TEHRAN. (Iranart) – An Iranian play titled “Hermelin, the Scandinavian Lunatic” will feature the life story of Baron Eric Axel Hermelin, a Swedish author and prolific translator of masterpieces from classical Persian literature, will go on stage at Tehran’s Shahrzad Theater on October 30.
The play was written by Behzad Vaziri who will also direct it, a public relations team announced on Monday.
Hermelin, who had an unsuccessful life in Sweden, began a wandering life abroad in 1883 when he was 23. He traveled and lived in several countries and ended up as a soldier in the British army in India, where he started to learn foreign languages including Persian.
He was an alcoholic and a user of narcotic drugs. He also suffered from deep depression. In 1908, when he returned to Sweden, he was taken to a lunatic asylum in Stockholm, and later he was moved to the asylum of St. Lars in Lund, where he spent the rest of his life.
In this period of time, Hermelin started reading, writing and translating works from German, English and Persian.
Hermelin, who translated more than 10,000 pages of Persian Sufi poetry, published his first Swedish translation from Persian of Sadi’s Bustan (The Orchard) in 1918.
From 1918 to 1943, he translated Sadi’s Gulistan (The Rose Garden), Shabestari’s Golshan-e Raz, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and Sanai’s Hadiqat al-Haqiqa.
However, his greatest achievement was his translations of Farid ad-Din Attar’s Tadkerat al-Awlia (Saints’ Lives), Pand-nameh and Mantiq at-Tayr (Conference of the Birds) as well as Jalal ad-Din Rumi’s masterpiece Masnavi-ye Manavi in six volumes.
Hermelin also published translations of excerpts from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh and the full texts of the Kelileh and Demneh and Nezami’s Eskandar-nameh.
By the 1940s, there were more translations of classical Persian literature available in Swedish than in most other European languages as a result of Hermelin’s work, but he himself never became a public figure because of being a patient in a lunatic asylum.
Farid Sajjadi-Hosseini, Khosro Ahmadi, Reza Fayyazi, Bijan Afshar, Neda Maqsudi and Amir Joshaqani are the members of the cast for the play, which will remain on stage for one month.
Source: Tehran Times