Indeterminacy, Discovery and Polyphony in Houshang Golshiri's Short Stories

Document Type: Research Papers


1 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

2 Department of Persian Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahwaz, Iran


Houshang Golshiri is among the Iranian leading creative and imaginative fiction writers who managed to open up new horizons in Iranian fiction. Hence he could be claimed to be an innovative avant-garde short story writer with unique stylistic characteristics. Although inspired by fiction writers such as Alavi, Sadeqi, Golestan and Sa'edi in the techniques of narration, Golshiri nonetheless stands out among his Iranian peers in creating the sense of indeterminacy, discovery, and the adequate use of polyphonic narration. Thus, he may justifiably be called a well-established paragon of the relevant views and techniques employed by the preceding generations. On the other hand, Golshiri's style in writing short stories (in terms of polyphony), itself based on Bakhtin's dialogical heteroglossia and uncertainty, seems to be worthy of investigating from post-modernist and phenomenological points of view. The present paper uses such a framework to analyze a corpus of eleven short stories written by Golshiri. It is an attempt to show a postmodernist tinge through the presence of narrative indeterminacy and contextual polyphony based on Bakhtin’s ideas. Then through indeterminacy and polyphony Golshiri’s narratives are shown to reach discovery. This will lead the author and the reader to realize discovery and anagnorisis about the main theme throughout the story.