A Glance at the Existential Concerns of Azādārān-e Bayal through the Existential Psychology Approach
Among Iranian novelists, Gholam Hossein Saedi has managed, as a writer and a psychiatrist, to portray the manifestations of anxiety rooted in existential concerns (life and death, loneliness, and freedom and emptiness) in realistic and believable characters. Some critics believe that the presence of some of the characters and their actions in the works of Saedi, especially Azādārān-e Bayal (Mourners of Bayal), are misplaced due to the weak story. The author of this essay has tried to show that, contrary to this viewpoint, these characters and their actions can be explained with the existential psychology approach. In the story collection of Azādārān-e Bayal, loneliness arises from the anxiety of demise, and each fictional character of these stories, by denying death and the experience of its anxiety, chooses a certain defense mechanism against this inevitability in order to continue living. Saedi, with respect to his education and research among the people in west and south of Iran, is familiar with this kind of defense mechanisms and could depict them well in his works; unfortunately, however, he had no solution for the elimination and treatment of mental disorders and only shows this ugly and frightening turmoil with honesty and courage. He leaves the reader to his or her own, to reflect on this issue, and while affected by the atmosphere of the story, to think about one’s situation and the world around.
Literary Text Research, No. 78, 2019
31 - 54
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