chapter  6
A postcolonial reading of Simin Daneshvar’s novels: the spiritual and the material domains in Savushun, Jazira-ye Sargardani, and Sarban-e Sargardan
Pages 22

Using a postcolonial theoretical framework, I will analyze the “material” and the “spiritual” domains of Iranian society as represented in Simin Daneshvar’s novels, Savushun (Mourning for Siyavash, 1969), Jazira-ye Sargardani (Island of Wandering, 1993), and Sarban-e Sargardan (Wandering Camel Driver, 2001). In her novels, Daneshvar (1921-2012) creates a material domain that acknowledges and allows the influence of the West in promoting modernity, but juxtaposes it with a spiritual one that resists its intrusion. She also uses the spiritual domain as a literary tool to subvert state-sponsored narratives of national identity and hegemonic sociocultural policies. To show Daneshvar’s ideology-driven representation of the spiritual sphere, I divide her writings, taking a cue from Kamran Talattof’s model of the periodization of literary products based on their sociopolitical discourse, between Pahlavi and postrevolutionary works.2