Affinities between Sadi and Victor Hugo discussed at Tehran meeting
TEHRAN – A number of Persian scholars gathered at the Book City Institute in Tehran on Tuesday to discuss the commonalities between the Persian poet Sadi (C. 1213-1291) and French poet and novelist Victor Hugo (1802-1885).
Speaking at the meeting, scholar Mir Jalaleddin Kazzazi said that he believes those who have read books written by Hugo agree that Hugo can be called the Sadi of France.
“We might not find clear connections between the two since each belongs to a different culture and history. However, if we look deeply we can find connections and that they both have had the same attitudes towards mankind,” he said.
“They both think of man and feel for him. Victor Hugo also liked people. He also wished that man could live a better life as he deserves. Those who read Hugo also agree with me that we can call Hugo the Sadi of France. His writings are not hard, he follows art to respect art; however, for him, art is to respect people,” he added.
The Academy of Persian Language and Literature director Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel next said that all writers, poets and cultural figures have made great use of Sadi’s Gulistan (The Rose Garden).
“The role of Gulistan in reinforcing the Persian language and literature in the minds and spirits of the Persian-speaking nations and especially Iranians is like the role of the breast milk of a mother. That is if an individual has not read Gulsitan in Persian literature, he is like a child who has not been fed with breast milk,” he said.
In his brief words the director of the Center for the Study of Sadi, Kurosh Kamali Sarvestani, said that what mostly has attracted the people of the West to Sadi are his moral teachings. “He is a world-famous poet who talks about the world’s ideas,” he remarked.
The two-day meeting was organized by the Sadi Foundation in Tehran and Iran’s cultural office in France in collaboration with the Paris Diderot University to commemorate Iran’s Sadi National Day (April 21).
Victor Hugo is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. He is mostly famous for his novels “Les Miserables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.
One of the greatest figures of classical Persian literature, Sheikh Muslih ud-Din Sadi Shirazi is famous worldwide for his Bustan (The Orchard) and Gulistan (The Rose Garden).
Photo: Persian literature scholar Mir Jalaleddin Kazzazi (C) speaks during a meeting on Sadi and Victor Hugo at the Book City Institute in Tehran on April 18, 2017.