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Paper Information

Journal:   LITERARY RESEARCH   SUMMER 2007 , Volume 4 , Number 16; Page(s) 93 To 114.


Author(s):  HEYDARI A.*
Although Molavi does not care much about the form of a story and accords only secondary importance to it (he considers it as a means of getting to the core of meaning), he actually uses very graceful and elegant formal devices. To see this for yourself, just take a look at the similar stories narrated by other poets and writers. As we know, most of the stories related by Molavi in his Masnavi come from other sources. No doubt, the main aim of Molavi in telling these stories is to arrive at various mystical conclusions, but in most cases he himself has modified them. The result is nearly perfect and aesthetically better versions. These adjustments and modifications come in different forms, e.g. factualized stories, universalized characters, irony, etc. A major adjustment characteristic of Molavi's stories is that he has made already static characters and protagonists, as portrayed in previously narrated versions, dynamic. In short, the protagonist and other characters in Molavi's stories grow more informed and gain further knowledge as the story progresses: at the same time as the problem gets resolved for the reader, it clears up for the protagonist who often gets insight into his own mistake in the end. This leaves a greater effect on the reader's mind, because as the protagonist gets more and more distant from ignorance and closer and closer to knowledge and truth, the reader having identified with him feels greater delight and pleasure, and finally through empathy thinks that he himself has gained knowledge or realized that he was wrong. This article compares similar stories told by Molavi and Attar. Some 42 of the 390 stories in the Masnavi have similar versions in Attar's work. The protagonists in at least 15 of the Masnavi stories undergo a major change as the story goes on (they gain knowledge or realize their mistake). This is not true of the principal characters in Attar's masnavis.
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