عنوان مقاله [English]
Simin Daneshvar (1921-2011) is the first Persian female novelist. She gained fame by her novel Savoushoun, and her second novel The Island of Wandering in 1993, which was republished for the third time selling 33,000 copies – very rare in Iran’s publishing industry. Daneshvar was greatly interested in literature and got acquainted with literature schools of the world, Western fiction, the novelists and experts’ opinions about novel, and the Persian culture and literature. The aim of this article was to find documentary responses to the following questions: “what fiction writing opinions did Daneshvar credit in her last years and the experiences of novel writing art?” “How these opinions emerge in “The Island of Wandering” and have impacts on it?”
Review of Literature
In subject and theme, novel is gaining a great deal of variety these days and creates different expectations of its implications in people’s minds. As a result, it coordinates with various theories and schools of thought, literature, and art and is affected by them. Hence, we can study, analyze, and interpret a novel from different points of view. Normally, these viewpoints come out as the sequence of artwork affecting and being affected by literary theories. The novel The Island of Wandering can be analyzed and interpreted from distinctive viewpoints as well. In this article, the novel will be analyzed from three literary standpoints summarized as the following:
A common literature school is realism, and a literary outcome from it is the necessity for commitment in the literary works. In this instance, novel is a reflection of a particular social circumstance, and the role of the novelist is like a mirror against a historical path. From this viewpoint, realism represents itself through the framework of a mirror taking inevitably the role of a historical responsibility, but with a distinction in the form.
From another viewpoint, a novelist does not write simply to describe an event, but rather he wants to add something to the world through his work and to motivate a reflection of the thought. That is, a novel is not an image of a real world but a reality opposite to the existing realities. Therefore, it should not be considered matched with the realities of the novelist’s time. It is an environment that has been created and colored with its particular conventions, with no addition or reduction.
From the third point of view, novel takes the position of mediation in the transaction with the globe – neither contrasting with it nor being indifferent to it – it is rather a device to make the world better and to discover the undiscovered things. From this perspective, novel contradicts with science and history. Science reduces the world to a state of only empirical studies, but novel tries to discover different aspects of the world through its particular methodology. What happens is not the nature of the world but the facilities created for man; it is what man desires. For this reason, the novelist portrays a world of objectives and higher values, and by recognizing essential living issues and understanding the capabilities and talents of man tries to invite the artful minds with a skillful language, and designates a paradigm for the ever renewing future.
To interpret the novel The Island of Wandering, it is crucial to benefit from these viewpoints, at least, because the novel has been designed to reflect history in the past, to portray a renewed world (spreading love and beauty), to cleanse morality, and provide framework.
The study used content analysis and comparison. In the first place, the content of The Island of Wandering was analyzed and then the methodology of using the elements and details of these contents was examined. The conclusion was that Daneshvar has utilized in her novel some newspaper articles and portrayed some historical, social, and cultural realities of Iran. At the same time, she has combined her own objectives and imaginations into the novel that you cannot find such a condition in real life. Moreover, she has sometimes added some details in the novel in which these details are represented far well than the historical samples. Comparing these three content categories with the literary theories and the viewpoints related to novel writing, it was concluded that her novel could be investigated from three points of view: 1) the novel, like a mirror, reflects the realities of history; 2) her novel itself is an ideal world against the real world; and 3) the novel is a mixture of both the ideal and real world of the writer.
Results and Discussion
The novel The Island of Wandering in some parts stands like a mirror against historical realities. In many various parts, we encounter with some historical realities of Iran and the globe throughout the novel. Daneshvar is standing in the 1980s in the novel reviewing the Persian community from 1943 to 1978 and creating a historical fiction – out of the newspaper articles and her own interpretations – with an ideal objective and prosperity of mankind. She points to some historical, cultural, and social aspects of Iran and the world.
Throughout the novel, there are aspects that distinguish it from real conditions. Those aspects are:
The plot in the novel is about the constant happenings in the life of a girl, named Hasti.
Five historical characters are mentioned in a way in the novel that the borders between reality and fiction are mixed up.
The novel contains some fictitious characters not resembling the real samples, historically.
Some events are documented in the novel not found in Iran’s history.
As we put these aspects and some other details together, a new world is created having elements to contribute to the comfort and development of mankind.
The Island of Wandering is a historical, artful, and philosophical work which reflects, like a mirror, parts of events from 1943 to 1978 and the reasons for the Pahlavi’s overthrown. Besides, making use of an artful fiction, it creates an attractive and Independent story. Moreover, discovering and developing some aspects of available being, the novel stands between the light and darkness of reality and fiction. Convincing the reader that the novel can provide facilities to world, it reminds man of his capabilities and talents to make a better life and receive help from novel.