The current political climate of confrontation between Islamistregimes and Western governments has resulted in the proliferation ofessentialist perceptions of Iran and Iranians in the West. Suchperceptions do not reflect the complex evolution of Iranian identitythat occurred in the years following the Constitutional Revolution(1906–11) and the anti-imperialist Islamic Revolution of 1979.Despite the Iranian government’s determined pursuance ofanti-Western policies and strict conformity to religious principles,the film and literature of Iran reflect the clash between a nostalgicpride in Persian tradition and an apparent infatuation with a moreEurocentric modernity. In Familiar and Foreign, Mannani and Thompsonset out to explore the tensions surrounding the ongoing formulation ofIranian identity by bringing together essays on poetry, novels, memoir,and films. These include both canonical and less widely theorizedtexts, as well as works of literature written in English by authorsliving in diaspora.
Challenging neocolonialist stereotypes, these critical excursionsinto Iranian literature and film reveal the limitations of collectiveidentity as it has been configured within and outside of Iran. Throughthe examination of works by, among others, the iconic female poetForugh Farrokhzad, the expatriate author Goli Taraqqi, thecontroversial memoirist Azar Nafisi, and the graphic novelist MarjaneSatrapi, author of Persepolis, this volume engages with the complex andcontested discourses of religion, patriarchy, and politics that are thecontemporary product of Iran’s long and revolutionaryhistory.
Manijeh Mannani is chair of the Centre forHumanities and associate professor of English and comparativeliterature at Athabasca University, as well as adjunct professor ofcomparative literature at the University of Alberta. She specializes inthe poetry of Rumi and is the author of Divine Deviants: The Dialecticsof Devotion in the Poetry of Donne and Rumi. She is also the co-editorof Selves and Subjectivities: Reflections on Canadian Arts andCulture.
Veronica Thompson is associate professor of Englishand dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at AthabascaUniversity. Her research interests include Canadian and Australianliteratures, postcolonial literatures and theories, and women'sliterature and feminist theory. She is currently researchingrepresentations of terrorism in postcolonial literature. She is alsothe co-editor of Selves and Subjectivities: Reflections on CanadianArts and Culture.
Familiar and Foreign: An Introduction • Manijeh Mannani andVeronica Thompson 3
1 The Development of the Artistic Female Self in the Poetry ofForugh Farrokhzad • Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri 17
2 Overcoming Gender: The Impact of the Persian Language on IranianWomen’s Confessional Literature • Farideh Dayanim Goldin 31
3 Autobiomythography and Self-Aggrandizement in Iranian DiasporicLife-Writing: Fatemeh Keshavarz and Azar Nafisi • Manijeh Mannani 61
4 Graphic Memories: Dialogues with Self and Other in MarjaneSatrapi’s Persepolis and Persepolis 2 • Mostafa Abedinifard83
5 Mr. and Mrs. F and the Woman: Personal Identities in ZoyaPirzad’s Like All the Afternoons • Madeleine Voegeli 111
6 Anxious Men: Sexuality and Systems of Disavowal in ContemporaryIranian Literature • Blake Atwood 129
7 Reading the Exile’s Body: Deafness and Diaspora in KaderAbdolah’s My Father’s Notebook • Babak Elahi 149
8 Persian Literature of Exile in France: Goli Taraqqi’s ShortStories • Laetitia Nanquette 173
9 Farang Represented: The Construction of Self-Space in GoliTaraqqi’s Fiction • Goulia Ghardashkhani 189
10 Film as Alternative History: The Aesthetics of Bahram Beizai• Khatereh Sheibani 211
11 Technologies of Memory, Identity, and Oblivion in Persepolis(2007) and Waltz with Bashir (2008) • William Anselmi and SheenaWilson 233
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