create a new edition of Iran's national epic with freshly narrated -stories printed against a fully illustrated backdrop, we consoled ourselves that we were -walking in the footsteps of generations of previous performers and illustrators.  I never forgot the first reciter of Shahnameh I saw at the age of seven somewhere near the city of Karaj. He wore a leather vest studded with shiny spikes and wielded a short cane that was his only prop. That lone cane turned into a sword, a mace, and even the neck of a neighing horse. The performer paced rapidly back and forth producing a range of sound effects for galloping horses, clashing swords, and collapsing rocks. He sonorously intoned the poems of Shahnameh in the middle of his prose narration as he played all of the parts from the last scenes of the battle of Rostam and Sohrab. What is remarkable is that I still remember not only the performance but also the pictures I made in my head as it went on. The session ended with a cliffhanger as the hero Rostam climbed a pile of rocks, put his neck in a self-made noose, and kicked the rocks from beneath

Package Dimensions: 14.4 x 8.7 x 2.2 inches

Languages: English