In the Beginning, Middle, and End There Was a Garden: Bahram Sadeqi’s Malakut

Document Type : Research Article


Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


It seems impossible to think of the Persian art without mentioning the significant presence of gardens. They are present in miniature painting, architecture, and literature. One of the modern works of Persian fiction in which gardens play a significant role is Malakut (1961), a novella by the modern Iranian fiction writer Bahram Sadeqi (1936-1984). The story of this novella begins in a “green garden” in “that pleasant moonlit night,” and moves through seductions in a garden of sin and death; it ends abruptly around dawn the next morning on the outskirts of the first garden with most of the characters either dead or dying. Moreover, there is a third garden which forces its presence upon the consciousness of the text whenever possible. Under the influence of his studies in Freudian psychoanalysis in writing Malakut, Sadeqi (1961) seems to have given gardens new meanings. In the present study, thus, the significance of the gardens in Malakut is studied in the light of Brooks’s rereading of Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1961) as a text concerning textuality in which instead of studying the author’s, reader’s, or character’s unconsciousness, Brooks considers narrative as an organism which, like human life, is shaped and governed by the drives. Accordingly, we argue that the 3 gardens which make up the setting of the plot of the novella, indeed, represent, respectively, life and death drives, and the return of the repressed garden.