International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Shahrzad and the Persian Culture in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake: A Chaotic “nightmaze”
Dr. Leila Baradaran Jamili

Novelists illustrate that linear assumptions persistently impinge upon their understandings of the cosmos. Whereas the nonlinear, disordered and dynamic system of chaos, or chaosmos and complexity theories can provide different perceptions, experiences, and interpretations that match the diversity of reading, as James Joyce believes, they cannot touch the Cartesian spring. Chaos, as a scientific, post-Einsteinian, theory unites science, literature, and culture by using modern and postmodern methods of interpretation. This paper discovers some proper links between cosmos and chaos in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939), argues the existing systems of order versus disorder and the unpredictability of reality. Joyce visualizes a very chaotic system or “nightmaze” by constructing his major characters and mapping them in the world of literature through random acts of storytelling in various languages. He creates a world in which the invisible borders of reality and fantasy merge in an odd unpredictable relationship. In the chaosmos outlined by Joyce, he reveals that Shahrzad, the central character of The Thousand and One Nights, is trapped in an unsystematized chaotic “nightmaze” that instead paves the way to remap her identity and keep her alive not simply in the Persian literature but rather in the modern and postmodern world literature.

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