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Thread: World Literature List

  1. #16
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Various (2400-700BC) Egyptian Book of the Dead
    Anonymous (1800BC) Story of Sinuhe
    Anonymous (1800BC) Epic of Gilgamesh
    Anonymous (1600BC) Enuma Elis
    Various (1000-700BC) Book of Odes
    Kabti-ilani-Marduk (764BC) Epic of Erra
    Vyasa (400BC) Mahabharata
    Valmiki (350BC) Ramayana
    Qu Yuan (340-278BC) and Song Yu (290-223BC) Chu Ci
    Vishnu Sharma (300BC) Panchatantra
    Sudraka (150BC) The Little Clay Cart
    Various (347-759) Manyoshu
    Tao Qian (365-427) Poems
    Kalidasa (370-450) Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection, Meghaduta
    Bhartrhari (450) Satakatraya
    Xu Ling (507-583) New Songs From the Jade Terrace
    Various (550) Mu'allaqat
    Bharavi (550) Kiratarjuniya
    Muhammad (570-632) Quran
    Dandin (600) The Adventures of the Ten Princes
    Wang Wei (699-759) Poems
    Bhavabhuti (700) Málati and Mádhava
    Amaru (700) Amarusataka
    Li Bai (701-762) Tianmu Mountain Ascended in a Dream
    Du Fu (712-770) The Song of the Wagons
    Han-shan (730-850) Cold Mountain Poems
    Han Yu (768-824) Essays
    Bai Juyi (772-846) Song of Unending Sorrow, Song of the Lute Player
    Yuan Zhen (779-831) Biography of Ying Ying
    Various (800-920) Kokinshu
    Various (800-1200) Antar, A Bedoueen Romance
    Rudaki (858-941) Lament in Old Age
    Various (900-1300) One Thousand and One Nights
    Al-Mutanabbi (915-965) Poems
    Li Houzhu (937-978) Poems
    Ferdowsi (940-1020) Shahnameh
    Sei Shonagon (966-1017) The Pillow Book
    Al-Ma'arri (973-1058) The Spark of Flint
    Murasaki Shikibu (973-1025) Tale of Genji
    Nasir Khusraw (1004-1088) Poems
    Su Shi (1037-1101) Poems
    Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) Rubaiyat
    Vidyakara (1050-1130) Treasury of Verses
    Moses Ibn Ezra (1055-1138) Diwan
    Judah Halevi (1075-1141) Poems
    Li Qingzhao (1084-1151) Poems
    Mahadeviyakka (1100) Poems
    Khaqani (1121-1190) Gift of the Two Iraqs
    Anvari (1126-1189) Tears of Khorasan
    Nezami (1141-1209) Khamsa
    Attar (1145-1221) Conference of the Birds
    Kamban (1150) Ramavataram
    Sa'di (1184-1283) Gulistan, Bostan
    Jayadeva (1200) Gita Govinda
    Rumi (1207-1273) Masnavi
    Fakhruddin Iraqi (1213-1289) Divine Flashes
    Guan Hanqing (1225-1302) Injustice to Dou E
    Bai Renfu (1226-1306) Rain on the Paulownia Tree
    Wang Shifu (1250-1307) Romance of the Western Chamber
    Ma Zhiyuan (1250-1321) Autumn in Han Palace
    Amir Khusrau (1253-1325) Second Divan
    Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350) Essays in Idleness
    Shi Nai'an (1296-1372) Water Margin
    Ubayd Zakani (1300-1370) Ethics of the Aristocrats
    Kakuichi (1300-1371) The Tale of the Heike
    Gao Zecheng (1305-1368) Romance of the Lute
    Hafez (1329-1380) Divan
    Luo Guanzhong (1330-1400) Romance of the Three Kingdoms
    Jami (1414-1492) Haft Awrang
    Kabir (1440-1518) Songs
    Ali-Shir Nava'i (1441-1501) Poetry
    Fuzuli (1483-1556) Diwan
    Wu Cheng'en (1500-1582) Journey To the West
    Baki (1526-1600) Elegy for His Excellency Suleyman Khan
    Tulsidas (1532-1623) The Ramcharitmanasa
    Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) The Peony Pavilion
    Feng Menglong (1574-1645) Stories to Awaken the World
    Sa'ib (1601-1677) The Campaign Against Qandahar
    Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (1610) Jin Ping Mei
    Pu Songling (1640-1715) Strange Tales From a Chinese Studio
    Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) Narrow Road to the Deep North
    Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725) The Battles of Coxinga
    Takeda Izumo (1691-1756) Chushingura
    Wu Jingzi (1701-1754) The Scholars
    Cao Xueqin (1715-1763) Dream of The Red Chamber
    Yuan Mei (1716-1798) Poems
    Mir Taqi Mir (1723-1810) Ghazals
    Nguyen Gia Thieu (1741-1798) Sorrows of an Abandoned Queen
    Ryokan Taigu (1758-1831) Haiku
    Shen Fu (1763-1825) Six Records of a Floating Life
    Nguyen Du (1766-1820) The Tale of Kieu
    Ho Xuan Huong (1772-1822) Water-Bailing
    Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869) Ghazals
    Bibi Hayati (1853) Poems
    Qa'ani (1808-1854) Elegy for Imam Hussein
    Liu E (1857-1909) The Travels of Lao Ts'an
    Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) Gitanjali
    Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) Kokoro
    Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) Wings of Gabriel
    Lu Xun (1881-1936) Ah Q - The Real Story
    Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) The Prophet
    Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) The Makioka Sisters
    Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) The Hell Screen
    Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) Snow Country
    Sadegh Hedayat (1903-1951) The Blind Owl
    R.K. Narayan (1906-2001) The Financial Expert
    Qian Zhongshu (1910-1998) Fortress Besieged
    Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) The Sea of Fertility
    Adunis (1930-) Mihyar of Damascus: His Songs
    V.S. Naipaul (1932-) A House For Mr. Biswas
    Salman Rushdie (1947-) Midnight's Children
    Haruki Murakami (1949-) The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
    Orhan Pamuk (1952-) My Name is Red
    Khaled Hosseini (1965-) The Kite Runner
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
    "This ain't over."- Charles Bronson
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  2. #17
    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    ^ Wow. This is some list. Cheers.

    Any works from Africa or African languages? Anyone?

  3. #18
    Snowqueen Snowqueen's Avatar
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    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I haven't read it though.

    I was about to say Gabriel's Wing (Baal-e-Jibreel) by Iqbal, but it has already been mentioned by mortalterror. Ghalib is another great poet of Indian sub-continent, but I think there is no translation available of his poetry.

  4. #19
    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowqueen View Post
    Purple HibiscusGhalib is another great poet of Indian sub-continent, but I think there is no translation available of his poetry.
    Plenty of translations of Mirza Ghalib are available. In fact, his whole Divan is available in good translation. Here are some books to look for

    1.Ralph Russell - Life, Letters, and Ghazals

    2. K C Kanda - Selected Lyrics and Letters

    Both have brief biographies, translations of some of his trend-setting, highly acclaimed letters as well a selection of both his Persian and Urdu ghazal poems.

    3. Frances W. Pritchett - A Desertful of Roses: The Urdu Ghazals of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib

    All Urdu ghazals of Ghalib are translated and multiple commentaries of notable Ghalib exegetes are also translated for perspective. It's an online project and freely available at the website of Columbia university where the professor taught Urdu. Take a gander, LOOK UP

  5. #20
    Snowqueen Snowqueen's Avatar
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    I admit I didn't know about these translations. Thanks for sharing Marbles.

  6. #21
    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowqueen View Post
    I admit I didn't know about these translations. Thanks for sharing Marbles.
    You are welcome. I thought Ghalib's translations were well known in the West but talking to many people I came to the conclusion that they're not. This poet is a genius of ghazal the world has still yet to discover in good translation. Ralph Russell was a wonderful scholar but his translations are rather literal and prose-like. Similar problems attend to F.S. Pritchett's but some of her translations are excellent.

    I believe the problem is with the difficulty of translating a ghazal poem with its two-line couplets along with proper rhyme and refrain which read like independent poems. So if a ghazal has five couplets they can be treated as five separate, stand-alone poems. But it's a very very difficult way of translating while keeping fidelity to the original verse. Some scholars translate ghazal freely and often break couplets into stanzas, which corrupts the original form, and that makes it anything but a translation of a ghazal.

    In any case, I'd like to see a good translator to work on Ghalib in a way as to bring his poetry alive.
    But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel
    You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.
    ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything.

    _Pablo Neruda

  7. #22
    Snowqueen Snowqueen's Avatar
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    Poets like Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz are not very popular in the west. I think their works suffers due to mediocre translations.
    As you can see there are only a handful of Litnetters who are familiar with the word “Ghazal” and they are from Indian subcontinent.
    I haven't gone through the translations myself because I usually prefer to enjoy ghazals in Urdu. Nothing can match that! But I've read translation of some of Manto's short stories by an unknown author and they were actually quite good.

    Nice choice of avatar, by the way. That's Omar Khayyam, right?

  8. #23
    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowqueen View Post
    Poets like Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz are not very popular in the west. I think their works suffers due to mediocre translations.
    As you can see there are only a handful of Litnetters who are familiar with the word “Ghazal” and they are from Indian subcontinent.
    I haven't gone through the translations myself because I usually prefer to enjoy ghazals in Urdu. Nothing can match that! But I've read translation of some of Manto's short stories by an unknown author and they were actually quite good.

    Nice choice of avatar, by the way. That's Omar Khayyam, right?
    I agree with you about the lack of popularity of the ghazal genre. I believe it's much due to the fact that the poetics of ghazal do not agree with the poetics of Western languages. There's nothing remotely similar in English and other Western languages which can sufficiently approximate the form and technique required to write a good ghazal; it's a very peculiar quality of the Indo-Persian languages. So what happens that the nuance and the art is often lost during translation of a ghazal even if that translation is a good one. Not to mention that there's no single agreed-upon method among the translators about translating ghazal poems.

    It is relevant to mention Agha Shahid Ali, the Kashmir-American poet, in this regard. He single-handedly introduced ghazal to the West, which inspired a few English poets, e.g; Gene Doty, to write English ghazals. I don't remember the name of Agha Shahid's book (Google should be able to find it) in which he explained the art and also translated a few good ghazals by being as faithful to form and technique as was humanly possible. It was really good.

    As for translations of the poets you mentioned, I think Iqbal has been translated fairly well, esp by R.A. Nicholson who translated his Secrets of the Self (Asrar-e Khudi). 'The Wing of Gabriel' is also available in translation. The 'problem' might be that Iqbal is too philosophical a poet for average poetry enthusiasts, and he belongs to a long tradition of poets who wrote dense epics in the old mould, apart from writing lyrical poems. A few of his ghazals I have seen translated but I can't recall them. Khushwant Singh translated Iqbal's long poem 'A Dialogue with Allah' [Shikwa Javab-e Shikwa]. It's a fantastic effort and remains one of my favourites.

    Ghalib remains elusive in English, not only because of the difficulty in translating ghazal I spoke of earlier, but also because his language and thought themselves are so complex as to bamboozle a person even if they are reading them directly in Urdu or Persian. These two factors make it very hard to come up with a representative translation of Ghalib's language and craft, I reckon.

    Faiz Ahmed Faiz, on the other hand, is fairly well-known among people who read world poetry in translation. The veritable V.G. Kiernan's translations of Faiz's selected poetry are excellent (so is his essay on the art of Faiz). Agha Shahid Ali and Naomi Lazard also produced good translations. Faiz is a modern poet and speaks to the modern sensibilities much more than Iqbal or Ghalib. Maybe that's why he has a certain following in poetry enthusiasts round the world.

    And yes, it's a portrait of Omar Khayyam in my display picture. I have a passion for his Rubaiyat since the time when I first read them at the age of 16
    But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel
    You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.
    ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything.

    _Pablo Neruda

  9. #24
    Registered User Marcus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marbles View Post

    Any works from Africa or African languages? Anyone?
    I'm no expert on African literature, but I've read these and enjoyed them a lot:

    Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)
    So Long a Letter (Mariama Ba)
    A Grain of Wheat / The River Between (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o)


    And here's Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th century from African History website. Top 10 as follows:

    Chinua ACHEBE
    (Nigeria) Things Fall Apart
    Meshack ASARE
    (Ghana) Sosu’s Call
    Mariama BÂ
    (Senegal) Une Si Longue Lettre
    (Trans. So Long A Letter)
    Mia COUTO
    (Mozambique) Terra Sonambula
    Tsitsi DANGAREMBGA
    (Zimbabwe) Nervous Conditions
    Cheikh Anta DIOP
    (Senegal) Antériorité Des Civilisations Nègres
    Assia DJEBAR
    (Algeria) L’Amour La Fantasia
    Naguib MAHFOUZ
    (Egypt) The Cairo Trilogy
    Thomas Mokopu MOFOLO
    (Lesotho) Chaka
    NGUGI wa Thiong’o
    (Kenya) A Grain Of Wheat
    Léopold Sédar SENGHOR
    (Senegal) Oeuvre Poétique
    Wole SOYINKA
    (Nigeria) Ake: The Years of Childhood

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