عنوان مقاله [English]
Concurrent with the emergence of modernist and constitutionalist ideas in Asian communities in the late 19th century, a new literary style was formed that criticized the literary methods of the past. In this period, Iranian intellectuals sought to define a national identity and revitalize mythological narratives. In order to crystallize these thoughts, many intellectuals focused their attention on Ferdowsi and mostly drew on his Shāhnāmeh for their adaptations and imitations rather than other literary works. Because of his nationalist tendencies, Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī, one of the original thinkers of the intellectual movement of the constitutional era, focused on Ferdowsi and his Shāhnāmeh and adapted and criticized it in different ways in his work. Thanks to his acquaintance with Dasātīr texts and Western modernist political ideas, his various adaptations of the styles of Persian classical poets such as Sa’di and Ferdowsi and the reflection of these influences on his works, he has become an influential figure during the intellectual movement of the constitutional era, a crucial period of political and literary modernism of the late Qajar Iran. With the aim of reviving the national culture, Kermānī had a fresh approach to the Shāhnāmeh and adapted it with a great deal of skill.
This study explored the relationship between Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh and Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī’s works. Drawing on Gerard Genette’s theory of transtextuality which refers to the set of relationships between texts namely, intertextuality, paratextuality, metatextuality, architextuality and hypertextuality, the researchers demonstrated that Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī’s adaptations of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh have been primarily based on imitative intertextuality, hypertextuality and transformation. In his writings such as Sad Khatābeh (One Hundred Essays), Ayīney-e Sekandari (The Alexandrian Mirror), and Nāmey-e Bāstān (Book of The Ancient Times), in addition to adapting Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh, Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī adapted such Dasātīr texts as Shārestan-e Chahār Chaman (Four Gardens City) and recreated the mythological and ancient history of Iran. In his appropriations, he has reviewed, transformed and recast Iran’s historical-mythological events, and in imitating Dasātīr texts, he has discussed the ahistorical and unreal “Ābādyīān” dynasty. In transforming the Dasātīr texts, while imitating the patterns of these texts and appropriating and reusing Dasātīr terminology, he has even introduced new discussions as well as political and social criticisms using those techniques that are known today as Genette’s transformation, hypertextuality, and pragmatic transvaluation.
This approach was also observed in some of Kermānī’s adaptations and imitations of the Shāhnāmeh. In his adaptations of the Shāhnāmeh, he altered the order of the mythological dynasties of the epic and sometimes merged some of them (e.g. Kayāniān) with historical dynasties such as the Achaemenids and refurbished them with novel characterizations i.e. he revalued the hypotext repeatedly (transvaluation) and by modifying the value position of the hypotext regarding motivations and behaviors, presents the text more than before.
In his Nāmey-e Bāstān, Kermānī reviewed the events, status of the kings, and changing of the positions of ministers, heroes, military commanders and princes. In this rendition, he has criticized Ferdowsi’s account of the positions of characters such as Esfandīār, Zarīr, Tūs, Faribŏrz and Ārash. In this transvaluative transformation, the hypertext undergoes devaluation and the creator of the hypertext ridicules the hypotext.
In another instance of transvaluative pragmatic transformation, Kermānī engaged in devaluation of the hypotext and under the influence of Dasātīr texts, he mentioned a fabricated dynasty referred to as the “Ābādyīān” and argued that the reason for the omission of this dynasty in the Shāhnāmeh is Ferdowsi’s error in determining a five-hundred-year history for Fereydūn’s rule.
In his Nāmey-e Bāstān, Kermānī revalued what he considered not valuated or correct in the hypotext. To this end, he adopted different strategies; for example, using another variant of transformation (transvaluative pragmatic transformation with the technique of substitution and transvaluation), substituting historical and mythological figures with each other (e.g. matching Bahman with Artaxerxes, Keykāvūs with Cambyses, and Keykhosrŏ with Cyrus among others) and using the transformative adaptation of the text.
Transformative and revisionary adaptation of the text occurs more often than not in Nāmey-e Bāstān and Ayīney-e Sekandari. In this type of adaptation, Kermānī has copied the Shāhnāmeh’s mythological characters and integrated many of the heroes and kings of the Kayāniān into the historical period of the Achaemenids.
Another type of literary imitative adaptation based on Genette’s theory is imitative transstylization, (sameness) in which the adapting author grafts the hypotext’s style and techniques and imitates the original text with no variations.
In his Nāmey-e Bāstān, Kermānī is adapting the meter of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh more than anything else. In The History of Iranians’ Awakening, Nāzem-ul Eslām Kermānī quoted some distiches written in Motaqāreb Mothamman Mahzūf meter which he attributed to Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī. Frequent use of the Shāhnāmeh’s meter in Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī’s works indicates his literary imitation of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh and imitative intertextuality (sameness). This type of imitation may also be referred to as implied intertextuality in which the author of the second text does not intend to hide his/her intertext and for this reason uses signs with which the intertext can be identified and even its source may be located. However, this is not done explicitly and due to literary reasons, only an implied identification is deemed sufficient. Furthermore, in the section “Iran’s depressing conditions” and addressing Naser al-Din Shah, Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī used the same type of imitation.
Kermānī employed closed imitation, –in which a literary source is taken as benchmark and the adapted text is very close to the original and due to this closeness, no new question or motivation is formed in the mind of the reader- which is considered a type of explicit intertextuality, in his Se Maktūb (Three Compositions. Some of the distiches in this book are adapted with no or minor alterations from the Shāhnāmeh, which appear to be errors on the part of the scribes or his own different or erroneous reading of the original text. For instance, lines spoken by Rustam Farrokhzād and Sa’d Abi Waqās have no difference with those distiches in the Shāhnāmeh quoting these two characters.
In addition, in his Ketāb-e Rezvān, Kermānī employed another type of imitation which is using the original text’s material. In this type of imitation, some of the primary and key materials of the original text are adapted and recast in a different manner. According to Genette’ theory, transtextuality is defined as all relationships between one text and other texts. Although Kermānī does not quote any lines from the Shāhnāmeh in his book Rezvān which would fit different adaptation forms, he gives advice to those in power by adapting such key themes as “ra’yati-parvari” (benevolence to the common people) and “kheradvarzi” (wisdom) which Ferdowsi has employed for characters such as Anūshirvān and Bozorgmehr. Another example of this type of adaptation is using the adjective “dīvband” (hunter of demons) for Tahmoreth in both the Shāhnāmeh and in Kermānī’s work.
Instances of selective adaptation can be found in both Nāmey-e Bāstān and Se Maktūb. In this type of adaptation, the original text’s content and concept are not altered. A good example of this type of adaptation is Rustam Farrokhzad’s letter to his brother. In this case, Kermānī quotes 19 distiches from the text of the Shāhnāmeh in his work and except for the first few lines which are fake ones and apparently Kermānī was unaware of it, the rest of the lines are quoted in this work without alteration. In other words, an explicit intertextual relationship can be clearly observed. Kermānī in Se Maktūb has used the quantitative transformation of text reduction and has excised 53 lines from the Shāhnāmeh in the adapted section of his book.
The Constitutional era is known as one of the most influential periods in Iranian modernism; a period which is characterized by the surfacing of new literary and critical styles, imitation and adaptation of classical literature in the field of identity discourses. In this period, due to their profound perception of national identity and mythological narratives, the intellectuals began to analyze, explore and recreate Iranian national and narrative history in an attempt to build a new identity. In this modern discourse, Ferdowsi and his Shāhnāmeh are considered as the most important sources of identity. Among these writers, Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī wrote about Ferdowsi and the Shāhnāmeh and/or adapted him and his epic more than others in the context of national identity. He can be regarded as the most prominent appropriator and processor of the text of the Shāhnāmeh in the intellectual movement of the constitutional era. His numerous and various imitations and adaptations of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh reflected in his works are proofs to this claim.
This study has explored and analyzed the relationship between the text of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh and Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī’s works. Using Gerard Genette’s theory of transtextuality, it was shown that Mirzā Āqā Khan Kermānī’s adaptions of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh have been primarily based on imitative intertextuality (using the text’s materials), imitative hypertextuality and transformation (revisionary, transformative and literary imitation) which are observed in his books Se Maktūb (Three Composition), Ayīney-e Sekandari (Alexandrian Mirror), and Nāmey-e Bāstān (Book of The Old). Kermānī’s knowledge of Dasātīr has also been influential in his adaptations of this text.
In most of his writings, Kermānī has either talked about Ferdowsi or the role of the Shāhnāmeh in his nationalist writings or has adapted it in various forms. In his works, he has employed different adaptation techniques such as intertextuality, hypertextuality and transformation (revising and transforming the text, literary imitation, selective adaptation, closed adaptation and hypotext materials). Most of these adaptations have been used in his books Se Maktūb, Ayīney-e Sekandari, and Nāmey-e Bāstān. In Se Maktūb, he has mainly used literary imitation, transstylization of the Shāhnāmeh’s meter and literary style, closed imitation and selectiveness. In Ayīney-e Sekandari and Nāmey-e Bāstān, he has used textual transformation technique which is a type of historiographical rendition and appropriation.