عنوان مقاله [English]
Dr. Asad Abshirini
Assistant Professor of Persian Language and Literature, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran
Akhavan Sales’s poetry cannot be appreciated out of the conceptual framework which the mythological world has drawn for him. As much as the mythical thought has acted as a means of defamiliarization and thus constituted the form of his poetry, it has also laid the foundations for those harmful points, through these harms, the weakness of mentality and language of Iranian poet-intellectuals in understanding modern rationality is revealed. Akhavan, in his masterpieces such as Zemestan (Winter), Akhare-Shahnameh (The End of Shahnameh, and Az in Avesta (From This Avesta), has set foot in an area of mythological realm, where archeology and music, sanctification and demonization, nostalgia, etc., have blocked the way for any experience of historical contemporaneity. We know Akhavan from his archaic and ingenious language and his commitment to meter and rhyme and that traditional tenderness that suits his senses and emotions, and we know more that artistic device of "myth" in the structure and form of his poetry has strongly linked his art of “Khorasan” to that of “Mazandaran" (Akhavan-Sales, 1385: 13) of Nimai Yush.
The point is that this artistic device of "myth" gradually "transcends the limits of its" art-making function "in the poet's" work "and, in the form of a dominant" insight "dominates the artist's mind. Thus, it takes him away from his artistic "motives" and brings him closer to "ideological" harms. As long as we are in the magnetic field of the enchantment of the mind and language of the poet, we will be unable to argue about the “what” and the “how” of his poetry. It is only by taking a "distance" and standing outside the gravitation of his artistic system that one can discuss the merit or demerit of his poetry. What we are looking for in this research is a starting point that will allow the audience to take an "ontological" look, not only at the legacy of Akhavan in particular, but at all contemporary poet-intellectuals in general.
Research Methodology, Background and Purpose
Most of the research that has been done so far on myths in contemporary poetry and Akhavan’s poetry is of admiring nature, but lacks the pathological analysis and the distance that has been adopted in this research. Therefore, in this research, by giving concrete examples, the author has tried to discuss and analyze the artistic heritage of the Akhavan from a pathological point of view in the light of mythical thought using critical analytical method of Enlightenment thinkers.
At the beginning of this research, I will try to introduce the framework of mythical thought to the reader in a short introduction. Now, in this section, by presenting discussions on the form of Akhavan’s poetry specially from his three collections, The Winter (1335), The End of Shahnameh (1338) and From This Avesta (1344), which have formed the basis of his artistic life, in a more objective way. I also try to further explore the generalities of the aforementioned theoretical view.
The Music of Akhavan’s Poetry
What forms the mythical thought in Akhavan's poetry is its music. It is music that allows him to fly his mind and language to "God and beyond the desert of God" (Akhavan, 1384: 76). The magic of the music of Akhavan's poetry is the first factor that empties its poet and his audience of "individuality" and leads them to the unitary world of primitive myths.
3- 1- 1 Mythological Language
Following the dominance of the mythical mythological in Akhavan’s poetry, after music, what tangibly evokes the audience from today to yesterday is the poet's retrospective language. The diction and syntax that Akhavan uses is a parole that will have no future other than the mythological past of language.
3 - 1-1- 2 Revivalism
In the poem “Payam” (Message) by relying on this archaic language, Akhavan finds it possible to sanctify and purify everything that is from the "heritage of the past" with such a mythical self-confidence:
The first victim that the heavy weight of a mythological past in his poetry takes in the poet's mind and language is the concept of "freedom." From the point of view of mythical thought the "individuality of the subject does not have a mentality of its own, independent of its own people and tribe, its existence is transmuted in his people. (Cassirer, 1399: 39).
3- 1- 3 - Alienation
The immediate consequence of the lack of individual-based freedom in Akhavan's poetry is nothing but the sorrow of homelessness and alienation. The grief and sorrow of many Iranian poet-intellectuals should not be taken as the grief that lies in the essence of the thought which is independent and free of tradition. On the contrary, in mythical thought, "man sees himself as real only when he stops being himself and yield to imitate and repeat the actions of the other" (Eliade, 2005: 49).
3- 1- 3- 2 Spiritualism
For the mythical man, the meaning of existence is nothing but the spirit of God. He sees a kind of unitary mysticism behind all the natural events and phenomena that affect him. In myth, it is "effect" that takes the place of "reason". We see Akhavan as a "sentimental" poet-intellectual rather than a "contemplative" one, and this in itself has nothing to do with the valuable merit of "feeling and emotion" which is one of the fundamental principles of any pure art. In the face of the tragedies of his time and the life around him, he sometimes shows such fervor that even deviates him from the path of decorum.
3- 1- 3- 2- 1 Epic Hero
It is in line with this belief of mythical man in the spirit that the epic genre is formed in Akhavan's poetry. He is always striving for a God-hero who will save him, his society and history from deception and decay. Accordingly, Akhavan is a poet who strongly believes in God. That godly metaphors change color in his poems. Hence, God-centered metaphors are present in his poetry in different forms.
Shafi'i Kadkani in his book about Akhavan, after stating: "Glory is tied to a tragic view", comes to the definite conclusion that "in Akhavan’s masterpieces, that tragic view is always a significant element and the dominant feature" (Shafiei Kadkani,-----). What might be added to the above statement is that basically the Iranian epic is formed in continuation of the ancient myths of God. In tragedy, the fame and defame of the epic hero comes out of nothing but his “confrontation with death" (Farhadpour, 2007: 1386) By pondering on the fate of the epic heroes that Akhavan portrays in its famous poems, it is easy to see that they are engaged in a kind of ritual act rather than a "tragic death" and thus are away from feature of tragic hero.
3- 2 Ideology of Myth
The lack of historical realism in Akhavan 's poetry, which has led to a kind of hostility to the present and a desire to change it, is an immediate consequence of his mythical thought, which, like an absolute "ideology," has always blocked the way of free thinking to him and his fellow intellectuals. It should be said that this is the very essence of ideology, which "constitutes a set of discourses, images and concepts through which we live our relationship with historical reality" (Ferter, 1392: 110). For instance, the idea of duality finds such a place in the mythically tainted mentality of Akhavan that sees everything in black of the Demons or white of Amshasbandan.
3-2-1 Conspiracy Theory
In the black and white mental world that the poet and his intellectual followers live, everyone is an accomplice with "Shaghad" and it is only the poet himself and his leftist party who are "Rostam" of the time:
"O troubled poor man! Sing another song/ The lovely Pourdastan [Rostam] will not escape the half-brother's well/ Died, died, died/ Tell the story of Pour Farrokhzad now!" (ibid., 75).
And surely "Pourfarkhzad" was the same "Pir Mohammad of Ahmadabadi" for whom he wrote:
"O rarest of the rare men of the time/ who hasn’t been anyone as glorious and auspicious as you / A long time has passed but none as courageous/ as you have come to the battle front" (Arghanoun, 102).
We see how "emotionally" the poet-intellectuals of the 1950s judge a "political matter" that is extremely "rational" and what "mythical" sympathies they have for Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh.
In Akhavan’s view of existence and man after the Iranian Constitutional Movement, mythical thought forms the predominant feature of the content and style of his poetry. As an example of a prominent Iranian poet-intellectual, he uses metaphor instead of history in the axis of substitution, and replaces the reality of the basis of Iran, with all its good and bad, with its exemplary and sacred past. In this way, what fails is the independent and mature thought that is the legacy of Kant and the rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment. With Akhavan's poetry, the audience cannot see tradition from a modern perspective. On the contrary, this tradition and above all the poet's mythical view leaves no room for the experience of Iranian modernity. In this essay, by highlighting the vulnerable areas of Akhavan's mentality and language, the author aims to take his poetry as a testimony to the failure of that anti-mythological wisdom that at the threshold of modernism is still insisting on its ancient past.
Akhavan Sales, Mehdi (2014), Arghnoun (Arganon), 13th edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Zemsatn
Akhavan Sales Mehdi (2004), Az in Avesta (From this Avesta), 14th edition, Tehran: Nashr -e-Zemsatn.
Akhavan Sales, Mehdi (2004), Akhar-e-Shahnameh, (The End of Shahnameh), 18th edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Zemsatn.
Akhavan Sales, Mehdi (2015), Zemestan (Winter), 23rd edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Zemsatn
Ershad, Mohammad-Reza (2008), Gostareh Ostooreh (The Scope of Mythology), Second Edition, Tehran: Hermes Publications.
Spinks, Lee (2008), Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Reza Vali-yari, first edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Markaz
Adorno, Theodor (2014), The Jargon of Authenticity, translated by Siavash Jamadi, third edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Ghoghnoos
Adorno, Theodore, Horkheimer, Max (2016), Dialectic of Enlightenment, translated by Murad Farhad-Pour, Omid Mehrgan, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Hermes
Allen, Graham (2014), Roland Barthes, translated by Payam Yazdanjo, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Markaz.
Allen-Segal, Robert (2014), Mythology, translated by Farida Farnoudfar, third edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Basirt.
Amouzgar, Jhaleh (2008), Zaban, Farhang, va Ostooreh (Language, Culture and Mythology), first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Moin
Barahni, Reza (2008), Tala Dar Mes (Gold in copper), second volume, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Zaryab
Barahni, Reza (2008), Tala Dar Mes (Gold in copper), third volume, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Zaryab
Berman, Marshall (2008), The Experience of Modernity translated by Murad Farhadpour, 6th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-tarh-e-no
Bahar, Mehrdad (1378), Az ostooreh ta Tarikh (From History to Myth), 6th edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Cheshme
Bahar, Mehrdad (1378), Pajoohesh dar asarit Iran (Research in Iranian Mythology), 7th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Agah
Rosenzweig, Franz (1377), Tragedy, translated by Murad Farhadpour, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Soroush
Zabardast, Iraj (2014), Armaghan Doost, (Souvenir of a Friend) first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Negah
Sattari, Jalal (1366), Ramz -o-masal dar ravankavi (Code and Parable in Psychoanalysis), first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Toos
Sattari, Jalal (1378), Ramz andishi va Horar-e-ghodsi, (Mysticism and holy art), second edition, Tehran: Nashre-emarkaz.
Sattari, Jalal (2008), Osttoregi va fahikhtegi, first edition, Tehran: third edition.
Sarkarati, Bahman (2013), Sayehay-e-shekarshodeh (Hunted Shadows), third edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Tahori
Soher, Robert, Michel, Lovi (2013), Arganon, 2, Romanticism, translated by Yusuf Abazari, first edition, Tehran: Publications of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Education.
Shamlou, Ahmed (2013), Majmoo-e-Asar (collection of works), first book: Poems, second edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Negah.
Shaygan, Dariush (2011), Afsoon Zadegi Jadidm, (New Enchantment), translated by Fateme Valiani, third edition, Tehran: Farzan Publications.
Shaygan, Dariush (2013), Bothay-e-zehni va khatereh-e-azali (mental idols and eternal memory), second edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Farzan.
Shariat-Kashani, Ali (2013), Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Literature, second edition, Tehran: Nazar Publishing House.
Shafiei-Kadkani, Mohammad-Reza (2008), Shams Tabriz Ghazliat, first volume, first edition, Tehran: Sokhon Publications
Shafiei-Kadkani, Mohammad-Reza (1390), Ba cheragh-oayneh (With a lamp and a mirror), first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Sokhon
Shafiei-Kadkani, Mohammad Reza (2019), Halalt-o-maghamt m omid(Statuses and positions), first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Sokhon
Zamiran, Mohammad (2009), Gozar az Jahan osttoreh befalsafeh (transition from the world of myth to philosophy), third edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Hermes
Ferter, Luke (2012), Louis Althusser, translated by Amir Ahmadi-Arian, second edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Markaz
Farhadpour, Murad (2017), Sher-e-modern, Modern poetry, 4th edition, Tehran: Bidgol Publishing
Fraser, Robert (2014), Golden Bough, translated by Kazem Firouzmand, 8th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Agah.
Kakhi, Morteza (1379), Bagh Bi-Bargi, 2nd edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Zemestan
Cassirer, Ernest (2014), Language and Myth, translated by Mohsen Talasi, third edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Nilofar.
Cassirer, Ernest (2015), Philosophy of Enlightenment, translated by Yadullah Moqan, 4th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Nilofar.
Cassirer, Ernest (2019), The Myth of the State, translated by Yadullah Moqan, 4th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Hermes
Cassirer, Ernest (2019), The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, translated by Yadullah Moqan, 6th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Hermes
Campbell, Joseph (2015), Life in the Shadow of Mythology, translated by Hadi Shahi, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Dostane
Kövecses, Zoltán (2013), Metaphor: A Practical Introduction, translated by Shirinpour-Ebrahim, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Samt
Cohen, Josh (2017), How to Read Freud, translated by Saleh Najafi, 4th edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Ney
Langroudi, Shams (1378), Tarikh-e-tahlili Sher-e-no (Analytical History of Modern Poetry), second volume, second edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-markaz
Levi-Strauss, Claude (1376), Mythology and Meaning, translated by Shahram Khosravi, first edition, Tehran: Central Publishing.
Levi-Broil, Lucin (1400), Mental Functions in Backward Societies, translated by Yadullah Moqen, fifth edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Hermes
Monk, Ray (2017), How to Read Wittgenstein, translated by Homayun Kaka-Sultani, first edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Ney.
Mokhber, Abbas (2016), Mabani-e-ostooreshenasi (Fundamentals of Mythology), 1st edition, Tehran: Nahr-e-Markaz.
Moreno, Antonio (1376), Jung, Gods and Modern Man, translated by Dariush Mehrjooi, 1st edition, Tehran: Nahr-e-Karzan
Moqen, Yadullah (2019), From pre-modernism to post-modernism, first edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Nilufar.
Moqen, Yadullah (2019), Shivehay-e-andishidan (Ways of Thinking), First Edition, Tehran: Nashr-e-Nilufar
Nietzsche, Frederic (2016), The Birth of Tragedy, translated by Reza Valiyari, first edition, Tehran: Naşhr-e-Markaz
Harland, Richard (2016), Literary Theory from Plato to Barthes: An Introductory History, translated by Behzad Barkat, Tehran: First Edition: Entesharat Mah-o-Khurshid
Hillens, John (2008), Persian Mythology, translated by Jale Amoozgar-Ahmed Tafzali, 14th edition, Tehran: nashr-e-Cheshme
Eliade, Mircea (2004), The Myth of Eternal Return, translated by Bahman Sarkarati, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Tahori
Eliade, Mircea (2008), The Visions of Legends, translated by Jalal Sattari, second edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-Toos
Yang, Julian (2015), Philosophy of Tragedy, translated by Hasan Amiri-Aria, first edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-ghoghnoos
Jung, Carl Gustav (2012), Man and His Symbols, translated by Mahmoud Soltanieh, 9th edition, Tehran: Entesharat-e-jam