The Essence of Welcoming Memory-telling and Memory-writing is Orientation to Independence

Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


Hedayatollah Behboodi*

The nature of the 1979 revolution, which was won on February 11, prompted reactions among writers, artists, and those who were interested in entering this arena. The characteristic of being general and public of Islamic Revolution led to the fact that affected literature also possesses such characteristics. Therefore, if we want to introduce the first feature of literature of post-Revolution, we must pay attention to its general and popular features. That is why format of "Memory" was chosen and applied to express this great event of contemporary history of Iran and the world as well as describe events of the 8th year of Holy Defense.

The reason for choosing this format was its ability and capacity to become public; memory-telling and memory-writing are away from characteristics of heavy literary texts and manners and work tools that we use in some forms such as short stories and novels, and we can reflect events simply and even by conversational language and transfer to others. In my opinion, this feature, as one of characteristics and components of literature of Post-revolution era is very significant.

Another important thing to keep in mind in this regard is the great welcome of people toward memory-telling and memory-writing; as without exaggeration, the era after victory of Islamic Revolution can be considered as period of formation of a phenomenon called "Movement of Memory-Writing". Many institutes were established in this field and there were significant works, some of which were very successful and influential.

Another factor contributing to formation of style of literature of Post-revolution was the desire of people for seeking independence and nationalism. People, as creator of the revolution wanted to be its narrator themselves and to talk about and write about it. In this way, the independence obtained through Islamic revolution in field of politics, also showed itself in this way in field of literature. In my opinion, the essence of that people welcome memory-telling and memory-writing is the same seeking independence.

Before victory of the Islamic Revolution, we did not have anything called "Movement of Memory-writing "; memory-writings of this era were mainly related to statesmen, kings and literate people and author who did not form a large population. For this reason, these literary acts cannot be described as "movement"; the title "movement" is usually used when the subject matter has a pervasive and general aspect. In this regard, literary activities in form of memory-writing of pre-Revolution cannot be called "movement". The number of works related to this format in post-Revolution era is not at all comparable with pre-revolutionary works. It should be noted that in contemporary history we have not had an event as large and significant as the Islamic revolution; the event that involve all of Iran's geography and all people attend in it. Before victory of the revolution, two occasions of constitutional movement and nationalization of the oil industry were usually considered as important and influential events that if we evaluate their different dimensions they wouldn't be comparable to Islamic Revolution, and after that, eight years of the sacred defense. You cannot find a village in Iran that have hadn't  presented a martyr to Islam and the revolution during the holy defense; therefore, the Islamic revolution was a pervasive phenomenon, and for this reason, memory-writing and memory-telling as its result is also pervasive and extended; a matter that we don't find before the Islamic revolution.

What we know today as "Sustainability and Resistance Literature" is result of three decades of continuous activity. Today we have reached an acceptable position in this field, as we can show it to others and talk about it. As we move forward from the past, the memory-writing become more technical, specialized, serious, and they are scientific and prone to theorizing; the writers and man of letters who are proficient and expert in this work. As I pointed out, this growth hasn't been suddenly, and is result of three decades of endless activity and effort. I have just said somewhere, and again I emphasize that among various literary formats, this was "memory-writing" that could bring safely valuable legacy of the revolution (Islamicity and orientation to independence) from the past to the present, and I can hopefully say that it will also be transmitted to the posterity.

It should be remembered that we were not among pioneers in this field; institutions such as IRGC, to some extent Jahad Sazandegi, and some newspapers, have paid attention to this issue before us. But without prejudice I should say that establishing the Office of Literature and Art of Resistance has led to emergence of a literary stream that we now know as "Sustainability (or resistance) Literature." If this office were not established, we would not have today something called "Sustainability Literature" or if we had it, it would be delayed and did not arrive to where it is today. The Office of Literature and Art of Resistance was established in 1988 and several months after end of the imposed war. My deer brother Mr. Morteza Sarhangi had mainly contributed in establishing it. I would like to point out that the most important factor for continuity of the office was supports of Supreme Leader; He expended from his position to nurture and strengthen position of "sustainability literature," and if there was not support of Supreme Leader, the Office could not have traveled the way that has gone until today.

* it is text of remarks by Hedayatollah Behboodi, a protagonist writer in field of Islamic Revolution literature, one of founders of t the Office of Literature and Art of Resistance and founder of the Office of Islamic Revolutionary Literature, the author of "Description of the Name (Sharh-e Esm)" and "Alef Lam Khomeini" in an interview with Khorasan Newspaper, issue 20021, Thursday January 24, 2019, p. 12

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