Projects Tabl MagazineSeason 3 • Issue 9 •The birth of a hero (A)

Table of Contents

  • From Stewardship to Heroism - Maryam Roshanbin
  • The Hero as a Reflection of Culture - Iman Khodafard
  • The Inconvenient Time for the Hero-Creator - Nastaran Hashemi
  • In Wrestling a Hero is Born - Mohammad Mohaddesi
  • The Hero, the Product of Your Age - An Interview with Mahmoud Dolatabadi
  • The Ticket to Return to the Arms of the Nation - Saeed Anvari
  • The Hero’s Birth, The Crossroads of Past and Present - Meysam Bazani
  • The Metamorphosis of the Hero (Part 1) - The psychology department of the University of Richmond
  • Contradiction with the Text and the Gradual Success over the Business Situation - Shahrouz Nazari
  • Silent Heroes Engraved on Celluloid (Part 1) - Alexander Ovanesian

Abstract

The September 2022 issue of Tabl Magazine includes nine articles and one interview covering various topics.

Maryam Roshanbin’s article, “From Stewardship to Heroism”, explores the etymology of the word “hero”. Starting from Ancient Persian and Elamite languages, she traces the evolution of the term through Middle Persian. She also analyzes the use of “hero” in Persian literature, examining the works of many famous poets. Finally, she discusses the semantic changes that have occurred in the meaning of the word “hero” over time.

Heroes in literary works and culture, as the birthplace of the heroes, are often portrayed as a reflection of their author’s culture. Therefore, Belén V. Lowrey, in the article “The Hero as a Reflection of Culture”, translated to Persian by Iman Khodafard, explains how the heroes of the Iliad, the AeneidBeowulf, and the Song of Roland represent the challenges in their respective time periods.

In her article titled “The Inconvenient Time for the Hero-Creator”, Nastaran Hashemi uses Gilbert Durand’s method of mythanalysis as an artistic psycho-mythological approach to examine Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. The analysis is conducted in seven steps and helps highlight the artist’s creative imagination. The process involves seven steps, which are as follows:

The first step is to identify the artist’s most significant work and all its hidden mythemes.

The second step is to define the central mytheme.

The third step is to determine the features of the central mytheme and reach a narrative in which the myth behind it becomes the personal myth of the artist.

The fourth step is to trace the characteristics of the narrative specified in the previous step in the artist’s other works and life.

The fifth step is to conduct a narratological study of the personal myth’s existing narratives and choose the narrative(s) that best align with the plot or theme of the artist’s works.

The sixth step is to conduct an inter-mythical study based on the narrative(s) selected in the previous step to form a mythical network that leads to the transpersonal myth. The transpersonal myth motivates the imagination, leading to artistic creativity in all the artists of the Semantic Basin (Bassin Sémantique) belonging to the artist’s works.

The seventh step is to conduct a metatextual study in order to reveal how many times, how, and in what form the mentioned transpersonal myth has been referenced in other works of art and fields of knowledge and science in the given time and place.

Wrestling has held a significant place in the history and culture of Iran since ancient times. It has been intertwined with the heroic elements and the morals of chivalrousness and altruism. Amir Mohammad Mohaddesi has explored the role of the wrestler as a hero and champion/ warrior. The article “In Wrestling a Hero is Born” explores the lexical connection of wrestling with Iran, the role of wrestling in the birth of the warrior-hero in Iran before Islam, as well as its significance in Shahnameh. Furthermore, the article delves into the concept of “Futuwwat” and how it contributed to the emergence of wrestler champions during the Mongol era, as well as in the Safavid and Qajar eras.

In an interview with Mahmoud Dolatabadi titled “The Hero, the Product of Your Age”, Mehrak Ali Sabounchi and Sepehr Yahyavi discuss the life of heroes after the creation of the literary work in old and new Persian stories. Since the hero of the epic or the Chivalry (Ayyari) texts have a background, it is investigated whether the beginning of the heroes in Mahmoud Dolatabadi’s stories, from old to new works, was accidental heroization or had a background.

In his article, “The Ticket to Return to the Arms of the Nation”, Saeed Anvari explores the role of each member of the monarchy in the Qajar court. From the sultan himself to the prime minister as the detached intellect of the king, Anvari examines their actions and motivations, whether they be wise or malevolent. The article covers the events surrounding the issuance of the constitutional decree and extends to the time of Mossadegh and Shariati. It portrays the struggle between the “hero” and “anti-hero”, shaped by the collective judgments and emotions of the people.

Meysam Bazani’s “The Hero’s Birth, The Crossroads of Past and Present” offers a psychoanalytic perspective on the birth of a hero. Drawing on Freud’s and Otto Rank’s theories, Bazani proposes ideas about the universal theme and the understanding of the hero’s birth. He regards the Oedipus complex as the foundation of heroic models and highlights the dual representation of love and hate in the myth of the hero. He links the identification and the paranoic mechanism in such descriptions with the hero.

The psychology department of the University of Richmond has investigated the phenomenon of heroic metamorphosis, as described in the article “The Metamorphosis of the Hero”. First, the article identifies six types of transformation of the hero: mental, moral, emotional, spiritual, physical, and motivational. Then, it argues that these metamorphoses serve five functions: accelerating developmental growth, promoting healing, cultivating social unity, advancing society, and deepening cosmic understanding. The article also highlights the importance of having an experienced mentor to help create metamorphic growth while discussing both internal and external sources of transformation. Additionally, three stages or arcs of heroic transformation are described: from egocentricity to sociocentricity, dependence to autonomy, and stagnation to growth. Finally, the article examines three activities that can either help or hinder heroic metamorphosis and proposes implications for research into human growth and development.

Shahrouz Nazari, in his article “Contradiction with the Text and the Gradual Success over the Business Situation”, argues that heroes are not popular due to their lack of objective existence. He discusses the dramatic, visual, and gender aspects of the hero’s existence and critiques heroes throughout different eras while also predicting future heroes. However, he finally maintains that it is our collective mind that makes heroes and heroism believable.

In his article “Silent Heroes Engraved on Celluloid”, Alexander Ovanesian views the emergence of cinematic heroes through the lens of the camera and the release of the first film by the Lumière brothers in 1895. He categorizes the Lumières’ heroes into four groups based on how they assumed a heroic identity on the silver screen. Ovanesian reviews the works of cinema’s legends and asserts that the original hero never loses relevance. The second part of this article is available in the tenth issue of Tabl Magazine.