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April 2002 - Nr. 4


The Editor
Messestadt Leipzig
Vorsicht Satire!
Antje berichtet
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Purpose of Community
Russian Gala
Musical History
World of Olive Oil
Wine & Cheese Show
Dick reports...
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Ham Se det jehört?
Beethoven's 175th
"The Sphere"
Schönste Bücher
Greek Art & Ideas
Boris Becker in NY
Pinakothek der Moderne
Cleaner Environment
Berlin Funding...
Eiszeit Boot
German-American Exchange
West-Oestlicher Diwan
Christian von Krockow
Romance on the Rhine
Third Gold Medal
Students choose Germany
Soccer World Cup Test

Goethe’s West-Oestlicher Diwan Appears in Persian

  TWIG - For the first time since its publication in 1819, Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s verse cycle West-Oestlicher Diwan (West-Eastern Divan) has been translated into Farsi, the language of the Persian master poet who was its primary inspiration. The translation was sponsored by DaimlerChrysler as a contribution toward intercultural understanding. Company representative Matthias Kleinert handed a first edition of the book to Iranian president Mohammad Khatami Tuesday (March 12) during a state visit in Vienna.

Goethe’s point of departure for West-Oestlicher Diwan was his reading of Iran’s most revered poet, the 14th-century mystic Shams al-Din Muhammad, known as Hafiz. He conceived the volume as a bridge between occident and orient, and its appearance opened a new chapter in German literature by directly borrowing themes from an Islamic author. In 2000, a monument commemorating the spiritual bond connecting the two literary giants was erected in Weimar. A pair of granite chairs cut from the same stone stands over a bronze plate bearing lines of verse by both poets, a symbol of intimate exchange between distant cultures.

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