NABOKV-L post 0017706, Tue, 17 Feb 2009 08:15:58 -0300

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Re: THOUGHTS: Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat; Eberthella Hurley
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Hafid Bouazza [to JM's initial reference to S.K-B's "I can't see that either Borges or Nabokov have the linguistic/cultural CREDENTIALS to judge the merits of Fitzgerald's "Englishing."]: Nabokov's emphatic comments on FitzGerald's renditions of Khayyam is to be found in his article 'Reply to my critics': "Anthony Burgess in Encounter has suddenly and conclusively abolished my sentimental fondness for FitzGerald by showing how he falsified the "witty metaphysical tent-maker's" actual metaphors..."

JM: A.Bouazza's original posting to the N-List (December 2006) had escaped my recollection - and it is now enriched by your additional information on "Burgess' article 'Omar and Graves', which is to be found in his Urgent Copy ." - so all pertinent facts on "Khayyam & VN" are now present in the List.

Abdel's past indications can be used as a reply to S.K-B's objections, and this is why I'll quote excerpts from it:
"It would be fair to say that FitzGerald's version, which he revised five times, was inspired by or based on rather than rendered from. Perhaps a Victorian reincarnation of sorts? It does not give an accurate idea of the original (the original in this case being disparate poems), but will always retain its place in English literature because of its poetical charm and elegance[...] Payne aptly describes FitzGerald's Quatrains as a "méditation sur des motifs d'Omar Kheyyam," [...] More faithful versions followed, even one by Robert Graves in collaboration with Omar Ali Shah, although it is believed that their version is based on forged manuscripts, which Anthony Burgess reviewed; and VN alluded to his review when he wrote:"Anthony Burgess in Encounter has suddenly and conclusively abolished my sentimental fondness for FitzGerald..."("Reply to My Critics," Strong Opinions p. 246).


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