The Exile's Dream of the Lost Homeland

The Iranian writers and poets who, during the last 30 years, were thrown into the world of exile and forced to continue their private and professional life in new and often unfamiliar surroundings, have reacted differently in adjusting to the imperatives of exilic life. While political and philosophical tendencies have informed the reaction of some, the unavoidable pressures of life in a strange land have shaped the reaction of others. At times, the psychological strains have compelled a number of these to abandon writing altogether. Indeed, for a number of exiled Iranian writers and poets forced separation from their homeland has been no less than a virtual and irreversible death sentence. One may consider Ghalamhossein Sa'edi as a prominent representative of this group of writers and poets.

Confronted with the strains and stresses of a life in exile, some of these writers have begun to depict, in their works, and idyllic and dreamlike picture of the Iran of their childhood. While such a reaction might have soothed their inner pain, it may also have dulled their ability to perceive and depict the objective reality. Nader Naderpour could perhaps be placed in this category. A number of other exiled writers, however, have been able to adjust to their new life, and accepted the pain of separation from their familiar and beloved homeland as the price to be paid for a deliberate decision. In a process of mental projection, members of this group have been able to face the pressures of their new lives and succeeded in restarting their creative literary career. A most instructive example of such mental projection and transference could be seen in the works of Shahrokh Meskoob and specially in his Goftogu dar Bagh [Dialogue in the Garden], Safar dar Khab [Travelling in a Dream] and Mosafernameh [The Travelogue].

Ahmad Karimi Hakkak
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