Familiar and Foreign

The current political climate of confrontation between Islamist regimes and Western governments has resulted in the proliferation of essentialist perceptions of Iran and Iranians in the West. Such perceptions do not reflect the complex evolution of Iranian identity that 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 of anti-Western policies and strict conformity to religious principles, the film and literature of Iran reflect the clash between a nostalgic pride in Persian tradition and an apparent infatuation with a more Eurocentric modernity. In Familiar and Foreign, Mannani and Thompson set out to explore the tensions surrounding the ongoing formulation of Iranian identity by bringing together essays on poetry, novels, memoir, and films. These include both canonical and less widely theorized texts, as well as works of literature written in English by authors living in diaspora.

Challenging neocolonialist stereotypes, these critical excursions into Iranian literature and film reveal the limitations of collective identity as it has been configured within and outside of Iran. Through the examination of works by, among others, the iconic female poet Forugh Farrokhzad, the expatriate author Goli Taraqqi, the controversial memoirist Azar Nafisi, and the graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, this volume engages with the complex and contested discourses of religion, patriarchy, and politics that are the contemporary product of Iran’s long and revolutionary history.

With contributions by Mostafa Abedinifard, William Anselmi, Blake Atwood, Farideh Dayanim Goldin, Babak Elahi, Goulia Ghardashkani, Manijeh Mannani, Laetitia Nanquette, Safaneh Mohaghesh Neyshabouri, Khatereh Sheibani, Veronica Thompson, Madeleine Voegeli, and Sheena Wilson.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Front Matter 2
Table of Contents 6
Familiar and Foreign: An Introduction • Manijeh Mannani and Veronica Thompson 10
1. The Development of the Artistic Female Self in the Poetry of Forugh Farrokhzad • Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri 24
2. Overcoming Gender: The Impact of the Persian Language on Iranian Women’s Confessional Literature • Farideh Dayanim Goldin 38
3. Autobiomythography and Self-Aggrandizement in Iranian Diasporic Life-Writing: Fatemeh Keshavarz and Azar Nafisi • Manijeh Mannani 68
3. Autobiomythography and Self-Aggrandizement in Iranian Diasporic Life-Writing: Fatemeh Keshavarz and Azar Nafisi • Manijeh Mannani 68
4. Graphic Memories: Dialogues with Self and Other in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Persepolis 2 • Mostafa Abedinifard 90
4. Graphic Memories: Dialogues with Self and Other in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Persepolis 2 • Mostafa Abedinifard 90
5. Mr. and Mrs. F and the Woman: Personal Identities in Zoya Pirzad’s Like All the Afternoons • Madeleine Voegeli 118
5. Mr. and Mrs. F and the Woman: Personal Identities in Zoya Pirzad’s Like All the Afternoons • Madeleine Voegeli 118
5. Mr. and Mrs. F and the Woman: Personal Identities in Zoya Pirzad’s Like All the Afternoons • Madeleine Voegeli 118
6. Anxious Men: Sexuality and Systems of Disavowal in Contemporary Iranian Literature • Blake Atwood 136
6. Anxious Men: Sexuality and Systems of Disavowal in Contemporary Iranian Literature • Blake Atwood 136
6. Anxious Men: Sexuality and Systems of Disavowal in Contemporary Iranian Literature • Blake Atwood 136
7. Reading the Exile’s Body: Deafness and Diaspora in Kader Abdolah’s My Father’s Notebook • Babak Elahi 156
7. Reading the Exile’s Body: Deafness and Diaspora in Kader Abdolah’s My Father’s Notebook • Babak Elahi 156
7. Reading the Exile’s Body: Deafness and Diaspora in Kader Abdolah’s My Father’s Notebook • Babak Elahi 156
8. Persian Literature of Exile in France: Goli Taraqqi’s Short Stories • Laetitia Nanquette 180
8. Persian Literature of Exile in France: Goli Taraqqi’s Short Stories • Laetitia Nanquette 180
8. Persian Literature of Exile in France: Goli Taraqqi’s Short Stories • Laetitia Nanquette 180
9. Farang Represented: The Construction of Self-Space in Goli Taraqqi’s Fiction • Goulia Ghardashkhani 196
9. Farang Represented: The Construction of Self-Space in Goli Taraqqi’s Fiction • Goulia Ghardashkhani 196
9. Farang Represented: The Construction of Self-Space in Goli Taraqqi’s Fiction • Goulia Ghardashkhani 196
10. Film as Alternative History: The Aesthetics of Bahram Beizai • Khatereh Sheibani 218
10. Film as Alternative History: The Aesthetics of Bahram Beizai • Khatereh Sheibani 218
10. Film as Alternative History: The Aesthetics of Bahram Beizai • Khatereh Sheibani 218
11. Technologies of Memory, Identity, and Oblivion in Persepolis (2007) and Waltz with Bashir (2008) • William Anselmi and Sheena Wilson 240
11. Technologies of Memory, Identity, and Oblivion in Persepolis (2007) and Waltz with Bashir (2008) • William Anselmi and Sheena Wilson 240
11. Technologies of Memory, Identity, and Oblivion in Persepolis (2007) and Waltz with Bashir (2008) • William Anselmi and Sheena Wilson 240
Contributors 268
Contributors 268
Contributors 268