Art And Culture

Dutch Expert in Persian Literature to Be Honored

The meeting in the Netherlands is an initiative of Book City Institute to honor the Professor Emeritus of Persian Studies at the University of Leiden, who has written books on Persian poet Sanai
University of Leiden University of Leiden

Johannes Thomas Pieter de Bruijn, 86, a renowned Dutch expert in Iranian studies, specializing in Persian classical literature, will be honored at a meeting on Persian poet Sanai of Ghazna (Ghazni) (1080-1131) on November 10, at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

Bruijn is Professor Emeritus of Persian Studies at the University of Leiden, the oldest varsity in the Netherlands in the city of Leiden, Mehr News Agency reported.

His publications include ‘Of Piety and Poetry: The Interaction of Religion and Literature in the Life and Works of Hakim Sanai of Ghazna’ published by De Goeje Fund in 1983; and ‘Persian Sufi Poetry: An Introduction to Mystical Use of Classical Persian Poems’ published by Routledge in 1997.

Bruijn’s other writings are a Dutch translation of Sa’di’s Golestan (1997) -- an anthology of classical Persian poetry (2002), and articles on Persian literature and the history of Persian studies in Europe.

He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Encyclopedia Iranica, a consulting editor of the latter for Persian Classical Literature, and vice chairman of the editorial board of ‘A History of Persian Literature,’ a 16-volume series published by I. B. Tauris Publishers with central offices in London. Ehsan Yarshater, 97, founder and director of the Center for Iranian Studies, has been the general editor of the series.

The event in Leiden is an initiative of the Cultural and International Center of Book City Institute in Iran. Every Wednesday the institute holds a meeting for better comprehension of Sanai’s life and works at its cultural center in Tehran. The weekly programs will continue until October 2018.

By holding international events and offering gifts and accolades, Book City’s Cultural and International Center has decided to praise non-Iranian experts in Sanai’s works and their contribution to Persian literature.

  Sanai of Ghazna

Sanai is considered one of the most influential early mystics known in Persian literature and author of ‘The Walled Garden of Truth’ that explores the ideas of God, reason and love. Despite Sanai’s strong influence, not much is known about his life.

Sanai’s teaching through his later poetry after The Walled Garden of Truth is about how individuals have to abandon their sense of self if they are to achieve real spiritual enlightenment. Integral to this is love without which all are lost and separated from God.  Bruijn has performed extensive studies on metaphors used in Sanai’s poems and has surveyed the development of Persian mystical poetry.The meeting at the University of Leiden is to be attended by Dutch experts in Iranian studies. There are also notable participants from Iran including writer, mythologist, specialist in Ferdowsi’s work, literary critic, editor and translator Mohammad Jafar Yahaqi; CEO of Book City Institute Mehdi Firouzan; and writer, biographer and literary researcher Ali Asghar Mohammadkhani.

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