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The Koran (1909)
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.
||Kessinger Publishing, LLC|
||June 02, 2008|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 8 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 8 customer reviews )
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16 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Tough workJul 20, 2008
By H. Schneider
I always wanted to read the Koran/Quran, but never could make up my mind which translation to choose. All are attacked by somebody for different reasons. So in the end I chose at random: standing in a bookshop waiting for my wife to make up her mind on something else, I noticed this edition in front of my nose and thought, what the heck, why not.
Not sure it was a good idea.
Rodwell first published his translation in 1861, and it appears as if he deliberately wrote in an even older style to make the book sound approximately like a King James Bible, which may not be ideal.
He had the innovative idea to re-arrange the text by chronology of its writing, which has probably lots of merits on terms of Islamology, but confuses the reader who is used to a different arrangement from the official versions. The official version have the convincing principle of arranging the text pieces by length. I am sure your computer could come up with a half dozen equally logical arrangements, but in the end, what should decide is convention. After all, this is supposed to be a translation.
The editor of the newly published Rodwell text put it back into the right order, so this is a 'normalized' Rodwell Koran. Jones kept Rodwell's original endnotes, give or take some, but had to re-arrange them with the Sura sequence too, of course. Jones claims that Rodwell's translation stood the test of time, but that his introduction did not, so Jones provides his own brief one about the times and the text and the prophet. Usefull.
Now to Rodwell's language: I keep hearing praises about the poetic beauty of the Arabic text. Honestly, Rodwell lost that aspect out of sight entirely. There is no poetry here.
Jones asserts that otherwise the translation stood the test of time. Actually that is discouraging if it is true. One of my AFs recommended other translations to me. Ok, I' ll give the benefit of doubt and try one of those.
14 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Lacking in many waysAug 20, 2006
The translation used for this edition--that of the Reverend J.M. Rodwell--is at once both beautiful and infuriating. On the one hand, Rodwell has worked very hard to render the Koran in suitably dignified English. However, in the process, he has completely destroyed the subtleties and poetic feel of the original Arabic in favor of a more "biblical" approach.
This edition of Rodwell's translation also preserves his reordering of the chapters according to chronological order. This results in the book feeling much more fragmented than it should. Also, the press used to create this edition is exceedingly old and uses an outdated typeface.
Finally, Rodwell's footnotes are clearly an attempt of a Christian scholar to refute the Koran, and are as a whole essentially useless. This translation is hardly worth paying for today, with so many other excellent renderings of the Koran in English (Dawood, A. Yusuf Ali, Haleem, CLEARY).
In short, pass up this outdated work--there are many finer English Korans out there.
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
An Interesting Learning ExperienceJul 19, 2008
By Ky. Col.
This summer, I have been on somewhat of a religious journey (not replacing my own Christian faith but just wanting to learn more about other religions). Happily, I found a translation of the Koran (Qur'an) as I was curious to learn about Islam from its own religious text. I should admit that I'm not a scholar on Islam or on the Middle East. As I can't read Arabic, I wouldn't know just how precise any translation is. That said, the reading was an interesting experience. His introduction and historical/textural commentaries were interesting as well. Rodwell was not a Muslim and his application of textural criticism and historical layering to the Koran may offend Muslims, especially if they regard the book as "perfect." Overall, an interesting experience.
22 of 30 found the following review helpful:
The Koran (Everyman Paperback Classics)Nov 28, 1999
By Sushma Kaur
For my first look at the Koran, I chose this book because of the price and the Everyman reputation. However I cannot recommend this translation to any one. Any translation is only as uplifting as the consciousness of the translator, and Rodwell translates in the most negative terms. This translation is full of infidels and how terrible people are. I tried hard to find two consecutive sentences that I could quote that would show beauty or spirituality, and it was almost impossible. Try another translator! In contrast is Cleary's translation which gives one a sense of wonder and understanding. He has translated other texts and can impart the underlying spirituality.
22 of 30 found the following review helpful:
Among the best out there.Mar 23, 1999
By C. Bishop
To translate the Quran is an almost impossible task. The beauty of the Arabic language and the complexity of the text makes it very difficult to convey in english. Rodwell's translation uses language closer to that of the King James Bible to help convey the dignity of the Holy Quran.
If you want to take a scholarly look at the Quran, you should read several translations. If however, you would like just one version for reference and to get a general idea of what the Quran gives to humanity, this is the book to get.
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