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This account of the author's journey to Persia in the spring of 1949 on ""a purely cultural"" mission with the Institute of New York has an air of artistic and scholarly reflection. Through the transparent veil of Mr. Payne's contemplative, jewelled prone we see mysterious Persia: the streets of Teheran, the roses of Shiraz, the ruins of Persnpolis, where the past still lives, the temples of Isfahan, the pilgrims of Meshed, the vitality of haces, the people in the bazaars and on the roadsides, the holy men and the leaders of the country who tell of the need for social progress, the majesty of nature and its affinity to man in the land where the sun -- fire -- creator and destroyer, is God. In seeking to discover the essence of Persia's contribution to Western art and culture, to discover how Greece conquered and culturally opposed her, the author points to maturity, splendor, a harmony with and love of life as reflected in Persian art and existence, comparing it with the love of youth, the pride in intellect, the fear of death, of the Greeks. He concludes his evocative meditations upon the past and present Persia with a firm statement as to the great need we have today for the re-establishment of human splendor and which has so unhappily been submerged in our lives.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1952
Publisher: E. P. Dutton