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Something Separates Me from Other People : The Matter of Sexuality in Golshiri’s Short Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, 2019, Pages 9 - 15
Author(s) : Ronak Karami* 1

1 M.A student in English Literature, Islamic Azad University of Science and Research, Tehran

Abstract :
First published in a collection with the same name in 1975, Namaz Khaneh-e-Kouchak-e-Man (My Little Prayer Room) deals with the narrator’s biggest secret, which happens to be an extra piece on his left toe. Houshang Golshiri, the writer of the collection, is known as one of the most celebrated Iranian modern fiction writers, who influenced Persian prose during the 20th century by creating works of fiction that incorporated the literature of the world while maintaining its Iranian authenticity simultaneously. Until the constitutional revolution in Iran, same-sex relationships for men and women were implicitly recognized cultural practices, so long as they remained discreet and respected certain conventions. However, the 1906 constitutional revolution which introduced new literary forms to the country such as drama, novel, music, and film, was followed by many contradictions, inner conflicts, and extravagancies. Greater interactions with the west provided the ground for cultural interactions and made those Iranian visitors to the west realized that it would be the better way to dissimulate and disavow male-male sexuality in Qajar Iran as polite European society had same-sex relations in great disdain. Consequently, by the late Pahlavi era, Iranian society had moved away from statues-defined homosexuality to normative heterosexuality. Nevertheless, there was a gradual acceptance of the modern gay lifestyle in small, elite circles by the 1970s. Regarding Golshiri’s concerns towards controversial Iranian issues of his time, this essay aims to display the ways the extra piece may resemble the male narrator’s homo or bisexuality that makes him feel ashamed among other people in the society who condemned same-sex relations.
Keywords :
Houshang Golshiri, Sexuality, Iranian Society, My Little Prayer Room, the Extra Piece