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In spite of the widespread usage of online applications and social networks, Mokhber maintains that books and literature have not faded away in society.
In spite of the widespread usage of online applications and social networks, Mokhber maintains that books and literature have not faded away in society.

Impact of Writers, Literature on Societies

“The illuminati, and not only the literati, have lost the sway they once had in the period starting from the early 20th century and ending in the 1970’s”

Impact of Writers, Literature on Societies

Iranian mythologist and translator Abbas Mokhber says some books have an incredible impact on societies and nations.
“Determining how much a society is influenced by literature and writers is not easy,” Mokhber, 62, said in an interview with ISNA. “The extent of their influence depends on the society or the time period under question.”
“The Storytelling Animal by American writer and literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall, 43, which I have translated into Persian and is now being reviewed at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, also mentions several books that have had spectacular impacts on societies,” he noted.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for instance, is one of the novels mentioned by Gottschall. With her anti-slavery work, American author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War (1861-1865), according to specialist of American literature and culture Will Kaufman. The book’s influence expanded farther to include Britain as well.
Mokhber cited the Harry Potter series, written by British author J. K. Rowling, 50, which sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide. “The figure is no joke; people spent many days of their lives to read the books. How can they remain untouched by the work?”
“The impact of a book is not necessarily commensurate with circulation. Works of Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951) have a lower circulation than those of Fahimeh Rahimi (1952-2013), but the former writer has had an undeniable influence over the literature and lives of the people. One cannot easily overlook this prominent Iranian literary figure,” he pointed out.
In spite of the widespread usage of online applications and social networks, “I don’t think that books and literature have faded away in society. But perhaps one can say that the illuminati, and not only the literati, have lost the sway they once had in the period starting from the early 20th century and ending in the 1970’s.”

  Influence of Great Poets
With the emergence of mass media and information technology, things may have changed for the intellectual community; but their impact still reaches far and beyond their own circle, Mokhber further said.
“A number of great poets have defined Iranian beliefs, manners and moralities. These definitions have passed from one generation to another and finally to us. I am influenced by Persian poet Hafez most of all, both in my thinking and in my way of living. I’m still under his influence. Hafez is part of Iranian identity. The same is true with other Persian poets such as Sa’di, Khayyam, Ferdowsi and Rumi.”
“When people speculate on Rumi’s poems, they are under his influence. Or when contemporary Iranian tenor Shahram Nazeri sings, how can listeners restrain their emotions?”

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