13TH CENTURY RELIGION AND SOCIETY IN THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE BY ELIF SHAFAK

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Göker Serden Armutoğlu

Abstract

The Forty Rules of Love which was written by a Turkish writer Elif Shafak in 2009 recounts the story about the relation between Mevlana Celaddiin-i Rumi and his tutor Shams of Tabriz in general. It is an international bestseller and one of Elif Shafak’s masterpieces. The book is written in the form of first person narrative and with an episodic technique. The point of view of the different characters creates an atmosphere of different ideas about the religion of Islam and how it is understood in the 13th century. The story begins in 2008 with a character named Ella who is working at a book publishing company and her job is to read and check the books in order to tell if the book is qualified to be published or not. One day she receives a letter from someone who is identified himself as A. Z. Zahara. He says he wants to publish his book but he could not trust anyone about his writing because his writing involves a philosophy which could be understood badly or differently if its originality was changed. She accepts the job and starts to read the book as A. Z. Zahara e-mails her the writing part by part in time. As she receives e-mails, we find ourselves reading the book with her and thus the real story begins. This “book inside the book” technique shows that the story based on real events could involve some fictional or even sensible events to some readers and thus protects the author, Elif Shafak from direct satires. This presentation will be about the religious society which is recounted in the “book inside the book” from different points of view and about the wrongs of the religious people who believe in their rights.


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