Traces of Time: Image of the Islamic Revolution, the Hero & Martyrdom in Persian Novels Written in Iran & in Exile

Studia Iranica Upsaliensia No. 28

By: Behrooz Sheyda
August 2016
Uppsala University
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789155495770
196 Pages
$72.50 Hardcover


The present study explores the image of the Islamic Revolution, the concept of the hero, and the concept of martyrdom as depicted in ten post-Revolutionary Persian novels written and published in Iran compared with ten post-Revolutionary Persian novels written and published in exile.

The method is based on a comparative analysis of these two categories of novels. Roland Barthes's structuralism will be used as the theoretical tool for the analysis of the novels. The comparative analysis of the two groups of novels will be carried out within the framework of Foucault's theory of discourse.

Since its emergence, the Persian novel has been a scene for the dialogue between the five main discourses in the history of Iran since the Constitutional Revolution; this dialogue, in turn, has taken place within the larger framework of the dialogue between modernity and traditionalism. The main conclusion to be drawn from the present study is that the establishment of the Islamic Republic has merely altered the makeup of the scene, while the primary dialogue between modernity and traditionalism continues unabated. This dialogue can be heard in the way the Islamic Republic, the hero, and martyrdom are portrayed in the twenty post-Revolutionary novels in this study.