The week before Christmas, the Russian State Library unveiled a new acquisition: a Russian translation of the six volume set of the Masnavi-ye Manavi written by the Persian mystic and poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi. The ceremony was held at the library’s Center of Oriental Literature, and was attended by various Russian academics and translators.
Masnavi a Translation Masterpiece
The translation services needed to translate such an intricate and historical piece of Islamic culture and civilization took an entire team of talented Russian and Iranian literati. The ceremony consisted of a presentation of the six volume set and a series of speeches that were made by the translation team and by professors and language experts from the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University. During the ceremony, they also discussed Rumi, the author of the Masnavi, and how his writings influenced Persian literature and Persian poets. At the end of the ceremony, the audience was treated to a private performance by an Iranian virtuoso.
During the service, Natalia Prigarina, a Russian Orientalist and a senior editor of the translation project, addressed the audience and said, “This translation is an eternal and precious gift from the profound Persian culture and literature for the Russian-speaking world.”