Ergin had translated selections from the Divan-i Kebir prior to 1993
- but it was only that year that he began in earnest to tackle the enormous task of translating and publishing the entire Divan
- He was able to publish the 1-st volume of the translation in 1993
- He published the 22nd volume in 2003
- The Ministry of Culture of Turkey was the co-publisher for all 22 volumes, and they were all printed in the US
- with the exception of Volume 9.
Ergin left the United States briefly to stay in his home country, Turkey
- where he completed the translation of Volume 9 in 1996
- He had it printed in Turkey as well in 1999 before he returned to the U.S.
- A number of years later, in 2007 he had another stay in Turkey
Ergin made arrangements with the Director of the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey, to have photographs
- taken of every page of the manuscript of the Divan
- (compiled between July 2, 1367 and October 13, 1368 by Hasan Ibni Osman-al Mavlavi)
- registered in the Museum as numbers 68 and 69.
- The photographs were subsequently published as an exact replica of that Divan-i Kebir manuscript.
Ergin had received a certain amount of criticism about his translation
- since he was not translating into English directly from the Persian
- but rather from a Turkish translation of the Persian
- Having the Replica enabled Ergin to encourage anyone, who had the desire, to look into the matter directly. - He never represented that his translations were word-for-word,
- but rather, endeavored to capture the essence of each verse.
- He was striving to make the glory and wisdom of Rumi available to more people.
- That’s all there is to it.
Before he passed in July of 2015, Ergin asked me to edit and re-publish Volume 9
- He also expressed concern that his translation of that volume was not as exact as he would like it to be
- so we reviewed the material together
- comparing it again to the Golpinarli translation of the Divan from Persian to Turkish.
Not long after Ergin passed, I met Shahzad Mazhar, who was able to read the Persian of the Replica
- This made it possible to confirm the translation of certain verses that were not as clear as they might have been
- because of the Persian to Turkish to English issue.
Thank you, Nevit Ergin, for asking me to re-publish this volume of Rumi’s Divan-i Kebir
- I am honored and infinitely grateful to have been allowed to work on such a project.
- Millicent Alexander
- Los Angeles, CA