A Lacanian Reading of Sag-E Velgard by Sadeq Hedayat

Topics: Jacques Lacan, The Imaginary, The Symbolic Pages: 8 (2829 words) Published: June 4, 2013
Elham Narenji Professor: Dr. Rajabi Date: 1.11.2013

A Lacanian Reading of Sag-e Velgard by Sadeq Hedayat


This paper tends to critically apply Lacanian orders on Sag-e Velgard a short story by Sadeq Hedayat. Established on Lacan’s psychoanalysis human’s unconscious is highly structured like the structure of language that can be systematically analyzed. There are three stages in each human’s life that include the imaginary, the symbolic and the real order and each of them contain some significant features. In Hedayat’s story we are introduced with the life of a stray dog which is living a suffering life highly distinct from the life he used to have in past. To conclude this study aims to demonstrate the Lacan’s investigations on human psyche and how these orders can be applied on a short story which illustrates an individual’s life in a literary way.


Literature Review

Hedayat’s works had been always under the pressure of a many critics’ analyses. Due to the fact that Sag-e Velgard is one of the most noticeable works of him, many researches, around the subjects such as cultural and political criticism of the time that it was written and also criticizing the story based on structuralism, have been done. For instance two works of Homa Katouzian such as a research paper named Man and Animal in Hedayat’s “Stray Dog” and also a book called Sadeq Hedayat : the life and literature of an Iranian writer can be mentioned. Many books around the topic of criticizing Hedayat’s works have been published so far. As an example Mohammad Reza Qorbani’s book named Naqd va Tafsir-e Asar-e Sadeq Hedayat can be observed. Many works also can be noticed about Lacan’s theories such as How to Read Lacan by Slavoj Ziezek, Jacques Lacan: psychoanalysis and the subject of literatureby Jean Michel Rabate and alsoOutside the dream: Lacan and French styles of psychoanalysis by Martin Stanton. However, refer to many searches that were done, a work criticizing Sage Velgard based on Lacanian orders was not found.


Sag-e Velgard is a short story by Hedayat which narrates a dog’s life form the time that he had been living with his owner and having a highly ideal life to the time that he faces great changes in his life and all he seeks is getting back to that noble life. However at the end of the story we are presented with the fact that he cannot regain the joy and pleasure of that time resulting from a wrong decision that he has made. For a better understanding the famous story of Adam and Eve can be mentioned when they tried to eat from the forbidden tree and it was the reason for expelling them out of heaven. It is argued by many of the critics that Sag-e Velgard explores Hedayat’s own life in many ways: hence, it can be discussed that this story is not only a story of a dog’s life. However it investigates human’s reality. The aim of this paper is to criticize this short story on the foundation of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Based on Lacan human beings experience three different phases in their lives such as imaginary, symbolic and real order. The is that how Sag-e Velgard can be applied from Lacanian point of view? The following research has been done through library method. 2

Lacan and Human Psyche Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis and philosophy, and he has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst” since Freud. His yearly seminars in Paris, from 1953 to the year of his death 1981, influenced most of the French intellectuals, especially the post-structuralism philosophers. What Lacan argues is that the unconscious greatly affects our conscious behavior. He also believes that human’s unconsciousness, similar to the structure of language, is highly structured, and it can be systematically analyzed. He devices a three-partite model of human psyche; the imaginary, the symbolic and the real order. The first part of this...

Cited: Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.
Bertens, Hans. Literary Theory: The Basics. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.
Katouzian, Homa. “Man and Animal in Hedayat’s Stray Dog”. (PDF)
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