A book in the wilderness

A book in the wilderness. FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám 150 years in print and image. Jos Biegstraaten en Jos Coumans. Amsterdam, Rozenberg, 2009. 125 p. ISBN 978903610141.

Catalogue issued in conjunction with the exhibition „Een boek in de woestijn. Omar Khayyám, 150 jaar in Engelse vertaling“ held at Museum Meermanno, The Hague from January 31st to 5th April 2009

Illustrated catalogue to the exhibition, focusing on aspects of typography and illustration of the Rubáiyát, showing the development of the private press movement. Several versions of FitzGeralds translation, including American private presses, such as the Roycrofters, were exhibited, together with commercial illustrated editions that were influenced by Morris’ Kelmscott Press, on the one hand and imitations of Persian manuscripts on the other hand. Attention was also drawn to Dutch illustrated editions of Omar Khayyám and miniature book editions of Omar Khayyam. In all about one hundred books were on show.

– Foreword by Leo Voogt
– Introduction
– Edward FitzGerald: first editions
– Edward FitzGerald: pirated and facsimile editions
– USA: Mosher and Bradley
– Morris’ influence: UK, USA and The Netherlands
– USA: The Roycroft Printing Shop
– English presses
– The first illustrated editions
– Illustrated editions: commercial publishers
– Illustrated editions: some techniques
– Dutch illustrators
– Miniatures and small books
– Select bibhography and further reading
– Index

Een Pers in druk. Rubáiyát van Omar Khayyám in de Lage Landen

Een Pers in druk. Rubáiyát van Omar Khayyám in de Lage Landen. Jos Biegstraaten
In: Boekenwereld, jrg. 13, (1997), nr. 3 (mrt.), p. 112-128.

Overzicht van de Nederlandse bemoeienissen met Omar Khayyám. Het gaat daarbij niet zozeer om de verschillende interpretaties die ook de Nederlandse receptie van Khayyám kenmerken, maar meer om de uiterlijke verschijning van het werk van de twintig vertalers die zich, soms een leven lang, met het werk van Khayyám bezighielden.

Khayyam, Omar xi. Impact on literature and society in the West

Khayyam, Omar xi. Impact on literature and society in the West. Jos Biegstraaten
In: Encyclopaedia Iranica, 15-12-2008

The first scholar outside Persia to study Omar Khayyam was the English orientalist, Thomas Hyde (1636-1703). In his Historia religionis veterum Persarum eorumque magorum (1700), he not only devoted some space to the life and works of Khayyam, but also translated one quatrain (robāʿi) into Latin. The first quatrain in English was published in 1816 by Henry George Keene (1781-1864) in the famous magazine Fundgruben des Orients/Mines d’Orient. Although the founder of the Fundgruben, Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (1774-1856), translated a few of Khayyam’s poems into German in 1818, and Sir Gore Ouseley (1770-1844) into English in 1846, Khayyam was to remain relatively unknown for some time (Dole, I, pp. IX-XV)