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Gray, Erik

Forgetting FitzGerald's Rubáiyát. Erik Gray.
In: Edward FitzGerald's The Rubáiyt of Omar Khayyám. Ed. by H. Bloom. Philadelphia, Chelsea House, 2004. p. 209-226.
(From SEL 41 (2001), nr. 4 (Autumn), p. 765-793.)

Gray argues that critics seem to have taken Fitzgerald at his word, who constantly advises in the Rubaiyat to ‘forget’. After a brief discussion of Tennyson’s poetry (also very concerned with the question of memory), Gray moves to examine the formal means Fitzgerald uses to efface his poem from the reader’s memory. Considering the poem’s publication history, the author suggests that “readers have never forgotten the Rubaiyat paradoxically because they are unable to remember it precisely”. “The poem is forgetful, or at least absent-minded, at every level: the rendition of the Persian, the rhymes, the quatrains, the different editions – all simultaneously recollect and efface dead selves.” (Abstract from: Abstracta Iranica)