Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: English
Translated from: English
Authors: Shafak, Elif
Translated by: Drazdauskienė, Rasa
ISBN: 978-9986-16-915-4
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2012
Publisher: Tyto alba

Ella lives typically: kids, husband, housekeeping, but she feels alone and misunderstood, so she decides to get a job in a literature agency. Her first task is to write a review of novel “Sweet blasphemy”. Reading this book Ella feels strange – values of this book are totally different from hers but the book still comforts her. She starts writing letters to the author and this is how their love story begins. This friendship shows to Ella the power of love in which she never believed before. At the same time the plot of “Sweet blasphemy” is told. The whirling dervish Shams of Tabriz and mystic Rumi are both willing to find their soul mates.

Rumi is an honorable preacher and teacher of Konia, while Shams of Tabriz a simple dervish but their friendship is fateful. The spiritual bond which connected them sets Rumi free but at the same time kills Shams.

After discovering the true love seekers both – Ella and Rumi – start to follow 40 rules of love made by Shams. These rules are timeless and unconnected to any belief and they declare the pure every changing love. Despite being set in different time the two stories are remarkably similar. Both – Aziz, the author of the book, and Shams of Tabriz – are the spreaders of pure love while Ella and Rumi their followers – at the first sight their happy but in fact without love living people who are set free and made believe in powerful love after meeting the first ones.

These two overlapping stories of fictitious (Ella and Aziz) and historic (Rumi and Shams of Tabriz) characters are filled with hope, pure love and belief. Historical context, personalities and Sufism philosophy are totally different from nowadays life but at the same time these values are presented as the role model of happy and full of love life.

Elif Shafak – is one of the most famous nowadays Turkish writers. In her novels she combines West and East, past and nowadays life. Most of her stories are based on Turkish cultural heritage – Sufism philosophy, historical personalities and their backgrounds.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU