TEHRAN – (Iranart)- The Munisnameh, an anthology of Persian stories by Abu Bakr Ibn Khosrow al-Ustad, has been published in Azerbaijani in Baku.
The book has been translated by Rena Rzayeva, a Persian literature scholar of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Science, which is the publisher of the book.
“This book is not only a significant literary work, but as a source of understanding values and philosophical issues and Persian oral literature of its own age, it is a unique book,” Rzayeva has said in an introduction to the book.
Munisnameh contains thirty-one popular tales from the late twelfth century. Most of the tales correspond to the fourteenth-fifteenth-century Ottoman Turkish tales of Faraj Ba’d al-Shidda, which were adapted into French as Les Mille et un jours in the early eighteenth century.
Although the existence of a Persian precursor to these tales was already hypothesized, the corresponding Persian equivalents were hitherto only found in many later works, commonly known as Jami al-Hikayat, dating from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Predating the Ottoman Turkish works by some 200 years, the Munisnameh provides an extremely valuable source for studying the historical development and transmission of specific tales from one language and culture to another.
The Munisnameh also contains works that can be classified as elite literature, such as advisory literature for rulers and courtiers and Sufi allegorical texts.
The combination of popular and elite literature in the Munisnameh blurs the traditional lines between the two realms in Persian literature and provides an excellent source for the study of elite and popular literature as parts of a larger whole.
Abu Bakr Ibn Khosrow Al-Ustad was an author living in Ganja in the middle of the 12th century. It is known that he was a private tutor for Muhammed Jahan Pehlevan, one of the Atabegs of Azarbaijan.
The Munisnameh (“A Book of Bead Stories”), his only surviving work, is reminiscent by its style to The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. A manuscript copy of the book is preserved at the British Library, which acquired it in 1920. Certain Meredith-Owens translated the manuscript into English and published it in 1974.
source: Tehran Times