عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
Although Seyed Mohammad-Ali Jamal-zadeh is known as one of the three founders of contemporary Iranian literature in the field of story, it's not the only reason for his fame. He has also published a book named Iranian's Character in 1345 (1966) which has been read and referred much more than any book written in the field of national character, in Iran. In the book, Jamal-zadeh acts like a physician, not a literary man, to diagnose the pain of Iranian society which he calls ‘decay’. But, what is that decay which holds Iran from becoming as developed as the West? Surely it’s people character, Jamal-zadeh says. In short, it is because of our ethic that we are such undeveloped. Fortunately, western travelers, intellectuals and politicians diagnosed those ethics and told us about them. Then, the only thing we should do is admitting our weaknesses and following their instructions.
But this is not the whole story. We ask: what allows Jamal-zadeh to call Iranians with such negative and humiliating accent? Edward Said knows the answer: self-orientalism or self-orientalizing. Publishing Orientalism in late 1970's, Said created a new wave in the post-colonial studies tradition. He believes that Orientalism is not just an academic discipline, but also a discourse facilitating European countries colonization and exploitation over the East. In order to reaching this purpose, Orientalism had to create a new orient which hadn't any relationship with the real one; rather, it was something useful for colonizing purposes. It means that the Euro-centrism governing the orientalists had colonial benefits in developing the Orientalism discourse.
So, this essay aimed to test Jamal-zadeh's Iranian Character against the touchstone of Said's Orientalism and self-Orientalism. We will show that Iranian Character can be considered as a self-orientalizing book.