Document Type : Original Article


Department of Persian Literature, Islamic Azad University, Ardebil Branch, Ardebil, Iran


For the first time, a Swiss doctor named "Johannes Hofer" coined and used this term in an article he published to describe the mental states of two patients. This article was written on June 22, 1688. One of Dr. Hofer's patients was a student from the city of Bern who had come to Basel, and the other patient of this doctor was a servant. Both of these people recovered completely after returning to their families. Of course, in today's psychiatry, the correct term to refer to the problem of these patients is "adjustment disorder". Nostalgia and memories of the happy times of the past and complaints about the times and the present are topics that everyone always discusses. But this discussion has a special place in literature and poetry, and the expression of this issue is more profound in poets than others. This research attempts to address the position of nostalgia in contemporary literature and the works of the poets in question. Nostalgia is one of the most significant topics in Persian literature, which has not been discussed much. In short, nostalgia is a bitter and sweet inner feeling; They have defined objects, persons, and situations of the past, and its other meaning is a strong longing for the hometown.


Main Subjects


At the same time, cases of diseases and disorders were observed among the Swiss soldiers who were serving abroad. At first, it was thought that the mental-physical conditions of these soldiers might be due to physiological issues or travel to areas with lower altitudes. Although nostalgia was initially a medical term, it soon attracted the attention of philosophers [1]. "Haller" wrote an article about it in the Diberot encyclopedia, "Rousseau" described how a melody can become an epidemic inciting a strong desire to return to nostalgia among Swiss soldiers. Kant believed that nostalgia is not a disease caused by exile, but poverty is the cause of it, and wealth and social success can eliminate it.

A century after the publication of "Hoffer's" article, between 1789 and 1815, the conditions became such that the number of emigrants and soldiers far from the homeland increased drastically, and the number of patients diagnosed with "Nostalgia disease" at that time multiplied. But at this time, doctors, especially army doctors, had gained more clinical experience [2]. They had learned from experience how to diagnose this disorder and treat it with psychotherapy, thereby creating a pleasant reminder of past memories in their patients. "Baron Percy", one of these doctors, writes: The treatment of this disease should be spiritual and not medicinal. Experience has shown that prescribing drugs does nothing but worsen symptoms.

With the passage of 50 years, the term nostalgia disappeared from medical texts and was no longer used to describe patients' disorders. But at the same time, he gradually entered the world of literature. Nostalgia in literature was not a disease but referred to romantic feelings and sadness of being born late. Nostalgia is a French word (nostalgia) derived from two Greek structures nostos, meaning return, and algos, meaning pain and suffering. This word is mentioned in dictionaries as longing for the past, the sadness of being away, and the pain of distance [3]. Nostalgia, which entered literature from psychology in literary studies, refers to a way of writing based on which a poet or writer paints a longing and painful picture of the past that he has in mind or the land that he remembers in his heart in his poem or writing. In new literary studies, nostalgia is divided into two types: Personal and social. Based on the personal nostalgia of the poet or writer, he has an opinion on a period of his personal life. However, according to social nostalgia, the social situation that the work's creator considers is crucial. Each type of nostalgia is divided into two categories: Immediate and continuous. Instant individual nostalgia is the tendency of the creator of the work to depict a moment or moments from the past in his work. Nostalgia is a continuous individual in the carrier of the entire work of a poet or writer. A poet or writer affected by this nostalgia deals with his past completely throughout his work [4].

It should be noted that nostalgia is fundamentally different from memoir writing. Nostalgia in literature is a behavior that usually manifests itself unconsciously in a poet or writer, and therefore it has a stylistic significance. From the point of view of psychological pathology, "Nostalgia is a dream that originates from the powerful past." A past that no longer exists and cannot be reconstructed. When people face obstacles in life, their health is endangered, or they reach old age, their first reaction is to escape.

But in many cases, if they do not find a way to escape the objective reality, they wish for the past in which they had a glorious life. Nostalgia in the literary language of the romantic era and the works of Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, and Sartre took on different and different meanings. In Hugo's works, it means the burning pain of being away from the homeland. In Baudelaire's works, it means longing for foreign lands and longing for lost things, and finally, it was used in Sartre's works to mean longing or yearning for nothingness [5].

Nostalgia in the romantic literary school: The definition of romanticism is mainly based on the types of escape of romantics. Escape to dreams, the past, distant lands, and the imagination. The romantic generation is the generation of dreams gone in the wind, and their school is the school of disappointment. One of the romantic school principles is the principle of "Escape and tourism". "Annoyance from the existing environment and time and escape to other spaces or times, an invitation to a historical or geographical journey, a real journey or on the wings of imagination, are the characteristics of romantic works. The romantic writer flies the plane of thought to other lands and distant countries. Therefore, a kind of evasive desire for distant countries can be seen in romantic works, and all romantics go to the renaissance centuries full of emotion, glory, and bravery [6]. Another characteristic of romanticism is an interest in Christianity. The religion that the philosophers of the 18th century rose to oppose was revived among the romantics as a heart and inner need. In Bazmi's poems of romantics, the yellow leaves of autumn are seen more than the greenness of spring, and the sad song of sunset is more prominent than the cheerful songs of the morning, and instead of light, shadow and darkness rule. This sadness and thought resonate like a continuous secret pain in the poems of the romantics. The root of this doubt and despair should be sought in Christianity's same emotional and aesthetic aspects [7].

Victor Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo, the most significant 19th-century French poet, story writer, dramatist, and founder of the school of Romanticism, was born in 1802, but this young genius soon noticed the separation of his parents; Sometimes he had to follow his father to Marseilles, Crete, Elbe Island, and Naples, cities that his mother could not stay in for a long time when visiting them. Sometimes it was his mother who kept him with her in Paris. Therefore, Victor's childhood years were spent in different countries. In 1822, against all odds, Victor married his childhood friend Adele Fouche. Victor Hugo had two sons and daughters; Her eldest daughter "Leopoldine" drowned in the river, and her husband during an accident. And Adele Fouche also betrays Victor Hugo and falls in love with "Charles Saint-Beau". A young man worked with Victor Hugo; It was tough for Hugo to bear this, and all these issues affected Victor's life. Hugo also meets Juliet Drouet. Their friendship is formed from this meeting. Juliet's love dazzles Hugo, and at the same time, he plans to make a drama out of it in his way [8].

In 1868, his wife passed away. His wife had accepted Juliet's presence long ago, and she did not even think about Saint Beau. After 19 years of exile, Hugo is greeted enthusiastically when he steps on French soil. Hugo's detractors are strict about this romantic temptation that follows him until the last day of his life between the great face of the people and his philanthropic deeds, and even those who praise him, while being saddened by these movements, talk about his old age and secret relationships. Victor said goodbye to Darfani at the age of 80, and according to his will, he was honored without any sign of mourning, and everyone sang. Among his novels, we can mention the Poor, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Sea Workers, and the Man Who Laughs. Victor Hugo's romanticism is stronger in prose. In "The Man Who Laughs", he combines external ugliness with internal beauty. " Wretches " shows a man struggling with the wrongness of laws. "The Last Day of a Convict" reflects the unbearable sufferings and disturbances of a desperate and starving soul [9].

His four divans of poetry published between 1830 and 1840, i.e., "Autumn Leaves", "Songs of Dawn", "Inner Voices", "Rays and Blacks" are made of his memories, dreams, and body injuries. The differences between his parents and their separation from each other and accepting that his mother was less chaste than he thought were issues that strongly affected him. Mother's acquittal is one of the constant themes of his works. In Lucrece Borgia, he presents the analysis of these fantastic confessions. Hugo himself says this about exile and distance from his land: "Exile did not just separate me from France, it separated me from the earth, and there were moments when I felt almost dead, and it seems like I am living a long and superior life in another world." Hugo's longing for the Paris Palace of Justice, which was destroyed by fire in 1618, is beautiful: "Where is the special room for "Sigmund" or "Charles IV" and "Jean Sartre"?

Where is the staircase from which Charles VI issued the general amnesty decree? The stone slab on which Marcel, in the presence of the Crown Prince "Robert Duclerman" and the Marshal de Champagne, fell in which corner... the great hall of bazaar and jewelry, vaults and oval-shaped portals, statues, columns, a vast dome full of reliefs What is his fate? Where are the golden rooms? Where is the stone lion that threw its head down at the gate, pressed its tail between its legs, and looked humble like the lions of Takht Soleiman before the force of justice? What happened to the beautiful doors and windows?


Baudelaire has rightly been called the father of the new French poetry because he is present in almost all the schools of French literature and poetry that emerged after him. Charles Baudelaire opened his eyes to the world in 1821 in Paris. His family has a prosperous life. He lost his father when he was 6 years old, and a year later, his mother married a colonel. The ominous memory of his father's death and mother's remarriage never leaves Baudelaire at ease. Baudelaire loved his mother with a jealous love, and the marriage of his sensitive mother offended him and formed the first nucleus of a deep dissatisfaction in his institution. His stepfather wanted Charles to study law and become an official. The teenager's soul hates this subject, and this imposition causes him to fear the family environment more [10]. He is expelled from high school due to trampling his talent. Prosperous and heartbroken young man Anan gives his life in the hands of his heart and is led by his heart into a boring life mixed with scandal and frivolity. He suffers from syphilis, which does not allow him to die quickly. The unkind family thinks of a solution and worships him in the east. But the poet returns from this journey very soon and spends money with open hands and heart.

Again, the family is careful. For someone who claims that the world does not understand him, a "Supervisor" is appointed to supervise him. Then there is poverty, and the pressure of debt and failure follows failure; failure in front of those who claim to understand poetry, failure in front of people who do not understand his mystical thoughts, failure in front of the academy, failure in front of women, failure in front of playwriting, and finally premature old age and death (at the age of 46) [11]. The product of this life is a great poem but a troubled and complicated thought. The summary of Baudelaire's twisted and contradictory thoughts is as follows:

God's evil devil deceives people, and no one is safe from his bite. The conflict between a person and human society is caused by evil, and humans are never victorious in this struggle. For this reason, Baudelaire sees the lights as black and considers everything to be Agin's poison. Baudelaire does not surrender to a bitter fate. He gets confused during pain and suffering and fights evil with the weapon of poetry. According to him, in the world, evil is on one side, and poetry is on the other side. The enigmatic concept of "Flowers of evil" indicates the poet's overbearing and unyielding spirit. Baudelaire, like Hafez Shahbaz, is a high-minded and sedentary person whose passing has fallen on the bad side [12].

He wishes to rebuild a world that is so vile and evil. Baudelaire's thoughts are contradictory. The poet is sometimes pessimistic, sometimes optimistic. Baudelaire rebels against evil and his rebellion against others. Baudelaire's influence on the new French literature and its new movement is very significant. He was compassionate and strongly desired rare, original, and strange things. "In Baudelaire's poetry, the intensity and intensity of emotions and the hidden connection between truth and dream, and especially the music of words, are mixed and create an indescribable echo and reflection in the darkest corners of the soul. "Flor de Mal" collection embodies the period of spiritual suffering and evolution of Baudelaire's thoughts. The first part of this collection, called "Sadness and Ideal" is an internal experiment in which the poet observes himself as he is in real life. Still, he faces successive failures and feels incompetence, disgust, and sadness [13].

In the second part called "Parisian Paintings", he turns his gaze toward the society surrounding him. Still, he sees that even the noblest societies show him nothing but misery. In the third part, called "Wine", he touches on artificial paradises. In the fourth part, called "Bad Flowers", here too, badness and lust make the soul more wandering and unhappy." Baudelaire is constantly anxious and bored among the opposite aspects of his thought, and this contradiction has shaken. Baudelaire's intellectual foundation and reason can be found in his society and his environment. The sensitive Baudelaire opened his eyes to the world 6 years after the fall of Napoleon and the disorderly situation in Europe during this period. Thousands of dead and burnt women, the utopia had fled to distant horizons, and most of the people had lost their religious hopes. Baudelaire's family situation and childhood crises also had an effect, and all of these completely crushed Baudelaire's sensitive soul, which is why Baudelaire is constantly fluctuating and anxious between the two poles of boredom and boredom perfection, sadness, and ideal [14].

Sartre: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), a French writer who is one of the leaders of the school of existentialism, became famous with the publication of the novel "Nausea". Sartre's writing method assumes that evils and blackness should be shown as clearly and prominently as possible so that the seeker is afraid of them and does not surround them. Sartre believes that the purpose of literature and art is to change the world because what should be changed and transformed is nothing but evil. So what the artist should show is evil and impurity. He believes: "We do not want to be ashamed of what we write, and we do not want to use our pen in the service of anything and nothing, and if we had such a wish, we would not succeed.

Every writing contains a meaning, even if this meaning is very far from what the author intended." Sartre's works, especially his first works, are full of blackness, ugliness, and horror. The atmosphere of these writings, like Kafka's writings, is painful and terrifying, and all of these are for learning lessons and rejecting evil. Sartre went to the ugliness like a careful inspection and revealed them in his stories. The heroes of Sartre's stories see the world as black, and the things they see are dull. Everywhere they turn, there is little and dark luck. Most of them are unrestrained, careless, and gloomy people. "The novel's hero does not find refuge in the turmoil of life. The result of his life is nothing but hesitancy and fruitlessness. The hero of "The Wall" is a prisoner sentenced to death. Death is not far away. One thing can save him, and that is betrayal [15].

The heroes of the "Closed doors" shows Hell sees each other in each other's existence, which is a nuisance to the other. The hero of "Contaminated Hands" is forced to murder because of social duty. Then he gives up on this work, and while giving up, he kills a person only because of jealousy caused by sexual feelings." For this reason, protests against Sartre were raised from all sides. The key to Sartre's literary criticism is that evils should be shown as prominently as possible so that they do not change. In explaining and defending his literary school, Sartre said: "If what I have shown creates fear and hatred, avoid it, and you can avoid it. Create a world free of filth and evil because you are capable of this. If people ruined their life stories, they wanted to do so, and no force forced them."

Part of the novel "Nausea"

"... and I was depressed, depressed, obscene, devouring while throwing dark thoughts here and there. I was also a lot; fortunately, I did not feel it, I understood it more, but I was uneasy because I was afraid to feel vague, I dreamed of killing myself to destroy at least one of these useless beings, but even my death was too much [16].

Contemporary Literature

The constitutional revolution set the time for the beginning of contemporary literature. "The ideology of the constitutional revolution itself - with all its good and bad things - had its roots in the West anyway, and the main aspect of the literary-historical flow of our country from the constitutionalism to the Islamic Revolution was not inspired by the West. All western schools were deposited in literature after constitutionalism. And it produced good or bad products." The constitutional movement resulted from familiarizing Iranians with Europe, freedom, and human civil rights. "The engine of style change is socio-political and economic change and developments. The constitutional revolution caused a change in thought and way of life, and as a result, a change in vision, language, and expression, and it gave birth to new Persian literature. The need to pay attention to the issues of the modern world in Iran started when the chapter of familiarity and commuting with outside Iran, especially Europe, was opened to this land. Abbas Mirza, who saw Iran's lagging behind European countries, took measures, one of the most important of which was sending students abroad. Abbas Mirza wanted to modernize Iran, so he sent some people abroad to study. Upon their return, printing houses, newspapers, schools, translation, theater, and story writing were found in Iran [17].

The spread of the printing industry as the primary means of information was influential in the rapid and widespread transmission of ideas. Mirza Saleh Shirazi, a member of this expedition group, established the first printing house and newspaper in Iran. The translation and publication of Farangi's books and works also made people more familiar with global developments and familiarity with the West. Also, the establishment of Dar al-Fonon School played a significant role in disseminating and expanding new knowledge. With increased literacy and social knowledge, people understood their political and social rights. Literature also turned to the people and made the reflection of social values the face of its efforts. The literature of this period was no longer exclusive to a particular stratum or group but belonged to the general public. "Constitutional poetry contains issues such as freedom, homeland, women, the West and Western industry, social criticism, and to a large extent avoiding the influence of religion and lack of Sufism. Talking about freedom and saying this word starts with constitutionalism. Before the constitution, the concept of freedom, synonymous with Western democracy, did not exist. One of the crucial issues of this course is the issue of women and their education, which is discussed. Also, one of the branches of literature with the name of worker's literature emerges in this period.

New poem

"Although since the constitutional period, due to the emergence of new political and social space and ideas and the need to use literature as a language to express this space and its demands, a transformation in terms of content had occurred in poetry and new themes replaced traditional clichéd themes. He had given that he had no background in Persian poetry, but more basic and better steps should be taken so that the new age could find its "new poetry". Because of the strong shock that the Iranian society had suffered and the new world that was opened to it with the concepts of freedom, progress, civilization, and inevitably demanded a poetic language and its poet. Just as Rodaki is called the father of Persian poetry, Nima Yoshij, the poet of this period, is also called the father of new poetry. By opening a new eye and language, Nima brought Persian poetry to a new way of creation that was suitable for this time and its needs [8]. What is important in discussing the new style of poetry is that this time, both the language and form have changed, as well as the thought and vision. New poetry has many ambiguities and difficulties, which the following points can explain. First, this ambiguity is in the essence of that space because today's poet intends to penetrate a world hidden under a veil of our beliefs. If this world is discovered, it will be mysterious and ambiguous for strangers. In today's poetry, new poetic expressions are seen more than ever, and the newer and more advanced way of expression indicates that the poet has paid more attention to brevity and compactness. Another of these reasons is that the poet considers all the creatures and objects around him to be alive and gives them personality and talks to them and accompanies them. Therefore, it can be said: "New poetry is an expression of the realities of today's life, and in this expression, it is necessary to talk about new thoughts, pains, and wanderings of today's generation and what makes this generation water." Accepting such a necessity allows the poet to tie the knots and move forward wherever the constraints of classical poetry block the flow of his poetry [9].

Some differences between new and traditional poetry

New poetry usually has a unity of theme, and a specific theme can be narrated from it, while traditional poetry usually contains different issues and topics. Traditional poetry usually expresses a theme on a horizontal axis in one or sometimes two or three stanzas. The vertical axis is essential in new poetry. The poet can freely continue the story as necessary. New poetry is more objective than traditional poetry. You can touch and feel the issues raised in it and know its environment. In traditional poetry, there is a group and so-called typical view. For example, the view of mystical poets and madam poets. But in new poetry, the poet has individuality [2].

We usually understand traditional poetry piece by piece, that is, verse by verse. But in new poetry, its parts cannot be understood until the poem is understood as a whole. In traditional poetry, along with lofty themes and thoughts, there are not a few criticisms able thoughts. Even mysticism, one of the privileged aspects of traditional poetry, is criticized from some aspects. Witnessing the game that is abundant in traditional literature, insulting women, eulogizing, etc., none of these defects are found in new poetry; women are respected, and there is no mention of witnessing the game. Today's poet may not be as virtuous as the old poet, but he is intellectual. And he has an open and critical view of the issues surrounding himself and the world. In new poetry, new philosophies, attitudes, and worldviews, such as feminism, postmodernism, and existentialism, are discussed. In contrast, traditional poetry is based on old philosophies and attitudes, such as Mu'tazeli and Ash'ari teachings.


By examining nostalgia, the following results can be pointed out: Nostalgia in new poems can be seen in nostalgia for ancient times, nostalgia for homesickness, nostalgia for childhood, and nostalgia for being away from a loved one. In other words, the nostalgia of being away from the beloved, the nostalgia of despair and emptiness, and the nostalgia of childhood and adolescence can be seen. Despite the similar concepts of nostalgia, it can be said that each of these poets emphasizes one of the concepts of nostalgia more than the others. A short word about the new poetry is that: "Today's poetry is not a word poem, it is not a lyrical poem, it is not a slogan, it is not an abstraction, it is not a pure image or a show, but it is the result of the efforts of those conscious poets who The medium of presenting new poetic forms and forms in terms of strengthening the foundations of new poetry as well as the combination and organization of mental and external images, in the natural flow of related words, has taken a stable and lasting structure.

Citation K. Kariminasab*, Investigating the Issue of Nostalgia in Contemporary Poems. Int. J. Adv. Stu. Hum. Soc. Sci. 2023, 12 (2):130-137.

Copyright © 2023 by SPC (Sami Publishing Company) + is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC BY)  license  (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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