Where is the “Intellectual World” of Literature?
An explanation of the purpose of “ Intellectual World” International Short-short Story Writing Competition
By: Alireza Mahmoudi Iranmehr
“Tell only those things in the language of story for which there is no better way to express”. Based on this basic principle of writing, story is a language for things which can be told best in this frame; things which may include philosophical, psychological, historical or metaphysical motifs but are unique in view of fictional experience. May be that’s why a great part of human perceptions have, in the course of history, manifested in stories. Stories about the labyrinths of mind, interior monologues, stream of consciousness, human mental faculties, ontological and illuminative experiences and so on are frequent in the world of fiction.
Literature is an internal reflection of human experiences with the world. The fictional images of Columbia in Gabriel Garcia Marquez works are more tangible and lovable than the real Columbia. Literature is a form of intuitive knowledge of universe which manifests its unknown colours and expands our dreams; dreams that enliven and enrich the reality. In this view, the old man in “ The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway can manifest internal powers of mankind in the same manner that the mythical heroes can.
Literature is the history of mankind for expressing things which seem to be inexpressible, either because they are too evident or because they are too complicated. Like a complicated story of one day in the simple life of a character or a story which talks simply of complicated philosophical ideas.
Study of the history of literature can show the evolution of mankind’s approach to himself, to the life and to the secrets of the universe. Different fictional forms can be traced back to the most ancient legends and prophetic sayings to the great novels of the 19th century. Therefore, a look at the history of human thought, provides an image of the history of fiction as well; a vast expanse starting from hieroglyphs, the Old Testament stories, the Semite, Aryan and Chinese legends, the divine books and ancient Greek tragedies and extends to the Divine Comedy by Dante, Mathnavi Ma’navi by Rumi, Ulysses by James Joyce and In Search of the Times Past by Marcel Proust.
By “Intellectual World” in the international short-short story competition of the same name, we mean the entire treasury that the fictional literature donates to mankind; stories which bring man closer to himself, to the nature and to the universe. Writing about the influences of the world and life on your mind is the subject of this competition. Images from sufferings, joys, defeats and victories as well as human reactions to these experiences are true examples of intellectual world.
Thus, although the word “Intellectual World” can be quite ambiguous, it is at the same time very tangible. All perceptions you have experienced by reading any good story, can be a form of manifestation of the intellectual world, because you have developed a reflection of the objective outer world in your internal mental world.