Manipulation and Reception of English Translation of Rubaiyat by the Victorians

Authors

Abstract

This study investigates the English translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat by Edward Fitzgerald in the Victorian age. Khayyam was the great Iranian mathematician, philosopher, and poet whose Rubaiyat received a warm reception by the British audience of the 19th century. Using a comparative descriptive method, the study first intends to show how an exotic text from the East was introduced to the British audience, how Fitzgerald added an orientation to the translation, in what ways he accomplished that orientation, and why the Victorians welcomed Khayyam’s poetry. To achieve this, the study first discusses the reasons for Khayyam’s good reception in Victorian age Britain. The discussions depicted that the carpe diem philosophy prevalent in Rubaiyat attracted many Victorians experiencing the religious doubt discourse of the 19th century. Then, forty quatrains of Rubaiyat which contain culturally specific items were selected purposefully and compared with their English translations using Bassnett and Lefevere’s (1998) cultural manipulation theory to determine how Fitzgerald manipulated the original quatrains. Ten out of forty quatrains were discussed in this study as examples to show how Persian cultural-specific concepts were dealt with in the translation. The results implied that Fitzgerald removed references to the Persian cultural concepts in translating Khayyam, indicating British colonial and imperialistic attitudes towards the East.

Keywords:

Culture, Fitzgerald, Ideology, Khayyam, Manipulation, Persian cultural concepts

Author Biographies

Reza Yalsharzeh, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University

Assistant Professor of Translation Studies, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran;

Roya Monsefi, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University

Assistant Professor of Translation Studies, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran;

Reza Shojaeniya, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University

M.A. in Translation Studies, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters andHumanities, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran;

References

Abjadian, A. (2016). A survey of English literature (ll). Tehran: SAMT.

Aleahmad, M. (2021). The Effect of Ideology on the Form and Content of Edward FitzGerald’s Translation of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat. LingLit Journal Scientific Journal for Linguistics and Literature, 2(2), 75–82.

Aminrazavi, M. (2005). The wine of wisdom: The life, poetry, and philosophy of Omar Khayyam. England: Oxford.

Bassnett, S., & Lefevere, A. (1990). Translation, history and culture. London: Pinter Publishers.

Bassnett, S., & Lefevere, F. (1998(. Constructing cultures: Essays on literary translation. Target, 12(1), 176–179.

Dave, K. (2017). Edward Fitzgerald's “The Rubaiyat of Omer Khayyam”: A Sense of the Essence. International Journal of English Language, Literature in Humanities, 5(3), 123–128.

Drury, A. (2015). Translation as transformation in Victorian poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Farahzad, F. (2006). Strategies of Appropriation: Khayyam and Rumi. Translation Studies, 4(15), 44–52.

Hama, H., & Raheem, A. (2010). The Victorian Poetry and Rubaiyat of Omar Al-Khayyam: A Companion Study. Adab Al-Rafidayn, 57, 71–86.

House, J. (2015). Translation quality assessment: Past and present. London & New York: Routledge.

Khayyam, O. (2016). Rubaiyat quatrain Khayyam (E. Fitzgerald, Trans.). Tehran: Yaghut Kavir Press.

Lefevere, A. (1992). Translation, rewriting, and the manipulation of literary fame. London & New York: Routledge.

Mashhady, H., & Noura, M. (2012). Fitzgerald’s Approach to Translation. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 3(4), 370–384.

Munday, J. (2016). Introducing translation studies: Theories and applications. London & New York: Routledge.

Nakhaei, B. (2019). The Impact of Power and Ideology on Edward FitzGerald’s Translation of the Rubaiyat: A Postcolonial Approach. TranscUlturAl, 11(1), 35–48.

Simidchieva, M. (2011). Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat and Agnosticism. In A. Poole, C. Ruymbeke, S. Mason, & W. Martin. (Eds.), FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: Popularity and neglect. (pp. 55–72). London: Anthem Press.

Zare Behtash, E. (1994). FitzGerald’s Rubâiyât: A Victorian Invention. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

دشتی، ع. (1364). دمی با خیام. تهران: انتشارات اساطیر.

خرمشاهی، ب. (1391). رباعیات خیام. تهران: انتشارات ناهید.

قزوینی، ک. (1363). شرح رباعیات خیام. تهران: انتشارات فتحی.

Downloads

Published

2022-01-06

How to Cite

Yalsharzeh, R. ., Monsefi, R., & Shojaeniya, R. . (2022). Manipulation and Reception of English Translation of Rubaiyat by the Victorians. Translation Studies Quarterly, 19(76), 27–42. Retrieved from https://journal.translationstudies.ir/ts/article/view/917

Issue

Section

Scientific Research Paper

DOR