‘Divan of Hafez’ among nightstand books of André Aciman
5 Nov 2019 - 16:18
IBNA- American author and university professor André Aciman who is best known for his novel ‘Call Me by Your Name says ‘Divan of Hafez’ is among the books on his nightstand.
According to IBNA correspondent quoting from The New York Times, born in 1951 in Alexandria, Egypt, replying a question about his nightstand books, Aciman referred to the complete poems of the Persian poet Hafez; 'The Ingenious Language,” by Andrea Marcolongo; 'Less' by Andrew Sean Greer, 'Moon Tiger' by Penelope Lively and also all the novels by Tabucchi among others.
The last English translation of Hafez is ‘The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafez’, translated by Robert Bly and Leonard Lewisohn. They have worked for 15 years on this book of Hafez, the first that carries into English his nimbleness, his outrageous humor, his defenses of the private life in the face of the fundamentalists, and the joy of his love poems.
In a part of his interview, the author speaks about the literary canon: “I would remove “Mrs. Dalloway,” by Virginia Woolf, and elevate “Nightwood,” by Djuna Barnes. As is the case with “Ulysses,” everyone speaks very highly of “Nightwood,” but few read it cover to cover. “Nightwood” is a bold, exceptionally well-written modernist prose poem, and remains the closest thing to James Joyce.”
“No wonder T. S. Eliot wrote the introduction for it. ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ is an overrated novel that I don’t find particularly gripping or interesting. I’m not even sure it’s well written,” he added.
Asiman is currently distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where he teaches the history of literary theory and the works of Marcel Proust.
A film adaptation based on ‘Call Me by Your Name’ directed by Luca Guadagnino was released on November 24, 2017, in the United States to critical acclaim.
At the 90th Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Chalamet), Best Original Song, and Best Adapted Screenplay (James Ivory), winning the latter.