Forty Rules of Love

If only! Elif Shafak's 2010 "Novel of Rumi" titled The Forty Rules of Love has such potential for beauty, joy, and magic. The theme is powerful: awakening and self-discovery. The plot is clever: see-sawing across time between 13th century Persia and modern day America. The situation is historic: the transformational meeting of Islamic theologian-poet Rumi and Sufi mystic Shams, a trainwreck of yang and yin. The characters are engaging — or could be if they had individual voices. But they don't. And the language is ... pedestrian in the extreme. <insert big, audible sigh.>

If only it had been written by Salman Rushdie, or someone with a similar command of words. As Michelle Goldberg says in "Lost in Translation", her New Republic review of the book, "The Forty Rules of Love is a terribly frustrating novel, because almost everything about it is wonderful except for the work itself."

Maybe some day ...

(cf. Meditation Retreat (2014-01-28), The Pearl Buys Itself (2015-07-22), Watch the Wound (2015-07-24), ...) - ^z - 2016-09-09