By: Ren A. Hakim, Author
A harmonious melody has no native voice. All bodies, irrespective of nationality, may be bid to sway to the rhythm. A man may see his reflection in a time-worn sculpture or faded fresco created an eon before his birth. The arts speak a universal, timeless language.
Literature is no different. Sure, it may be penned in the language of its author, but throughout time and space, the fundamentals of storytelling are not lost in translation. Whether reading the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Shahnameh or Hamlet, the components remain the same: protagonist, conflict, climax and resolution. A story takes us on a journey, often with a character in whom we see parts of our own selves. We are fueled on this trek, not by food or water, but by emotions compelled by themes which have driven men to great joy and terrible sorrow since the dawn of creation, those of love, honor and war.
The pen is mightier than the sword is a long echoed adage. It was written by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839. Yet, this belief was born thousands of years before his time, has been written in various forms, and in different languages.
Edward Counsel wrote, “An interchange of literature is the conversation of nations.” I also believe it allows us to take heed from those long fallen. Much is to be learned from our written history. Glimpses of the past afford the us the foresight to better secure our future, but these accounts must be discerned with a critical eye, for history is, after all, written by the victors.
One of the reasons I wrote Xerxes was to look at the Greco-Persian, which took place nearly 2500 years ago, from an unprecedented perspective - that of the the Persian king himself. I wanted to go beneath the crown and reveal the man.
So often, we will look at each other, seeing only what makes us different. I wanted to show the reader just how much they had in common with a monarch who ruled the largest empire of its day. That is the beauty of the written word. It transports. It’s informative. It is transformative.
Useful links: About Ren A. Hakim, click on HERE