A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue between East & West

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9781909942288: A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue between East & West
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In honour of Goethe and the 200th anniversary of the first publication of his outstanding poem sequence the West-Eastern Divan (1819), A New Divan contains outstanding original poems by twenty-four leading poets twelve from the East and twelve from the West and presents a truly international poetic dialogue inspired by the culture of the Other and Goethe s late, great work. The poets come from across the East from Morocco to Turkey, Syria to Afghanistan and from across the West from Germany to the USA, Estonia to Brazil. Writing in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, and English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Slovenian, each pair of poets has responded to one of the themes of the twelve books of Goethe s original Divan, including The Poet , Love , The Tyrant , Faith and Paradise . Working directly with the original poets or via a bridge translation the twenty-two English-language poets have created new poems that draw on the poetic forms and cultures of the poets taking part. Three pairs of essays enhance and complement the poems, mirroring Goethe s original Notes and Essays for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan. A New Divan is a life-enhancing, lyrical conversation at a time when understanding of the Other has never been more important. In celebrating Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, it also celebrates the art of poetry and the art of translation.

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Review:

'The multilingual delights of A New Divan, published 200 years after Goethe s, are inspired by the inspiration Goethe took from Hafiz, and his passionate vision of common humanity across cultural difference. The editors, publishers expert in translated poetry and fiction, summoned more than 50 poets, translators and scholars, commissioned new poems in English, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Slovenian, and asked English-language poets to make versions of them. Twenty-four poets 12 from the east, 12 from the west respond to Goethe and Hafiz, and also to the east-west relations of today. Six brilliant essayists meditate on the process, nature and aims, past and present, of translation between east and west.' Ruth Padel, Financial Times --https://www.ft.com/content/d49e3b78-86df-11e9-b861-54ee436f9768

'Goethe believed an East-West dialogue would continue long after him, and this was the challenge taken up by Schwepcke when she announced a new divan on September 15, 2015, the 200th anniversary of Goethe s letter to Willemer. Schwepcke recruited Swainson, a renowned editor in literary translation who has worked with writers such as Amin Maalouf, Juan Gabriel, Delphine de Vigan and Matthew Sweeney [...] They believed translated poems should both reflect the original work and stand on their own merit. A New Divan has the Arabic, Farsi, Turkish or Slovenian poem printed across the page from its English version. Poets were assigned themes that had been used by Goethe as titles for the 12 books in West-Eastern Divan, including The Poet, Love, Faith, Paradise, Proverbs and The Tyrant. The challenge was to commission new poems from the best poets we could persuade to take part, says Swainson. They had either to be familiar with Goethe or to respond to his ideas. We wanted them to speak to the world we are in now'. --https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/books/a-new-divan-how-german-writer-goethe-is-still-inspiring-writers-through-a-new-project-1.865626

About the Author:

Bill Swainson is a freelance editor and literary consultant. Since 1976 he has worked for leading literary publishers, including John Calder Publishers, Allison & Busby, Harvill Press and Bloomsbury, where he was Senior Commissioning Editor for fifteen years. In 2015 he was awarded an OBE for services to literary translation. Dr Barbara Schwepcke is the founder of Gingko as well as the chair of its board of trustees. After receiving her doctorate from the London School of Economics she worked as a publisher for Prospect Magazine. In 2003 she founded Haus Publishing. Contributors: Adonis (Syria), Khaled Mattawa (USA), Khaled Mattawa (USA), Abbas Baydoun (Lebanon), Bill Manhire (New Zealand), Durs Gru nbein (Germany), Matthew Sweeney (Ireland), Iman Mersal (Egypt), Elaine Feinstein (England), Homero Aridjis (Mexico), Kathleen Jamie (Scotland), Amjad Nasser (Jordan), Fady Joudah (USA), Don Paterson (UK), Reza Mohammadi (Afghanistan), Nick Laird (Northern Ireland), Antonella Anedda (Italy), Jamie McKendrick (Scotland), Fatemeh Shams (Iran), Dick Davis (England), Gilles Ortlieb (France), Sean O Brien (England), Mourid Barghouti (Palestine), George Szirtes (England) Jaan Kaplinski (Estonia), Sasha Dugdale (England), Nujoom al-Ghanem (UAE), Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Ireland), Raoul Schrott (Austria), Paul Farley (England), Mohammed Bennis (Morocco), Sinéad Morrissey (Northern Ireland), Ale teger (Slovenia), Brian Henry (USA, Gonca Özmen (Turkey), Jo Shapcott (England), Angélica Freitas (Brazil), Tara Bergin (Ireland), Hafez Mousavi (Iran), Daisy Fried (USA), Clara Janés (Spain), Lavinia Greenlaw (England), Fadhil Al-Azzawi (Iraq), Jorie Graham (USA), Jan Wagner (Germany), Robin Robertson (Scotland), Sibylle Wentker (Austria), Rajmohan Gandhi (India).

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