Friday, August 29, 2008

It Speaks Directly to Alienation


By Eddie Harrison, "Five questions for...Dr Alan Williams" - Metro - London, UK
Monday, August 25, 2008

The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey, followers of Sufi mystic Rumi, will perform their unique dance this weekend.

Persian scholar Dr Alan Williams will read from and talk about Rumi's work and its influence.

What will people see at this event?
A contemplative, peaceful, stately and graceful performance with a number of dervishes turning anticlockwise on stage, climaxing with a reading from Rumi. They're performing a Sema, which comes from a Persian word and means listening or auditioning. My talk will discuss how the Sema has developed into this form.

What kind of religion is Sufism?
Sufism is the mystical tradition of Islam, a side the West doesn't know much about. Since the 1970s it's gained some popularity among Westerners looking for an alternative to Christianity.

Why is Rumi's work and Sufism so popular at present?
An American poet called Coleman Barks started adapting his work, which led to interest from celebrities like Madonna.

Why does Rumi's poetry inspire people?
Although he's a 13th-century figure, he doesn't write like a medieval poet, he writes from the heart. His central theme is separation from each other and God, and the idea of overcoming that. It speaks directly to alienation and the fragmentation of society and individuals.

What else does your talk cover?
I'll be reading from my first volume of translations of Rumi, published by Penguin in 2006. The translation of the others will probably take me the rest of my life to complete.

Talk: Thu Aug 28, The Hub, 348-350 Castlehill, Edinburgh, 11am, £6. Tel: 0131 473 2000.
Performance: Fri Aug 29 and Sat Aug 30, Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. 7.30pm, £10 to £28. Tel: 0131 473 2000. http://www.eif.co.uk/

Alan Williams
Rumi Spiritual Verses
Penguin Classics
ISBN-10: 0140447911
ISBN-13: 978-0140447910

1 comment:

Redwan Ahmed said...

Go to http://www.fisabilillah12.wordpress.com and write comments.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It Speaks Directly to Alienation

By Eddie Harrison, "Five questions for...Dr Alan Williams" - Metro - London, UK
Monday, August 25, 2008

The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey, followers of Sufi mystic Rumi, will perform their unique dance this weekend.

Persian scholar Dr Alan Williams will read from and talk about Rumi's work and its influence.

What will people see at this event?
A contemplative, peaceful, stately and graceful performance with a number of dervishes turning anticlockwise on stage, climaxing with a reading from Rumi. They're performing a Sema, which comes from a Persian word and means listening or auditioning. My talk will discuss how the Sema has developed into this form.

What kind of religion is Sufism?
Sufism is the mystical tradition of Islam, a side the West doesn't know much about. Since the 1970s it's gained some popularity among Westerners looking for an alternative to Christianity.

Why is Rumi's work and Sufism so popular at present?
An American poet called Coleman Barks started adapting his work, which led to interest from celebrities like Madonna.

Why does Rumi's poetry inspire people?
Although he's a 13th-century figure, he doesn't write like a medieval poet, he writes from the heart. His central theme is separation from each other and God, and the idea of overcoming that. It speaks directly to alienation and the fragmentation of society and individuals.

What else does your talk cover?
I'll be reading from my first volume of translations of Rumi, published by Penguin in 2006. The translation of the others will probably take me the rest of my life to complete.

Talk: Thu Aug 28, The Hub, 348-350 Castlehill, Edinburgh, 11am, £6. Tel: 0131 473 2000.
Performance: Fri Aug 29 and Sat Aug 30, Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. 7.30pm, £10 to £28. Tel: 0131 473 2000. http://www.eif.co.uk/

Alan Williams
Rumi Spiritual Verses
Penguin Classics
ISBN-10: 0140447911
ISBN-13: 978-0140447910

1 comment:

Redwan Ahmed said...

Go to http://www.fisabilillah12.wordpress.com and write comments.