FitzGerald or Fitz-Omar: Ideological Reconsideration of the English Translation of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat

Shilan Shafiei


The present study attempted to examine whether Edward Fitzgerald’s English translation of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat is effective in doing justice to the true philosophical/ideological image of Khayyam and his poems through investigating the extent of ideological manipulation applied by Fitzgerald in his translation, and through referring to the fundamental tenets of Post-colonialism.

For this purpose, the content of all the quatrains in the first edition of the translation of Rubaiyat by Fitzgerald with their corresponding Persian equivalents, were analyzed. Using the ideological manipulation theory of Zauberga as the theoretical framework, the results indicated that the form of deletion was of the highest frequency.

Finally, the key concepts of Khayyam’s philosophy and his poetry, and the traces of Fitzgerald’s colonialistic attitude toward Khayyam in his translation were investigated. The results revealed that the English translation of Fitzgerald has been subjected to ideological manipulations, and the translator has distorted Khayyam’s true image.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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