Theatre Elsewhere: The Dialogues of Alterity

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In Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh[2] (شاهنامه) we have also seen the theme of exile in which Siavash (سیاوش) seeks asylum in Turan (توران): Siavash who hates war and bloodshed went to Jeyhoon (جیحون), the land of Afrasiab (افراسیاب).
However, his situation is different from that of Ulysses; he has no companions, nor does he try to find forgetfulness. Instead, he looks for a land where he is safe from persecution, in other words, he seeks freedom.

It is important to remember that in mythology, the journeying hero, as an errant traveler, seeks sacred purposes; he suffers pain to achieve immortality, while in contemporary literature the search by characters or author is not to discover divine reasons but for a better life. Milan Kundera is an example of the exiled writers who has chosen France as his homeland. He not only deserted his birthplace but also changed the language of his writing. The best description about Kundera is from Vera Linhartova, the Czech poet, who says: “I chose to live where I want but I chose also my language, because any writer is not caught nor imprisoned by a language. This is an emancipatory phase.”[3]


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