Narrative Fluidity: Intermedial Interpretation of the Persian Legend, Khosrow and Shirin: Abbas Kiarostami’s film Shirin, Fredowsi’s miniatures, and Nizami Ganjavi’s 12th Century Epic, Khamsa

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Wessam Elmeligi


This article aims at examining how adaptations functions smoothly with legends, as a blend of fiction and history, across various media. By studying intermedial interpretation, it examines the role of narrative fluditiy in facilitating this process of interpretation. Narrative fluidity is a narrative feature that may be defined as the authorless nature of the narrative and a structural simplicity of the fabula that keeps it lingering in state between truth and fiction. This fluidity, in turn, invites reinterpreting and rewriting, lending a fabula to re-narration across various media. A case in point is the Persian legend of Khosrow and Shirin. This study applies a narratological analysis of three textual and visual interpretations of this legend as examples of the role of narrative fluidity in an intermedial process: Nizami Ganjavi’s poem Khamsa, Ferdowsi’s miniature paintings, and Abbas Kiarostami’s film, Shirin.

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