Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797-1869), noble, poet, and wit of nineteenth-century Delhi, is the most famous and popular of the Urdu poets that the Indian subcontinent has produced. His life spans the years of the twilight of the Mughals, the Revolt of 1857 and the terrible aftermath. This complete Ghalib anthology comprises poetry and prose translated from both Persian and Urdu, biographical details and provides a context within which modern day, English-speaking readers can read and understand his poetry.
Introduced and selected by Ralph Russell, an eminent Urdu scholar, this collection presents a representative selection of Ghalib's writings set against a portrait of the man and the times in which he lived. Ralph Russell's Ghalib: A Self-Portrait' gives a picture of his personality as it emerges in passage from his Persian and Urdu letters and prose, including his diary, and other materials, which are arranged to tell the story of his life. Percival Spear describes the Delhi of Ghalib's day.
New translations from Ghalib's Urdu and Persian ghazals form a significant part of the volume and are being published for the first time. A note on translating Ghalib, a survey of his Urdu and Persian poetry, and a detailed explanatory index provided to guide readers complete the volume. The first-ever compendium of Ghalib's oeuvre, The Oxford India Ghalib, is a collector's item for aficionados of Urdu literature and especially of its poetry.
About the Author:
Ralph Russell was Reader in Urdu at the school of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS), University of London. He has previously published Ghalib: Life and Letters (OUP 1994) and Three Mughal Poets (with Khurshidul Islam, OUP 1993). He edited the collection of essays, Ghalib: The Poet and his Age (OUP 1997), and has since published The Pursuit of Urdu Literature: A Select History: An Anthology of Urdu Literature, The Famous Ghalib; and How Not to write the History of Urdu Literature (OUP 1999).
Excerpts from Reviews
'[Ghalib] was regarded as one of the greatest Urdu (and Persian) poets
I can think of no translator better able than Ralph Russell to turn such a writer into English. The [book] shows Ghalib as a remarkable personality, with more of a sense of humour than most poets have been gifted with.'
-V.G. Kiernan, Emeritus Professor of Modern History,
University of Edinbugh
published several books on Urdu literature
.The most widely circulating Urdu journal in the world, Fung, gave him the title Baba-e-Urdu-the Grand Old Man of Urdu.'
it should particularly delight those who know little of Urdu literature.'
-C.M. Naim, Professor Emeritus,Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization,University of Chicago
'Poetry is the greatest literary expression of Urdu
.The poetic genre both most highly prized and most popular is that of the ghazal, or love poem. [Ralph Russell's] name is synonymous with love of the language and the scholarly study of its literature.'
-Francis Robinson,Professor and Vice Principal,Royal Holloway,University of London.
Ghalib: A Self-portrait
PART I-GHALIB'S PROSE AND ITS CONTEXT
Select Index to Life and Letters
Explanatory Index to the Verse
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