Asrar ul Haq Majaz – or Majaz Lucknowi was an Urdu poet in 1930s and 40s. He was from Aligarh Muslim University. His poetry, specially one of his books had become so popular that girls in AMU would line up to read it. It is said that there was only one copy of the book in the library and there would be a lottery for the opportunity to borrow the book for one night, every night. A girl would be allowed to borrow the book only for one night. She would be up all night and read the book and sleep keeping it under her pillow the whole night. Such was his popularity.
Writers and many poets have seen this kind of passion from readers for centuries.
Look for example, at the craze and fan following that Jane Austen, the writer of Pride and Prejudice, is getting in the US after so many years. The crazy fans are called Janeites!
Jane Austen’s own work is a case in point. It may be 200 years since her most celebrated novel, Pride and Prejudice, was published, but in the US she is the subject of more wildly devotional fan-worship than ever.
With their conventions, Regency costumes and self-written “sequels” to their heroine’s novels, Austen’s most dedicated adherents display a fervency easily rivalling that of the subcultures around Star Trek or Harry Potter.
Some Janeites, as they call themselves, write their own fiction imagining the marital exploits of Mr and Mrs Darcy. Others don elaborate period dress and throw Jane Austen-themed tea parties and balls.
Jane Austen’s isn’t the first of the Western authors to have had readers go crazy. Authors like Dickens, Tolstoy, Eliot, Joyce, Hemingway, Lawrence, and Fitzgerald have had cult like following as well.
In the recent past, books like “Fifty Shades of Grey” have evoked fanatic fan following. There are fan clubs, blogs, and fan meets on the book. One of the Fan club site – Oh Fifty – describes its mission as:
This site was designed with a purpose. That purpose? To bring the Fifty Shades of Grey fan community together!
We know that Fifty Shades fanatics want to know everything there is to know about EL James, the books, and the movies. Our goal is to create a fun, enjoyable, and positive atmosphere where Fifty Shades fans can come to get information, share information, and discuss everything Fifty Shades. We want to be your #1 source for all things Fifty Shades!
For your pleasure – and ours – we have included a blog that will be updated with all things Fifty Shades, a forum where fans can get together and discuss the Fifty Shades Trilogy, and a photo gallery that hosts a collection of faces, places, and items related to the Fifty Shades story. You can follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and like us on Facebook too!
We also just wanted to remind all members and guests that this is a FAN site. Bashing of the Fifty Shades Trilogy in any capacity will not be tolerated! In an effort to avoid any drama and negativity and create a mature and fun community, we expect anyone that visits our site to respect others and their opinions.
In fact there is a movie being released based on this book and fans are angry at the casting choices. They have petitions going around to have their favorite actors as the main leads!
Angry “Fifty Shades of Grey” fans are petitioning against the casting choices made by producers of the erotic novel’s film adaptation. The irate aficionados are demanding Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer be cast as the leads instead.
This brings us to an interesting question – In the act of reading a book, do we develop a more intimate relationship with a book?
Is a book more than .. well. a book?
It almost seems that readers – from every part of the world and in every time of history – have created a bond far deeper than just that of a reader. In fact the bond is as obsessively jealous in its nature as a romantic bond of a lover with his beloved. The book, in the process of being read takes a far bigger role in our lives than we had anticipated. Some start identifying with the book’s protagonist and with the central ideology of the book.
In many cases, entire cultures have been altered by some books. Books by Ayn Rand were some of those books. Her books were predicated on a certain manner of thinking and engagement with the society. This became a whole school of philosophy – Objectivism – in the decades after her book.
Objectivism is a philosophical system developed by Russian-American writer Ayn Rand (1905–1982). First expressed in her novels and polemic essays, it was later given more formal structure by her designated intellectual heir, philosopher Leonard Peikoff, who characterizes it as a “closed system” that is not subject to change.
Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.
Writers like Ayn Rand, Karl Marx, Leo Tolstoy and William Shakespeare have shaped the very thinking and ways of a society for many generations and centuries. As large a piece of literature as their books were, they made an impact on the reader that transcended the limited engagement of a reader with a book. It is as if, the authors entered the souls of their readers and stayed there. Sometimes, not merely stayed there but metamorphosed the whole being of the readers to do things that they had previously not considered.
So when you pick up the next book, you never know it may change the way you think and live. The way your very being is structured. It is not a book after all. It may be your next romantic obsession. Just more subtle and lethal. All at the same time!
Featured Image Source: Flickr
Image Source: Flickr