عنوان مقاله [English]
Comparative literature is a line of interdisciplinary research that studies the relationship between the literature of different nations. It examines the relationship between literature and other fields of study such as arts. Due to its international, cultural and interdisciplinary nature, comparative literature has been changed since its very beginning (Norblin, Sadeghzadeh et al., 2011: 324).
Postmodernism is a complex socio-cultural movement, which is based on the critique of popular beliefs related to the Enlightenment Age. This movement can be witnessed in all domains. One of the most important authors of postmodernism is Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). His stories are colored with various postmodern themes and techniques.
Following the West, Iran also witnessed a new trend that can be roughly called modernism. This trend entered Fiction from the beginning of story writing in Iran and continued in the 1940s. For instance, the Isfahan Circle became the host of writers such as Mohammad Hoghooghi, Ahmad Mir-Alaei, Houshang Golshiri, etc., all continuing and experimenting with the wave of modernism in various literary fields in their works. One of the most prominent figures was Houshang Golshiri (1938-2000) whose critiques, translations, and writings of long and short stories are important works of postmodernism.
2- Research method
This is a library research that uses a descriptive-analytical approach to comparatively study the obtained data from among various works of Borges, this research studied two, including The Library of Babel and Theme of the Traitor and the Hero. As for Golshiri's stories, Prince Ehtejab (Persian: شازده احتجاب) and The Night of Hesitation (Persian: شب شک) were comparatively investigated for their postmodern components.
In this research, three postmodern features (Indeterminacy, Pastiche, and Ontology) are examined in two works: The Night of Hesitation and Prince Ehtejab by Golshiri, and The Library of Babel and Theme of Traitor and Hero by Borges.
In postmodern novels, uncertainty and indeterminacy could be observed in everything. Story characters are ambiguous. Stories have no clear-cut ending. They sometimes have multiple endings or open endings. This uncertainty at the level of the narrative is so much that the ambiguity in the plot cannot be removed. (Shamisa, 2012:426; Lodge et al., 2007:156)
3-1-1- Uncertainty in The Night of Hesitation: This is one of Golshiri's complicated stories and the best example of this category of his works. The story describes a group of friends who discuss the possibility of suicide by one of their friends, Mr. Salavati. They remember the last night with Salavati and give contradictory remarks about that night and Salavati's suicide. No one is sure and does not agree with others” (Atashsoda, 2009: 474).
One instance of indeterminacy is the uncertain ending of the story in The Night of Hesitation where the reader’s encounter with the story ending has no definite result.
3-1-2 Indeterminacy in the Theme of the Traitor and the Hero: The author casts doubt on the location of a historical event, obscuring details that are very important to induce uncertainty to the reader from the very beginning.
Postmodern novelists use Pastiche to produce a combination of writing styles. In other words, they change style attributes or use them erratically. The purpose is to emphasize the incoherent and heterogeneous content of the story (Payandeh, 2011: 40)
3-2-1- Pastiche in Prince Ehtejab: One of the most obvious postmodern elements in the story of Prince Ehtejab is the Pastiche or adaptation. In Prince Ehtejab, Golshiri is strongly influenced by Sadegh Hedayat's The Blind Owl, from its characters and features to the show scenes and motifs.
3-2-2- Pastiche in The Library of Babel: Truth is the essence of a particular library or book. It gradually fades and expresses its despair of finding the truth in various ways. One way is converting library books into one another, without any certain rule or logic.
In modern times, man recognized the world around him with all its ambiguities, thus he was living in an Epistemological age. However, over time and after advancements in various fields of science, human beings became confused and could no longer know the world definitively. They could only think about the existence of changes and enter a period called Post-Epistemological or Ontological era.
3-3-1- Ontology in The Night of Hesitation: Golshiri uses various tweaks to change the interrelationships of different parts of the story. This changes the dominant element from Epistemological to Post-Epistemological (ontological) problems. For example, in the story of The Night of Hesitation, by putting together contradictory views and deliberately creating doubts about the possibility of Mr. Salavati's suicide, he imbued the story with enigma and mystery. Instead of relying on the available evidence, the characters use their imagination to judge and shift the possibility of knowing themselves and others towards the issue of existence. (Golshiri, 2010: 246-249)
3-3-2- Ontology in Theme of the Traitor and the Hero: after years of reading and spending time in libraries, Borges failed to understand man and the world around him, which was a modern epistemological approach. "No one can reveal the direction of existence to anyone else," he said. Because it passes through man and we only see its reflection in words” (Ghanebasiri, 1999: 248).
In this study, the postmodern components of indeterminacy, pastiche, and ontology were investigated and compared in Golshiri's The Night of Hesitation and Prince Ehtejab and Borges’ Theme of the Traitor and the Hero and The Library of Babel. Although the research method is based on the American School of comparative literature (regardless of direct influence), after a comparative study of some of the works of the two authors, and given the reasons such as the presence of Golshiri as one of the main members of the Isfahan Circle in the 1960s and the presence of translators of Borges such as Ahmad Mir Alaei, Ahmad Golshiri and Ahmad Okhov'vat, and their continued cooperation and later acquaintance and the publication of the article “I did not live to be another person” written by Golshiri and the similarities between some of Golshiri and Borges' works, we may conclude that Houshang Golshiri became acquainted with Borges and some of his works early in his professional activity and was influenced by them.