Urdu Letters of Mirza Asadu'llah Khan Ghalib
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Mirza Asadu'llah Khan Ghalib was the brightest luminary of his time in the South Asian, Muslim literary community. A poet in Urdu and Persian, he was endowed with exquisite imagination, sparkling wit, and a charming presence. Ghalib was a brilliant conversationalist, skilled in the art of human relations. In the last twenty years of his life, the political conditions of northern India caused the death or dispersion of many of his best friends. He satisfied his gregarious urges by writing exquisite letters in Urdu, in a delightfully conversational style. By these means Ghalib kept in touch with his scattered friends. These letters were so novel in style that the first collection was published only a month after the poet's death.
In this book, Daud Rahbar provides thoroughly annotated English versions of 170 Urdu letters. These letters exemplify the possibility of elevating human relations to an art form, and Rahbar's translation reproduces the delicate flavor of the original Urdu prose.
Daud Rahbar is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University.
"This translation makes available in readable and easily accessible form a body of material that would be closed to most students of Indian Islam, even many of the most competent scholars. Couched in clear, colloquial English, these translations are backed up by a formidable set of notes that put the correspondence into its historical, social, and cultural context. I appreciate especially the care that has been taken with transliteration—it is meticulous. I would rank this book as 'outstanding.'" — Charles J. Adams, McGill University
"Ghalib occupies the premier position among poets of nineteenth-century India, and "Ghalibology' has become a recognized field of endeavor in itself. This excellent translation faithfully reflects the tone of the original." — W. M. Thackston, Harvard University