Rumi for the New-Age Soul: Coleman Barks and the Problems of Popular Translations

Barks, suffering from a particularly profitable case of researcher’s blindness, has flooded the market with a Rumi that has come to symbolize the individual beholden to no particular tradition, a man who seeks love before God or faith, all too familiar already in the canon of English, specifically American, literature. The result is a New Age poet, devoid of Islam, the 13th century, or the themes and images of the golden age of classical Persian poetry.
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