History Of Diaspora In The Last Two Decades History Essay

The term Diaspora has been a controversial issue for the past 20 old ages. It means loss and sprinkling as the consequence of a coercive supplanting of peoples from states or parts defined as their cultural and historical centres. The significance of the word has greatly vacillated based on context, and continues to make so. “ However, if diaspora is a specific sociological world, we must place its parametric quantities and procedures, and we must reexamine its definitional issues, which are capable to much argument. ” ( Tololyan 1996 ; Vertovec and Cohen 1999 )

Diasporas can be defined in four wide periods: antiquity, a clip when the term had assorted significances ; the Middle Ages to the Renaissance ; the beginning of the 19th century to the 1970s ; and the 1980s to the present. During antiquity, the term had a positive intension when it was used to depict the Grecian colonisation of Asia Minor and Mediterranean and referred to merchandise enlargement. When the Bible was being translated to Greek by Judaic bookmans, the term ‘Diaspora ‘ was used for the first clip with a negative intension mentioning to the Judaic experience of supplanting to Babylon after the devastation of Jerusalem and its temple ( 586 BCE ) . Therefore, the footings Diaspora and Babylon came to intend being cut off from one ‘s roots and being forced to populate in a foreign topographic point ( Cohen 1997: 118-19 ) . “ Once Jews settled freely outside Palestine, ‘Diaspora ‘ came to intend the assemblage of all Hebrews by the will of God. ” ( Moghissi 2006: 1-15 ) With the Roman devastation of the 2nd temple in CE 70, it became associated one time once more with expatriate from a historical and cultural centre. ( Chaliand and Rageau 1991: 15-35 )

With the creative activity and predomination of nation-states during the 19th century, a coalescency of the impressions of state, province, civilization and district became the regulation, and the term ‘Diaspora ‘ came once more to mean expatriate, enduring and supplanting ( Marienstras 1989: 120 ) . The political orientation of national and cultural homogenisation in the 19th century could merely allow a negative intension to be ascribed to the term ‘Diaspora ‘ . The term contradicted the percept of national and province political orientations, since ‘nation ‘ implied the superimposition of an cultural group, a district and a political system, every bit good as the deficiency of trueness to any extra-national community, group or establishment. ( Moghissi 2006: 1-15 )

Get downing in the 1970s and 1980s, the term came to intend a population life outside its fatherland ( Tololyan 1996: 13-15 ) . Harmonizing to the writers depicting this semantic alteration ( Scheffer 1993 ; Esman 1986 ; Conner 1986 ) , minorities of immigrant lineage who develop strong ties with their state of beginnings make up modern twenty-four hours diasporas. When assigned to a migratory motion with strong ties to its centre of beginning, the term is so denuded of its original content, and its usage become strictly ideological instead than sociological. The world of the 1990s brings to illume the emptiness of this definition. In position of the globalisation of communications, political relations and the economic system, the bulk of emigrant groups can easy keep ties with their fatherland. Rare are those who lose involvement in their states. In summing up, Kaching Tololyan ( 1996: 16-17 ) proposes the undermentioned six features to sum up the definition of historical diasporas: forced scattering ; cultural integrity ; corporate memory ( written stuff, history ) ; strong community boundaries ; links between different centres of colony ; and ties with a historical centre which will be explained in the undermentioned chapter.

Persian Diaspora

The experience of expatriates is non new in the history of Iran. Iranians experienced exile first in A.D. 936. After the Arabs invaded the state, the Parsis had to migrate to India in order to retain their cultural heritage. Then, groups of political refugees have ever lived outside Iran at different historical periods. The Persian Diaspora hegira is divided into three stages in this study: those who left before Revolution ; after Revolution including during Iran-Iraq war ; and from 1995 onwards.

The first important stage of out-migration from Iran, get downing in 1950 and enduring until the 1979 revolution, during Mohammad Reza Shah ‘s reign ( 1941-79 ) , was triggered by Iran ‘s slow economic recovery and recommencement of oil production after World War II. Gross from oil exports permitted a comparatively sudden alteration in Persian society from traditionality to modernisation, actuating middle- and upper-class households to direct their kids abroad for higher instruction as a agency of guaranting socioeconomic security and political entree upon return. As Sam Sasan Shoamanesh ( 2009 ) references:

The first modern spring, from 1950 to 1979, pickets by comparing with the mass population flows following the 1979 Revolution. After the Second World War, with a easy retrieving Persian economic system, Iran ‘s turning middle-class and elect progressively engaged in the pattern of directing their kids abroad to prosecute higher instruction at top schools, chiefly in Europe and the US. It is estimated that, by 1979, merely prior to the Revolution, some 100,000 Iranians were populating abroad and enrolled in the universe ‘s top universities, peculiarly in the US. Included in this first modern moving ridge of Persian emigres were groups of affluent sympathisers of the monarchy, every bit good as members of spiritual minorities who left the state out of a fright of persecution in the event of the prostration of the monarchy. ( http: //globalbrief.ca/blog/2009/11/01/on-the-iranian-diaspora/ 26/02/2010 )

The 1979 Revolution gave birth to the chief inflow of Iranians abroad. This is the first clip in Persian history that such a big figure of Iranians migrated abroad. Indeed, the Persian hegira commenced with the royalists and capitalists followed by the Bahai who is of the largest spiritual minority, 0.7 % of the population, and deprived of societal rights. The Day of the Revolution of 1979 was a great happy event all-over Iran. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of the great civilisation, had been forced to go forth Iran seemingly ‘on holiday ‘ but ne’er to return. The twenty-four hours of rejoice, nevertheless, turned rancid. The popular motion all of a sudden lost its coherence, the integrity of negative resistance, and began to split into infinite parties ; groups and orientations as treatment developed over the future form of Persian civil order.

If the turbulence of the Revolution caused many Iranians to go forth their state, the subsequent Iran-Iraq war ( 1980-1988 ) was a stronger ground to go forth Iran. The drawn-out Iran-Iraq war began officially on September 22, 1980 chiefly because of spiritual, political, and geographical differences. The jobs between Iran and Iraq aroused far before the war really started. But, it was after the Persian revolution, when Iraq decided to assail and occupy. They knew that it was a psychological minute to assail, because Iran was already weak from the revolution and it would be hard for Iran to support their district. Many Iranians fled Iran because of a serious impairment of economic system. Alimagham ( 2010 ) , states that many secular Republicans besides found political life in a state ruled by the Islamic Revolution as unfit, and they left Iran aboard many other Iranians who merely desired a better life elsewhere. The revolution, the post-revolutionary power battle, and the black Iran-Iraq War had desperate effects on Iran ‘s economic system, and many Persians who could afford to go forth did so with the hopes of happening a life with more chances for promotion.

The most recent moving ridge of Persian out-migration – lasting from the mid-1990s to the present – is a continuance of the encephalon drain of the immediate post-Revolution period, with one extra traditional group: working-class migrators in hunt of upward societal mobility. Changeless in these migration flows are asylum searchers, refugees and internally displaced individuals – to day of the month, over 100,000 in figure – fleeing Iran because of the authorities ‘s hapless human rights record and crackdowns on political dissenters. ( Shoamanesh 2009 )

In amount, diasporas are seldom homogenous groups, and the Persian diaspora is no exclusion. Although the exact size of the diaspora remains unknown, a common yet disputed estimation of the diaspora ‘s size is two to four million people. Regardless of size, the Persian diaspora is highly heterogenous with regard to ethnicity, faith, societal position, linguistic communication, gender, political association, instruction, legal position, and timing and motive for going ( runing from political to sociocultural to economic ) . In footings of cultural beginning, while the bulk of the Persian diaspora are Iranian in beginning, there are besides big communities of Azeris, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmens, and Armenians. This cultural diverseness analogues lingual heterogeneousness, with big populations of Turkish-speaking Iranians. A spiritual divide besides exists between the bulk, who are Shi’ia Muslims, and the minority groups, such as the Baha’is, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Sunni Kurds. ( Hakimzadeh 2006 )

Persian Women Memoirist

While a war against Iran is pending in American disposals and after the catastrophic effects of US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, a compensable industry of Persian adult females ‘s memoirs has mushroomed in a decennary after the Revolution. Undoubtedly, the Persian Revolution of 1979 is the accelerator for about all the memoirs. These adult females left Iran largely because they were non happy with the political and cultural position of the state. The nostalgia amongst the Iranians in expatriate and the Western ‘s wonder about Iran reinforces the impulse. Goldin ( 2004 ) believes that:

The astonishing detonation of memoir authorship by Persian adult females in recent old ages could besides ensue from the fact that, in Jill Ker Conway ‘s nomenclature, we are eventually willing to take “ bureau ” for our life narratives ; that we realize our narratives non merely affair, but that they can be received enthusiastically ; that these khaterat, these memories are deserving taking the hazard for. Most significantly, with the wealth of stuff on Persian history and the radioactive dust from the Persian Revolution, and western wonder about a state that was late labeled as an axis of immorality by the Bush disposal, it is possible to hold a personal narrative that is non wholly private ; it is possible to compose a life narrative that is more political than confessional.

Memoirs such as Shusha Guppy ‘s The Blindfold Horse ( 1988 ) , Marjane Satrapi ‘s Persepolis ( 2000 ) , Azar Nafisi ‘s Reading Lolita in Tehran ( 2003 ) and Zarah Gharamani ‘s My life as a treasonist ( 2007 ) have assumed center-stage in allowing the legitimate cause of adult females ‘s rights and set it in the service of Empire edifice undertakings, disguised under the rhetoric of the “ war on panic. “ ( Akhavan, Bashi, Kia, Shakhsari, 2007 ) . These memoirs presented as life narrations are really counterfeits to accomplish political purposes. These memoirs and their writers must non be understood merely in footings of the political relations of response in the United States but besides it must be understood in footings of the U.S. imperialistic undertaking that is informed by the historical Euro-American colonial discourses of civilisation. At a clip when the neo-colonial and imperialistic undertakings desire to construct a instance for a military onslaught against Iran, these memoirs complicit with these undertakings. They farther American imperialist docket and confirm Western derogatory perceptual experience of Muslim adult females.

Statement of job

The link of imperialism and Orientalism is soon evident at the site of literary representations of Muslim ‘other ‘ within the racialized discourse of Western in-migration system. I am interested in look intoing how in the post-period of 9/11, the undermentioned American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the demonisation of Iran, there has been a immense augmentation in representation of adult females ‘s lives in the Middle East, particularly in Iran in the signifier of “ native source ” ( Spivak 1999 ; Dabashi 2006 ) memoir. To deteriorate Persian images in the universe, George Bush calls Iran “ An axis of immorality ” and a possible atomic menace. A great figure of memoirs by Persian adult females populating in America, Europe and Australia callback and seek to stand for Iran both before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

The Persian Women diaspora memoirists think of Western literature as a kind of ‘salvation ‘ or ‘escape ‘ , one that they assume is non available in Iranian literature. They are of the sentiment that First universe literature has the ability to raise them on the fanciful plane, thereby alleviating them of the loads of life in Iran. Their regard for Western literature links them to Western readers by exemplifying their respect for Western civilization and their attachment to the impression of its ‘superiority ‘ over the East. By composing the memoirs, these writers are worsening the image of adult female in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

These texts have been of great involvement to Western readers consumed with conceive ofing the veiled Muslim adult female. The literary market replete with this genre and continues to absorb myriad such publications, shows that the popularity of these books is really much linked to a deeper desire for ‘authoritative ‘ cognition about the Middle East. These memoirs can be categorized as native source text, which means that the auctorial voice is embedded with a certain degree of authorization, due to the writer ‘s beginning and leaning to portion information that is of usage to her reading audience. The native source mediates between colonial/imperial discourses and autochthonal discourse. Its embedded authorization is necessary for the production of cognition in the development of hegemony. The native informant memoirs therefore appear in response to the round relationship between the public desire for cognition about the Islamic World and the production of hegemonic orientalist impressions reenforcing the double star of a ‘good ‘ , democratic, civilised ‘West ‘ and an ‘eveil ‘ , barbaric and oppressive ‘East ‘ .

In the instance of the Persian memoirist, the embedded authorization stems from the fact that these memoirs relay certain memories approximately life as a adult female in the Islamic Republic of Iran that serves current Western involvements in the Middle East. These authors put themselves in a different place in their state. I am interested in how these authors write themselves into a place of sameness with the Westerner to depict their memories of Iran and the effects of that representation for migratory adult females from the Middle East. Furthermore, these texts are combined with a staged place of marginality and difference, and work to quicken the Western reader ‘s appetency for an important history of what adult females experience in the Islamic government. The marginality and difference is staged explicitly at the beginning of these memoirs and is a cliche that conjures empathy from the Western reader, who can besides conceive of herself as an foreigner in a Muslim society.

Research purposes

Womans of Iranian heritage life in the United States and elsewhere are prehending upon the chance to state their ain narratives, taking advantage of new freedoms and an increased feeling of comfort in their new societies, and the literary universe in bend has begun to react with involvement. In the past few old ages at that place has been “ an detonation ” of memoirs written by adult females of Persian heritage that discuss the loss and nostalgia from holding to go forth their place state, every bit good as forbidden subjects such as gender and love. Karim ( 2006 ) ascribed the rise of activity in the United States to “ a existent desire for people to narrate their ain narrative, and a wonder on the portion of Americans ‘ readers and publishing houses, to cognize something about Persian adult females in peculiar. ” I will place the grounds for the pronounced increasing wonder of Western readers.

To catagorize these texts as ‘native betrayers ‘ ( Dabashi 2007 ) memoirs with its inserted authorization as it is indispensable for the production of cognition in the development of hegemony. In making so- I will discourse how the Persian adult females memoirist look at themselves otherwise ( more of a wasterner ) than the grass roots which is really much conspicuous in their plants. With this act of unsimilarity from Iranians and similarity with the Westerners, they support the bequest of imperium ; high quality over lower status, ‘other ‘ , that was a nucleus of European colonial undertakings and which continues to be a characteristic of nation-building myth of America. By reading these memoirs as native betrayer, I will analyse how the memoirists ‘ public presentation of marginality within Persian society and similarity with Westerners consequences in their acceptance of a Western regard at post-revolutionary Iran, which is located within an orientalist discourse sing differences between East and West.

Finally in this thesis I will see the ways in which the memoirs trade with issues that are indigenously Persian and how they manage to filtrate into and rule the western literary market. They use the Persian landscape and its people and set them center-stage in their fiction. They present to the West the ‘Otherness ‘ that it is familiar with, from old orientalist discourses and want to see even today.The Persian English texts that have been selected for this research are merely a sample of the myriad of narrations of Iranians, its people and civilization for Western ingestion.

Research inquiries

What are the common issues have the authors highlighted in their plants? How do they stand for the issues?

What and how have they foregrounded historical events in their narratives of Iran?

In what ways have their narratives of their former fatherland differ from the worlds of Iran?

How have they shown the worlds of their new lives in their new hostlands?

Significance of the survey

The significance of this survey lies in the fact that while legion surveies have been addressed the specialnesss of modernist expatriate for male authors from Europe and the United States, far less work has been done on Persian adult females immigrant authors. This research presents the first full-length survey of Persian adult females memoirists in expatriate. Largely neglected in the 80s and 90s, in the post-revolution period Iranian immigrant adult females have appeared as of import agents in bordering how Western readers see and construe non merely the history, political relations, and civilization of Iran but of the greater modern-day Middle East. This research is the first survey to follow the development of memoirs by Persian diaspora adult females from its beginnings to the present twenty-four hours articulation.

Contextualizing the Persian adult females immigrant literature within three historical points ( Pre-Revolution, Post-Revolution, and from 1995 onwards ) , I present a close reading of memoirs written in English within the Persian diaspora adult females over the last 30 old ages which will let readers to derive a better apprehension of the memoirs. For over 30 old ages Persian adult females memoirists in expatriate have been making a literature engaged with what have become the most suited subjects of the twenty-four hours: in-migration, expatriate, spiritual fundamentalism, and adult females ‘s rights. Shusha Guppy ‘s The Blindfold Horse, Azar Nafisi ‘s Reading Lolita in Tehran, Marjane Satrapi ‘s Persepolis, and Zarah Gharamani ‘s My life as a treasonist are merely a few illustrations of the new face of autobiography in an age of migration, globalisation, and panic. But while autobiography and other genres of life authorship can assist us go to to people whose experiences are often unobserved and unheard, life narrations can besides be easy co-opted into propaganda.

America is now a literary landscape in which issues of in-migration and ethnicity have moved from the fringes to the really forward. The events of 9/11 and the undermentioned onslaughts on Afghanistan and Iraq have created an intense wonder about Middle East. These memoirs of Persian adult females diaspora are shot through with secrets and tabu abound. Almost all of these adult females memoirist have been praised by different critics for their alleged genuineness of the texts. Persian diasporas ‘ memoirs have been divided between voices seeking to rehabilitate Persian civilization ( in which the disapprobation of the Revolution is conspicuous ) and voices to reprobate the political relations of the Islamic democracy. I argue that under the pretense of life narrations, these authors perform a undertaking of impairment of the image of Persian adult females in the universe and they are assisting America to beef up its imperial undertakings.


Theoretical model

This subdivision defines the methodological analysis – the conceptual and theoretical model -A that frames the analysis of this thesis. In this chapter, this survey strives to set up a model that will be used to discourse three Persian adult females memoirists populating in expatriate and their plants with the purpose of associating this conceptual model to the major subjects of their memoirs. Using this model to the analysis of these plants, I hope will enable me to size up the texts for the chief grounds of the characters’A physical and mental catering and gratifying for Anglo-American readers. The methodological analysis of this survey is built around a combination of some literary critical constructs with the focal point on Said ‘s ‘Orientalism ‘ 1978, Spivak ‘s ‘Native source ‘ 2003, Dabashi ‘s ‘Native betrayer ‘ 2006, and Whitlock ‘s ‘Soft arms ‘ 2007. In order to make so this undertaking besides tries to research the political and societal state of affairss of the period following the 1979 Persian Islamic Revolution, 9/11 event and the other subsequent occurrences, which led into immense and important, addition in the representation of adult females writers in the signifier of the native sources.

Oriental studies

Harmonizing to Said “ Orientalism is basically a political philosophy willed over the East because the East was weaker than the West, which elided the East ‘s difference with its failing ” ( 1995: 204 ) . The political philosophy implies that a colonial political orientation accompanies the western involvement in analyzing the East. Said put orientalism into two classification ; ‘latent Orientalism ‘ and ‘manifest Orientalism ‘ . The former describes the dreams and phantasies about the East that remain changeless and fixed over the clip ( Mcleod 2000: 43 ) .On the other manus, the latter refers to multitude cases of the western cognition about the East that are produced in different texts, essays, images, sketchs, and media. Said examines how civilizations of the East were rendered as distinct from the West, a cognition production that attributed specific features to each. Significantly, he outlined how these differences established dianoetic double stars between East and West and how these double stars were cardinal to Europe ‘s constitution of itself as a topic, with a corresponding ‘Other’-the East.

Native Informant

In Spivak ‘s consideration of what was repressed in the British Reconstruction of India she argues that what became known as India was the consequence of the perceptual experiences of soldiers, decision makers and functionaries of the East India Company. Spivak focuses on how thoughts are defined in footings of their antonyms. The job with this is that one term is ever privileged over another. Harmonizing to Spivak, the initial distinction of the privileged term from its Other is later reinforced by postponing any consideration of the 2nd term. She talks about the destiny of the ranee of Sirmur, a widow of the raja of that part who was deposed by the British in the nineteenth century. Her purpose to go a sati – immolating herself on her hubby ‘s funeral pyre – provoked a crisis since she was needed to guarantee the stableness of the British presence in the state. The significance of the episode for Spivak is that it makes seeable the “ native source ” , a force for modernization. Spivak ‘s point is to demo that the East is a agency of pull stringsing history in the involvements of West. So the native source in her function as go-between ensures that the colonial Centre maintains hegemony. She characterizes the native source as bring forthing a “ text of cultural individuality that merely the West could scratch ” .

Native Informer

Dabashi sees memoirs like Nafisi ‘s Reading Lolita in Tehran as fundamentally being propaganda for the American disposal to assail states like Iran and Iraq.In his critical essay ‘Native betrayers and the devising of the American imperium ‘ ( 2007 ) , he used Said ‘s Orientalism to review Nafisi ‘s memoir:

By seeking to recycle a kaffeeklatsch version of English literature as the ideological foreground processing of American imperium, Reading Lolita in Tehran is evocative of the most dirty colonial undertakings of the British in India, when for illustration, in 1835 a colonial officer like Thomas Macaulay decreed: ‘We must make our best to organize a category who may be translators between us and the 1000000s whom we govern, a category of individuals Indian in blood and colour, but English in gustatory sensation, in sentiments, words and mind. ‘ Azar Nafisi is the personification of that native betrayer and colonial agent, smoothing her services for an American version of the really same undertaking.

Soft Weapons

In Soft Weapons ( 2007 ) Whitlock depicts the history of how adult females ‘s autobiographies from the Middle East have been embraced by neoliberal political orientation, showing the power of life narrations to impact the planetary reader. Due to the genre ‘s built-in claim to fidelity, the autobiographical narration from abroad definitely figures in the mean reader ‘s sentiment formation and attendant support or deficiency of political controversy towards battles abroad. She historicizes the readership of these plants within the political and societal surroundings that has promoted, marketed, and consumed these narrations and argues for critically admiting the mutualist relationships between readers, publishing houses and national involvements. Whitlock extends her analysis to memoirs written from privileged places like that of journalists “ embedded ” in Iraq and Iranian diasporic memoirs such as the popular Reading Lolita in Tehran ( 2003 ) by Azar Nafisi. Since memoirs are written by privileged members of society, there is a possible hazard to falsify world as they are being considered accurate insider histories. Whitlock besides looks at Nafisi ‘s work in the contrasting manner, underlining the manner that the author is marketed as a non-conformist in the Never Follow run of the Audi corporation, when her memoir, in fact, reproduces the authorization of the western literary canon. So Whitlock explores the excitement and pervasiveness of modern-day life composing about the Middle East and shows how these works every bit soft arms have been packaged, promoted, and enlisted in Western contentions.

Literature Review

Today ‘s vigorous Persian American community formation is contradictorily saturated in the political animus between Iran and the United States of America. The 1979 Islamic Persian Revolution was fed someway by the rampant dissatisfaction across all subdivisions of Persian society and was coupled with the impression that the America political and economic involvements in Iran were enfeebling Persian democracy and domination. As the ill will to the opinion sovereign, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, intensified in the late seventiess, so did corporate national protest against American intrusiveness in the state. While omnipresent presentations and mass work stoppages amalgamated into a revolution aimed at controling foreign and American Influence in Iran, many Iranians sought safety in the really same state targeted in the ill-famed “ Death to America ” radical mottos of the clip. ( Karim and Rahimieh 2008 )

If radical calamity provoked so many Iranians to go forth their fatherland, the subsequent Iran-Iraq war ( 1980-1988 ) feed an even more pressing drift to get away Iran. Persian migrator settled across the Earth, and today the Persian communities of all sizes can be found in many states. The United Stated of America, nevertheless, became host to the largest Persian diasporas community. It is hard to set up a precise figure for the migratory Persian Population, but “ estimations have ranged from ‘over one million in America ‘ to ‘four million or so ‘ worldwide ” . ( Malek 2006: 357 )

The memoirs by Persian diasporic adult females represent the growing of adult females ‘s composing that occurred after the 1979 Revolution. So many memoirs had been written around some general subjects: place and off, household and tradition, gender, political relations, love, and silence. Once upon a clip in the 1990s, there were merely few adult females authors in the West, but now a hunt on Amazon ( “ Iran, Memoirs, and Novels ” ) outputs about six 100 consequences. Most of these books were published in 2000 or subsequently. Persian adult females wrote most and most are memoirs. The really first inquiries that come to mind would be: are these life narrations interesting plenty to deserve a book? , is at that place a market for all these memoirs? , what are some of the latent grounds lying in composing the increasing memoirs? , and why are most of these memoirists adult females? It seems that there are some publishing houses in the West who have found the capable worth puting in.

The really of import point that should be taken into consideration is the limited figure of critics on these memoirs for some grounds. One of the grounds that can be mentioned goes to the thematic model which in peculiar trades with Persian society and history. And the other ground might be attributed to the figure of critics amongst the non-Iranian who have reviewed the memoirs critically are non large in figure. Most of these memoirs are written in English which can be one of the chief grounds that deprived a bulk of Persians from reading them and besides their prohibition from being translated into Farsi by the governments would perplex the issue. This survey examines the memoirs in relation to the survey of other bookmans and written accomplishments of the old books, essays or composing about the foundation and characters of autobiography which are largely criticized positively. However, I argue that these memoirists are seeking to destruct the images of adult females in Iran and are certainly in complicit with the American imperialistic undertakings.

Shush Guppy

Guppy claims hereditary links to the some of the most outstanding and powerful households. She was besides amongst the first coevals of Persian adult females to analyze in the West. She had spent a drawn-out period of times abroad before the Revolution, in France and subsequently in England. Confronting persecution for her ties to the Pahlavi government, her household were besides among the first Persian to fly Iran in the late seventiess.

“ What has happened to the adult females of Persia? They asked in the drawing-rooms of Paris. New York, London… ” Presented in the gap pages of The Blindfold Horse, Guppy ‘s inquiry is a stating one. First published in 1988 by a Sorbonne- educated emigre who would go the London editor of The Paris Review, the memoir seemingly starts out to explicate the destiny of ‘the adult females of Persia ‘ for the drawing-room habitues of the widely distributed scene. The very supplication of ‘Persia ‘ conveys much about Guppy ‘s purpose and specified audience.

Critics like Darznik who has reviewed Guppy ‘s work suggests that ‘The Blindfold Horse ‘ continues to be an indispensable point of mention to look into how societal category has affected the ways in which Persian history, political relations, and civilization have been and go on to be represented in the literature of Persian diaspora. She besides points out that Guppy, with her memoir, attempts to pass over out the history of Iran in favor of a reorganised mythology of the ‘Persian ‘ life. Throughout the book she desists to name the state of her birth by its modern name ‘Iran ‘ , take a firm standing alternatively on what she claims is its more reliable denomination, Persia. And about the narrative techniques of the memoir, Darznik is of the thought that the narrative construction which Guppy distributes to raise this imagined place imitated the model of The Thousand and One Night, a huge and modified volume that appears in many pretenses throughout the literature of Persian diaspora.

Guppy ‘s memoir is characterized an erasure of Persian history in favor of a reconstructed mythology of “ Iranian ” life. This fiction of Persian history is conveyed through Guppy ‘s apery of ancient Iranian narrative stating techniques. The book is besides haunted by a persistently elusive autobiographical ego that attenuates the definition of modern-day memoir. Guppy is here a “ veiled ” storyteller in the sense articulated by Farzaneh Milani: free of the physical head covering, she remains bound by the historical stenosiss against adult females ‘s autobiographical authorship in Persian civilization.

Marjane Satrapi

Satrapi brought up in an upper- in-between category household where most of the members were involved with socialist and communist motions in Iran before the Islamic Revolution of 1979.Her gramps was one of the princess of Qajar who ruled the state until the throne of the Pahlavi dynasty in the early portion of the 20th century. As a kid she observed the increasing suppression of civil autonomies and the everyday-life wakes of Persian political relations, including the Shah ‘s overthrow, the early government of the Islamic authorities ruled by Khomeini, and the first few old ages of the Iran-Iraq war ( 1980-1988 ) . At the age of 14, her latitudinarian parents decided to direct her to Austria to fly Iran.

In a series of starkly in writing memoirs published over the last old ages, Persepolis ( 2000 ) and Persepolis 2 ( 2002 ) , Satrapi has mapped the combined paths of Persian history and Persian adult females ‘s lives. Like most Persian diasporic books, her memoirs concentrate to a great extent on modern Persian history, and more peculiarly, the political relations of the Islamic Revolution. When Satrapi says “ As an Persian, I feel much closer to an American who thinks like me than to the bearded cat of my state, ” it might look a profound politically deep remark on fundamentalism and democracy to some people, but so it besides might look hazardously near to what a Native Informer might state, as Hamid Dabashi calls authors like Azar Nafisi – authors who put their work “ at the service of US ideological psy-op. ” Satrapi ‘s words are evidently aimed to show a personal position – but she prefaces them with ‘as an Persian ‘ . Her possibly cast-off remark seems a perfect analogy to reactions to her memoirs which assume her place as an ‘insider ‘ makes her an authorative usher to an foreign universe.

In her reappraisal of the book, Darznik believes that books like Satrapi ‘s Persepolis I and Persepolis II maintain an extraordinary topographic point in the literature of the Persian diaspora and offer some amazing differences from the old plants by Persian adult females authors. She analyzes how the in writing memoirs, and peculiarly, Satrapi ‘s return on the genre, donates an absolute fresh position at a civilization and political government that for many old ages have held a fixed topographic point in the Western imaginativeness. Darznik uses Said ‘s thought on expatriate to reexamine the book. She shows that though Satrapi writes for the Western readers, using the compulsion of this audience at every bend, her memoir demonstrates a contrapunctual aesthetic that systematically prevent easy readings of the political relations and civilization of Iran and besides how her ain individuality as an Persian adult female now populating in the West.

In a 1999 essay entitled “ Contemplations on Exile, ” Edward Said wrote of the peculiar sorts of consciousness that become native to expatriate. “ Most people ” Said wrote, “ are chiefly cognizant of one civilization, one scene, one place ; expatriates are cognizant of at least two, and his plurality of vision gives rise to an consciousness of coincident dimensions, an consciousness that- to borrow a term from music- is contrapunctual. ” In this essay Said farther proposed that critics engaged in “ contrapunctual thought, ” an rational pattern that embodies the dichotomy, ambivalency, and indefiniteness that shape the exilic consciousness. Though Said meant this chiefly as a theoretical account for authors, literary critics, and cultural historiographers, the “ contrapunctual ” is the prevailing aesthetic with which Satrapi organizes the Persepolis series, turn outing Said ‘s call no less meaningful as a narrative scheme for authors of fiction and memoir- peculiarly those authors coping with histories of war, political repression and imperialism.

Azar Nafisi

Nafisi is the girl of Ahmad Nafisi, a former city manager of Tehran who was the youngest adult male of all time elected to the station by the Shah ‘s government at the clip, and Nehzat Nafisi, who was amongst the first adult females to function the Persian parliament under the Shah of Iran. Nafisi witnessed the 1979 Revolution and the rise to power of Khomeini. She was unhappy with the stringent regulations imposed upon adult females by the Revolutionary government. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a memoir depiction Nafisi ‘s life before, during and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The narrative weaves frontward and rearward in clip and dressed ores mostly on the period following Nafisi ‘s surrender from the University of Tehran. She decides to hold some private categories with seven of her pupils, discoursing Western canon such as the work of Vladimir Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen and Henry James. Nafisi ‘s basic hypothesis is that holding the ability to conceive of is what allows the person to hold freedom. Imagination is the bosom to Nafisi ‘s contemplation on her personal life in Iran after the Revolution, every bit good as, more by and large, the position of adult females in modern-day Iran.

By and large Reading Lolita in Tehran has received positive unfavorable judgment. Most critics agree that the book offers a fresh position on literature. Throughout the novel, the reader is able to see merely how much Nafisi is in love with books. The usage of literary analysis is indispensable because it establishes a connexion between the characters in these books and the lives of her pupils. Reading Lolita in Tehran emphasizes how books can be relatable to a peculiar audience and how it opens doors to the freedom of a individual ‘s imaginativeness. Critic Heather Hewett ( 2003 ) in her reappraisal of the book introduces Nafisi ‘s work as an aesthetic work catching her eyes which she could non assist reading it non-stop. She sees the beauty of the text where the analysis of the Western literary Hagiographas located which was a cause to their democracy and freedom.

Reading Lolita in Tehran provides a stirring testament to the power of Western literature to cultivate democratic alteration and open-mindedness. ( … ) Nafisi ‘s alone position on her pupils ‘ predicament, the on-going battle of Persian citizens, and her state ‘s violent transmutation into an Islamic province will supply valuable penetrations to anyone interested to current international events. ( … ) This passionate defence of literature limpidly demonstrates how its power resides in the personal infinite between each reader and the authorship on the page. ( www.csmonitor.com 16/03/2010 )

In her analysis of the book, Betsy Ross ( 2004 ) opines that this memoir is really important in informing the Western readers in admiting themselves as stuffs in the custodies of Islamic fundamentalists when they see the whole society as immorality. She describes the memoir to broaden the position of Westerners toward Muslim people, political orientations, and states. It is, as she put it, a tool for Westerners non to generalise and judge the Muslim persons with the allegedly unfair swayers and Muslim extremist. In her article, she supports the function of persons and the significance of individualism in the Persian society.

Ms. Nafisi forces us to see the person. Reading Lolita in Tehran provenders, with inside informations about persons, our natural replete towards empathy. And empathy, Nafisi reminds us, is the natural enemy of “ evil ” : “ Evil… lies in the inability to “ see ” others, hence to sympathize with them… We are all capable of going the blind censor, of enforcing our visions and desires on others ” .

While many critics commend Nafisi for the usage of literary analysis, she is besides criticized for the choice of books she discussed in Reading Lolita in Tehran. Some critics feel that Nafisi concentrates excessively much on Western literature and fails to include Iranian authorship. Possibly it is because she writes for an American audience and readers would be unfamiliar with outstanding Persian authors. However, by excepting Persian literature, the reader is merely exposed to Western thoughts of literature. Reading Lolita in Tehran promotes the thoughts of freedom and imaginativeness, but curtailing plants to Western literature offers a limited position of life in Iran during the Persian Revolution.

One of the more extended reviews of Reading Lolita in Tehran comes from Hamid Dasbashi, professor of Persian surveies and comparative literature at Columbia Univeristy. In his essay, “ Native betrayers and the devising of the American imperium, ” Dasbashi suggests that the novel is partially responsible for the current dealingss between the US and Iran and besides that the novel is a propaganda tool for imperialism. He besides accuses Nafisi for her relationships with neoconservatives. He inquiries the genuineness of the narrated events through picturing the deficiency of hints of Britain and US intervention in the Revolution of Iran in the memoir.

When doing merriment of hapless Iranians who gathered around the US embassy intoning “ Death to America, ” Nafisi non one time refers to the historical injury of all Iranians following the CIA- sponsored putsch of 1953 which toppled the democratically elective authorities of premier curate Mohammad Mussaddeq, non one time to the subsequent mutant of Iran into a military base for the US engagement in Vietnam, non one time about the fact that at the very clip these hapless Iranians were shouting at the Gatess of the US embassy, there were in fact US plans for a possible military putsch against the revolution. All of these historical facts are wiped out and eradicated under the camouflage of portraying an guiltless assemblage of seven “ Oriental ” adult females reading chef-d’oeuvres of Western literature to larn about freedom and democracy…

Restrictions of the survey

This research would be entirely confined to the literary analysis of Persian diasporic adult females memoirists. Memoirs like The Blindfold Horse, Persepolis, and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Shusha Guppy, Marjane Satrapi, and Azar Nafisi severally are the principal of the survey. There are different theories that can be utilized to analyse these memoirs. However, the range of analysis of this survey would be undertaken under the theories of Said ‘s ‘postcolonialism ‘ , Spivak ‘s ‘Native source ‘ , Dabashi ‘s ‘Native betrayers ‘ , and Whitlock ‘s ‘Soft arms ‘ .


With the ceaseless augment of migration all over the universe, particularly in the context of migration from ‘East ‘ to ‘West ‘ , it is evident that life narrations and representations of cultural and national individualities will prevail to be a characteristic of modern-day epoch. Texts produced by these memoirists continue to be of great attractive force to Western audiences who are seeking to recognize the ‘Other ‘ at a clip when America and many other Western states are suspected at sites of force such as the Iraq war, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the horrors of Abu Gharib. The long established orientalist double star between the West or ‘Occident ‘ as normalcy, reason, high quality, maturity and maleness to the East or ‘Orient ‘s abnormality, unreason, lower status, puerility and muliebrity has been solidified through attempts to mobilise support for the undertaking of imperium. Consequently, Muslims and people from the Middle East have been characterized as either undependable and terrorist males, or as unworldly, downtrodden veiled adult females. Life narrations, which rely on repeating orientalist vision about the position of adult females in Islamic states, are blameworthy of reenforcing those double stars.