“The Presence of the Past” in “A Plant in Quarantine”

Document Type : Research Paper



As a contemporary fiction writer, Bizhan Najdi is less
appreciated despite the fact that his short stories are of significant depth
and deserve close examination. Through the poetic language, “A Plant in
Quarantine” creates a situation which provides a fertile ground to inspect the
relation between past and present. A deep analysis of this relationship is the
main focus of this paper. In this study, using the theories of Hegel, Foucault,
and Hutcheon concerning Historical approach, and provided with the literary
practice of Greenblatt and Montrose, the incidents and characters of the story
are put into the intricate socio-historical context in which the writer lived,
and then the active role of history is analyzed. The findings of the paper show
that the unpleasant presence of the main character’s ancestral past is the
cause of his predicaments. Such a reading of the story introduces history as an
active agent of the present.