Persian Poetry in the Perception of Wilhelm Küchelbecker
The interest in the poetic traditions of the Middle East is a widespread phenomenon in Russian culture and literature of the first half of 19th century and particularly this attention was high in the Romantic period. But, generally speaking, it is possible to identify this interest as short-lived one, as a mere trend that leave few traces in the subsequent literary taste. Among the most remarkable exceptions is the well-known writer Alexander Griboyedov, who was able to speak many foreign languages, including Persian and Arabic. The case of his friend and comrade Wilhelm Kuchelbecker is less well-known. Kuchelbecker knew neither Persian nor Arabic, but he was actively interested in the poetry of the Middle East and in particular the poetry of Ferdowsi and Saadi, which influences the compositions and poetics of some of his own works of the 1920s and 30s.