The Invisible Deep Rivers

Written by: Mostafa Fa'alehgari

Translated by: M.B. Khoshnevisan


 The oral literature of each period or day is like the flowing waters in the deep land, the flowing rivers that sometimes remained no name or address on the great soil of a land. No doubt, the oral literature of the sacred defense period emerged five months after the all-out invasion of Saddam's army (backed by all the world's militarists of that time). The beautiful and ancient city of Qasr-e Shirin was pounded five months before the aggression of Saddam's army against the Iranian soil. The people of Qasre- Shirin still did not know the whistle of a canon shell. They thought that it was the siren of an ambulance. Most people didn't know that a horrible war had been waged and that those bursting sounds came from the canon shells of the tanks which were launched from that side of the White Mountain so that they feared little by little and run out of the city. The oral literature of the Iranian people came out of those first deadly ambulance sirens.  This oral literature emerged from that initial surprising period, in the streets and shops, in the state buildings, in the tea houses and everywhere the people came and went, and became the literal river of the sacred defense in the Iranian culture. Stepping the generals of Saddam's army to Qasr-e Shirin and Khoramshahr appeared the earthquake of a nationwide national, religious, revolutionary movement. This resurrectionary earthquake had come after the resurrectionary revolution in Bahman 1357 (February 1979). Once again the people of Iran were united and consentaneous. They gave shelters to those who had been displaced as a result of war. They hoped to pull out the soldiers and generals of Saddam army fed with US dollars so that they might release themselves from Imperialism and Militarism. Without any hesitation, the oral literature of the Iranian people's eight-year resistance and standing is one of the most unique cultural reserves of the history of all human resistance against the invasion and aggression of man-eaters.
We can interpret unlimitedly from this cultural source. But I should warn that our ability and interpretations from this deep river is accomplished when it is not being late. The oral literature of the sacred defense has been emerged in a period that if we don't do anything for its amass and recovery, it'll be forgotten. Everybody must rise up, all those who have ears for hearing, hearts for breaking, hands for writing and thoughts for recovering, and both realize and recover the deepness of the oral literature of the sacred defense. The state cultural officials, historians, novel writers, screenwriters must introduce the oral history of the amazing period of the people's eight-year resistance against a full-armed military. They should hurry up. The generations of those years are becoming old. Many of the elders of the sacred defense period are not among us anymore and we really miss them. We should be aware. Many people who are earning their living secretly inside our community don't know a phenomenon named oral literature. This is up to us to introduce it to them. They in the plants, farms, on the seas, rivers and plains, in the street towns, and maybe in the capital, in the schools and universities and everywhere in this large Iran want to sit and write beside this deep river.
Historical notes, short stories, novels, dramas, features and telefilms and great musical works will emerge from the deepness of the invisible rivers of the Iranian people's sacred defense oral literature, if those who can do anything rise and start working. When Tolstoy, the ever greatest author of western modern literature found the pre-shocks of tendency towards writing "War and Peace", he did not merely relied on or contented himself with his own bravery when serving in the army for artistic writing of the Russian people's resistance against the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte army. This Russian author went among the people and delivered speeches about this resistance beside their rivers. Now the people remember the greatness of that epic. The author of "War and Peace" both heard his whisper and accepted deeply their uproar.
His work was so immense that the great epic of "War and Peace" became an integral part of the oral history and literature. And this popular, national and human epic has incited and will incite not only the revolutionary intellectuals, not only the advocates of fiction, not only the lovers of the unique literature of Russia's 19th century, but also many of the world's ordinary and elite story lovers, book readers and researchers. Backing the remained literature of a period, an event as well as about a special figure has helped many great artists. Two historical novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "The Autumn of Patriarch" caused realistic power by sitting in the corner of the rivers of the people's oral literature. For informing more about the horrible and legendary event of massacring the workers of Columbian banana farms in 1928, he listened to many of those who still remembered well the massacre of farm workers and some of them were both supportive of the killers and some had heard the horrible sound of executions by shooting and had their stories in mind so that someone like Gabriel Garcia Marquez came and listened to. The invisible rivers of the oral literature have filled the lagoons, lakes and seas of all arts. The glorious movies of "John Ford" about the American history and life, and various epics of "Akira Korosava" about the history and culture of Japanese people are full of rivers of oral literature. 
Many books, movies and musical texts can be created about the eight-year resistance of the Iranian people. In order to discover the deepness and increasing the facts of theses artistic unborn phenomena, we must soon understand those who are among us and their chests are full of flowing rivers, the rivers which flow among us just one time and we cannot revive them and will die sooner or later. 
 The oral history of the sacred defense, deep, clear and invisible has been created in a period that if we do not rise up powerfully in order to find and save it, it'll be forgotten. Everybody should rise. Those who have ears for hearing, hearts for breaking and hands for writing and thoughts for artistic recovering should rise up.

Soureh Monthly Magazine/ No.36/ Jan, Feb, March 2008

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