Summer 2004 (12.2)
& Majnun - Now in Portuguese
Note: Recently, we received
a note from Marissom Ricardo Roso the Portuguese translator of
Nizami's 12th century dramatic poem, "Leyli & Majnun".
This story's plot is similar to "Romeo and Juliet",
but Nizami precedes Shakespeare by about 400 years. Marissom
writes how he came to translate this work that is so highly esteemed
and loved by Azerbaijanis.
Left: Marissom Ricardo
Roso, translator of Nizami's Leyli & Majnun into Portuguese.
In a bookstore in his home town in São Borja, Brazil.
I'm not really a translator by profession, but I am passionate
about literature, and I feel so honored to have translated a
masterpiece of a culture that I admire so much. I first learned
about this work through Eric Clapton's music, especially his
song "Layla", which he wrote based on Nizami's poem
[Search Clapton at AZER.com]. I'm a great fan of Clapton as are
I was able to locate the English version of the book in July
2000, a few months after my mother passed away. It was a very
sensitive time for me. The conversations that took place between
Majnun and his family reminded me of experiences I had had with
my own family. I became so intrigued with the story that I decided
to translate it into my mother tongue-Portuguese. And so that's
exactly what I did.
I finished, I presented my work to several publishers but they
weren't interested. I was just about to give up when I found
Editor Jorge Zahar. By November 2002, the Portuguese version
of Nizami's "Leyli and Majnun" was in many of the major
bookstores in Brazil.
Honestly, I feel so proud to be associated with this beautiful,
beautiful work - this legend of "Leyli and Majnun".
Marissom Ricardo Roso
São Borja, Brazil, near the border of Argentina
Editor's note: The Portuguese version of Nizami's
"Leyli & Majnun" can be purchased from ZAHAR.com.br.
The introduction and part of the first chapter of "Leyli
and Majnun" in Portuguese can be found at Azerbaijan International's
Web site for Literature at AZERI.org. SEARCH Portuguese. AZERI.org
has the largest collection of Azerbaijan literature available
anywhere on the Web - both in Azeri Latin and English translation
- just another creation by Azerbaijan International magazine.
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