The article includes a first full translation into Russian of the second chapter from the “Memorial of God's Friends” (Taẕkirat al-awliyā), hagiographic compendium composed by Farid ad-Din ʻAttar in the 12th century. The chapter gives the life story of Uways Qarani (d. 657), Yamani ascetic and man of faith from the generation of Muhammad’s followers. The legends on Uways and his sayings collected and arranged by ʻAttar serve as a useful tool to understand the intricate Uways-related imagery which permeates Persian love and mystic poetry. The text of translation is preceded by a short survey of that kind of imagery and provided with a commentary related to philological and cultural details.
The article deals with the “Remembrance of Jaʻfar Sadiq”, opening chapter of the largest Persian hagiographic compendium "Remembrances of God’s friends” of Farid al-din ʻAttar (d. 1221). Apologetic aspects of this remembrance in the context of the earlier Sufi hagiographic tradition are primarily considered. In addition, the motives, partly revealing the author’s conception of this book, have been found.
The formulas of fragrances in the Persian classic literature and their semantic composition ("friend's scent", "Yusuf's scent" and "Uvays' scent ") -"terms" or "devices" of poets - are included in the lexical composition of the Persian language, they were often distinguished in the late medieval dictionaries in special sections. Examples of their use are considered in the article.
The paper includes a translation of the ghazal _“Dil-am juz mihr-i mah-rūyān ṭarīq-ī bar-namīgīrad”_ (“My heart follows no other path save love of the moon-faced”. We prepared it for the second volume of the complete philological translation of the Divan (for the first volume, ghazals 1 ‒ 100 see [Hafiz 2012] in the _Literature_ to the article).
The introductory part contains some preliminary data on the given poem. Hafiz composed it as an ‘answer’ to the ghazal of Shah Shujaʻ, the ruler of Shiraz and the patron of the poet (regretfully the sources preserved only the opening two half lines of the ruler’s poem). The “pearls” or lines of the ghazal seem unstrung; it counts 14 beyts (almost twice the standard number), what enhances the effect of semantic disintegration. The poem serves as a good example of Hafiz’s signature poetic technique of associative and parallel montage of themes and images.
The Persian text of the ghazal (according to Qazvini‒Gani version) and its Russian prose equilinear translation is followed by the detailed commentary to each beyt of the poem. It contains some philological particulars about the wording and imagery and the arguments on the choice of a given interpretation. We also trace the main themes of the poem as we see them, one of them being the “futility of advice”, and the other ‒ “the futility of poetry”. The complex interplay of those two themes is what keeps the sequence of “disintegrated” lines together. It also highlights the great poet's overall message of “the weary feeling of the futility of words”.
The textualization of knowledge has produced numerous texts in Persian. These scholarly treatises (on astronomy and algebra, pharmacology and plant science, Sufi teachings and the art of poetry, etc.) are undoubtedly among the most revealing testimonies regarding the medieval culture of Iran. The problem of their inclusion in the domain of literature is under discussion in the first part of the article. From the point of view of their main function those works mostly fall into the category of informational and directive texts and thus (when viewed from the modern Western perspective) can be only considered as non-literature. In authoritative “histories of Persian literature” some treatises are discussed in the “Prose of the period” sections, with a focus on the content of the given book and its status, and without any special mention of its generic features. However, the tradition of composing treatises eventually developed a set of characteristics and conventions of textualization which could be considered as literary (elaborate and in some cases embellished language; narrative interpolations, stories, anecdotes, poems; rhetorical techniques of discourse; compositional structure in relation to a certain topic). When seen in the pre-modern Iranian perspective, the “expository” treatises, regardless of their literary merits. are a part of classical Adabīyāt and form the very basis of refined education (adab). The topics exposed in treatises provided “educated” Persian poetry with clusters of “technical” imagery, and the patterns of scholarly reasoning found their counterpart in the poetic argumentation. In the second part of the article the hermeneutical use of the treatises is discussed. Popular calligraphic imagery serves as a good example here, as many poetic circumlocutions find their explanation in treatises on calligraphy. The expository texts are by no means detached from the high literature; moreover, they prove important for a better understanding of “presentational” genres of poetry and prose. An appendix to the article includes a translation of a small textbook on calligraphy by Halil Tabrizi (16th century).