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The Vision of Rumi Revealing the Masnavi, Persia's Great Masterpiece

by Alan Williams

The Vision of Rumi Revealing the Masnavi, Persia's Great Masterpiece Synopsis

The Masnavi is the six-volume masterpiece created by one of the world's greatest poetic geniuses, Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). It is perhaps the single most influential piece of mystical writing ever conceived. Though the Persian poet Rumi is now hugely popular in the West, his most famous oeuvre still remains enigmatic. Alan Williams here offers a novel approach to reading and understanding this great jewel of world literature. Recognizing that all medieval and modern attempts to 'explain' the Masnavi have been based on an examination of its teachings, Williams shows that those who have tried to find the key to its message in its separate themes have had little success. He argues that the work can only be fully comprehended if the 'meaning' of the text is understood to lie in the poetry itself, in the language. The closely woven tapestry cannot be unwoven into prosaic explanation without losing the whole. The visionary poetic metaphors and devices are not the container for the teachings: they are the teachings. This revelatory unlocking enables Rumi's voice and purpose to become fully transparent.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781780766256
Publication date: 30th April 2020
Author: Alan Williams
Publisher: I.B. Tauris an imprint of I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 224 pages
Categories: Sufism & Islamic mysticism, Islamic & Arabic philosophy,

About Alan Williams

Alan Williams is Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Religion at the University of Manchester. His previous publications include The Zoroastrian Myth of Migration from Iran and Settlement in the Indian Diaspora (2009, joint winner of the 2010 Ehsan Yarshater Book Award in Ancient Iranian Studies), Parsis in India and the Diaspora (co-written with John Hinnells, 2008) and Jalaluddin Rumi: Spiritual Verses (2006).

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