عنوان مقاله [English]
Regional story writing is a well-known and independent branch of fiction writing in the contemporary literature of Iran. The first true regional story in Iran is The Dark Days of the Worker by Ahmed Khodadadeh Kord Dinvari, written in 1926. Later some other stories of this sort were composed in 1950s and 60s which are considered as the first organized attempts in this field. But regional story writing rose to a height only in 1970s and 80s when such great writers as Gholam Hossien Saedi, Mahmood Dollat Abadi, Ahmed Mahmood, Ebrahim Rahbar and Ali Ashraf Darvishian produced a plethora of such stories under five different geographical regions namely North, South, Khorasan, Azerbaijan and Kermanshah. Thus the present study aims at depicting the special features of the stories of Azerbaijan region up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, offering a critique of the literary schools before that and answering a major question about the common features of the regional stories of Azerbaijan that differentiate them from the stories of other regions and give them an independent identity.
The present study is a library one carried out based on a descriptive-analytic method and through content-analysis. After carrying out a critical study of the stories of Azerbaijan writers, collecting and classifying the necessary data, the researcher has come up with the common regional features of such stories. Some of the schools and classifications about the regional writing in Azerbaijan have also been critiqued, and weaknesses and problems of such schools have been highlighted. We have also tried to avoid the interferences, discrepancies and defects of the previous studies.
In the contemporary story-writing of Iran, there appeared about forty writers from the region of Azerbaijan, mostly from the city of Tabriz. About half of these are young writers whose works have been published after the Islamic Revolution of 1978, while the other half comprised those older writers whose stories were written in the pre-Revolution era. Most of these forty writers, however, have written historical and social stories, not necessarily about the regional and environmental problems of their time. Yet, in the regional and rural story writing styles of Azerbaijan in the time span extending to the year 1978—the time considered in the present study—three major writers, Gholam Hossien Saedi, Samad Behrangi, and Behrooz Deghan (Tabrizi), stand out. Saedi in the novels, Ball and Bial Mourners, Behrooz Dehghan in his short story collection, -“The Grasshoppers”-, and Samad Behrangi in his folkloric stories and those for children, have depicted the rustic life of Azerbaijan, the superstitious naiveté of its milieu, and the poverty of people in that region of great Iran. Applying a simple traditional style, Behrangi has written kids’ stories set in the villages of Azerbaijan and showing the sociocultural poverty of simple rural people. Similarly, Saedi intended to analytically relate the defective roles of poverty and superstition in the decline of human society and character. He wisely depicts the psychological effects of poverty on the minds and actions of his characters in Bial Mourners. In this novel, he presents a terribly ironic picture of the rural life of Azerbaijan which, at the same time, symbolically stands for the pains of the traditional lifestyles of Iran.
Although the writing styles of these three regional writers are different in story-telling, common among them is a wholehearted concentration on the region of Azerbaijan, and the presence of regional elements and aspects in their stories.
That is why, in studying the regional stories of Iran, we have put the three above-mentioned writers in the story-writing of the region of Azerbaijan—merely for their regional stories not because of their belonging to one geographical area—and separated them from the rest of Azerbaijani writers. In the same way, we have assigned the novel, The Giant’s Foot, by the writer Nasser Shahinpar from Tehran, to the story writing region of Azerbaijan as it is set in that region and its events focus on the simplicity of rural people and life, and particularly on a naming and appellation custom which is a common feature of the regional stories of Azerbaijan. As we know, lack of focus on regional writing styles, and mingling writers with both regional and non-regional writing styles are among the problems of the previous researches conducted about the region of Azerbaijan.
Attending to native and folkloric customs and beliefs, reproducing historical events and popular local tales, writing monographies and recording the customs and traditions of the people from Azerbaijan region, naming the characters after the local historical figures and focusing on the representation of the sociocultural poverty of rustic people and societies are among the outstanding characteristics of regional writers’ writings and those which identify the corpus of regional stories of Azerbaijan. In fact, such vast reflection of historical events, tales and stories from folkloric sources in the regional stories of Azerbaijan deserves great critical attention, and shows that such elements have been closely connected to the mentalities, feelings and deep-seated beliefs of the people of the region. This also shows the sensitivity of these writers toward the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identities and legacies of Azerbaijan land.
Showing the poverty and destitution of villagers of Azerbaijan along with lots of superstitious beliefs, presenting the lives and actions of tough and violent people, caring for ethnic customs, reproducing local stories and anecdotes and consulting historical events are among the common elements of regional stories of Azerbaijan which give such stories a distinct face. Through his traditional style of writing, Samad Behrangi, for instance, has written childish stories set in the villages of Azerbaijan focusing on the sociocultural destitution and people’s beliefs and customs. Also, Gholam Hossien Saedi has tended to the historical events and beliefs of the region, and through intermingling reality with imagination, penetrates the depth of the rustic society highlighting the destructive effects of poverty and superstition on the mental lives of people and in transforming human society and relationships. Behrooz Tabrizi and Nasser Shahinpar, on the other hand, look upon the people deeply entangled in superstition and destitution from different viewpoints. Despite their different writing styles and ways of narration, their wholehearted focus of attention on showing and highlighting the effects of poverty and dearth, superstitions and cultural lag of the villagers, and reproducing the local and folkloric stories and historical events of Azerbaijan connect their stories to each other. This same relatedness and common regional characteristics in the stories of these writers bring them together under the head title of “regional story writing style of Azerbaijan”. Thus, along with other regions of story writing in Iran, the regional story writing realm of Azerbaijan has an outstanding independent identity.