Monday, 15 February 2010

More Library larks.




I seem to be constantly writing about gigs at The British Library at the moment. Tomorrow night at 6.30 there'll be a celebration of Omar Khayyam's meditations on life,death and happiness. You can discover too the translator of the Rubaiyat, Edward FitzGerald, who made the poem his own and created one of the masterpieces of English verse.

The evening will feature readings in Farsi by Lobat Vala and Narguess Farzad (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) accompanied by live Persian classical music performed by Vida Edalat and the Saba Ensemble; a recitation of Edward FitzGerald's Rubaiyat by Emily Bruni and Michael Maloney; introductions to Omar Khayyam himself by Francois de Blois (SOAS) and to Edward FitzGerald by Tony Briggs, editor of the most recent edition of the poem.

I have a bit of a fetish for old books, especially beautifully illustrated texts. My grandmother has given me her copy of the Rubaiyat, its from 1938, the original publication thats on show at the museum at the moment.It even has its limited edition number handwritten in the back- definitely one of the few things I'd grab if my house were burning down. The line engravings are by John Buckland Wright, as you can see from the above image, they are wonderfully exotic and sensual. When my grandmother gave me the book, she was utterly appalled to hear that I had no idea what the Rubaiyat was- apparently it was something her generation were made to learn off by heart and recite.Since then I've become a bit obsessed with the poem; I love anything from ancient Middle Eastern cultures.
So I've been collecting other versions of the poem; the one above is from a book I bought off Etsy for $12! It was published in 1952, and the illustrations are by Edmund Dulac, one of my absolute favourite golden age illustrators.The scan hasn't come out that well; I think because the plates are so shiny; here is a slightly better image I got from le web:




3 comments:

Lula said...

dulac's illustrations are simply gorgeous aren't they? One of my favourites too..
What a good etsy find.

Liv Lundelius said...

great illustrations!
i love stuff like that as inspiration.
i just found a book called "lovers in the arts" at the fleamarket and its ful of old paintings /illustrations and everything showing couples/lovers. what a great inspiration for a wedding dress designer.

mack said...

If I were to wager a guess at why, I’d say that users don’t “browse” forms. The interaction style users engage in with forms is different, and requires its own study and design best practices. This is a very interesting post, and the comments are also fantastic to read. I’ll have poses to have a little re-think about my own contact form on our new website, as this some interesting questions!
congitation overseas

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