Volume 8, Issue 36 (2021)                   CFL 2021, 8(36): 191-218 | Back to browse issues page

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Jafari Ghariyehali H, Jafari Z. Narrative Elements in Fakhri Heravi’s Haft Keshvar. CFL. 2021; 8 (36) :191-218
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-44272-en.html
1- Associate professor,Vali-e-Asr university of Rafsanjan , hzer1345@yahoo.com
2- M.A.in persian Language and Literature
Abstract:   (372 Views)
Haft Keshvar is a narrative fiction by Heravi that includes an introduction, seven resting places, seven countries, and six journeys through some countries. The author discusses human virtues in the introduction and elaborates on politics, rulers, and their courts to reveal historical agendas of the time.  It is a 10th century AH masterpiece that embeds ethics and politics in a literary narrative. The present study is a structural analysis of Haft Keshvar that examines its plot, characterization, and allusions. In other words, it aims at extracting components of the story to see how they are structurally bound to each other. Our results show that stories mostly encourage intellectualism and rationalism. Moreover, the plot is resolved either by a wise man or character actions at the end of the story. Results also show that, despite their trivial approaches and settings, all the stories follow a certain integrated philosophy that form a certain mindset. All the stories are close-ended.
The Anthology of Persian Literature Volume 5 includes an entity on Fakhri Heravi’s Haft Keshvar (Safa, 1991). Moreover, Zekavati briefly recounts some tales and characters from different locations (Zekavati, 2008). Afshar reports on the first and second editions of the book (2010). Asadi (2017) compares the linguistic, rhetorical, and intellectual characteristics of Haft Keshvar and Mahboobalghalb. However, the study by Kadivar et al. (2020) is the closest to our analysis.
The present study examines narrative elements, structure, and the correlation between them in Heravi’s Haft Keshvar. In simple words, it seeks to explore the elements employed by Heravi in developing the stories in Haft Keshvar.
Heravi (2016) rewrites tales of other writers and adopts the themes related to the tricksters to achieve didactic goals. The basic ground on which tales in Haft Keshvar rely on is organized and simplistic. Despite their weaknesses, they all have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Most of the tales have a closed circuit of plot schemes that follow a linear timeline.
Characterization is highly important in Haft Keshvar. Characters are mostly static:
  1. Foil characters.
  2. Opposite characters who share the physical and perspective similarities and serve to transfer the author’s ideas.
  3. Ambiguous characters that are deployed solely to drive the story.
Haft Keshvar is a classical and didactic work where human function is depicted through opposing forces. Dialogue, in the form of questions or argumentations between major characters, are the most frequent narrative elements. They appear as monologues or argumentations. In fact, the dialogue contributes to the construction of events and helps to form individual identities through conflicts, expressions, attitudes, and interests. Fairclough defines dialogues as systematic development of themes that speak for themselves (Fairclough, 2000).
Time is naively ambiguous. A span of 30 days is set for the character to visit seven countries, and the other times are only for the main event to be developed. Setting of the stories are mostly realistic and only 25% of the story is fantasy. This indicates the fact that the author intends to validate the events. We should bear in mind that the characters do not need to be taken from real life, and they only need to be realistic and believable (Zigler, 1989).
Since Haft Keshvar is didactic, the tone and atmosphere are serious and in line with the overall theme of the story.
A close analysis of the narratives in the story reveals 8 cases of third-person point of view. In the remaining 46 cases, a character from the story narrates the events. However, the third-person point of view is dominant.
All the stories begin with an introduction to the setting of the events and characters to set the action of the story. Everything is logically presented and the reader is not bewildered. All the stories have closed endings.
Travelogues are either realistic, in which the author reports his own observations, or imaginary in which the author uses his own subjective perception (Razmjou, 2003, p. 212). Afshar and Afshary called this work Ibn Torab’s travel book, asserting its value as a travelogue.
Our findings show that the story follows a linear report. Nevertheless, there is an artificial rendering of events that give a closed characteristic to the work. All the tales have a beginning, middle, and ending ample with emotional and physical conflicts. Resolution of the events is mostly given by a wise man and characters’ actions. Characters are dramatically developed and named based on the ethics of the story. Dialogue is the basic tool to drive the stories. The book is a travelogue that reports the main character’s journey to seven different countries.
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: the critical study of language. Longman.
Fakhri Heravy, M. (2015). Haft Keshavar. Nashr Cheshmeh.
Razmjou, H. (2003). Literary genres in Persian literature. University of Mashhad Publication.
Scoles, R. (1974). Structuralism in literature: an introduction. Yale University Press.
Ziegler, I. (1968). Creative writing: Barnes & Noble, Inc.
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Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Folklore literature
Received: 2020/07/9 | Accepted: 2020/11/9 | Published: 2021/01/29

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