Category Archives: Nafisi (Azar)

America Encourages the Vagabond Self

Looking at the United States from the vantage point of Iran, Nafisi writes that it was America’s vagrant nature that she connected to. She writes that America “somehow encourages this vagabond self.”

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Gatsby in Iran: A Dream Betrayed

The Iranian authorities allowed Nafisi to teach “The Great Gatsby” because they regarded it as an expose of American materialism and decadence. And certainly it has that dimension. But Nafisi focused more on how the work explores the betrayal of dreams. Both countries have experience with that betrayal.

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Iranian Women Identifying with Lolita

The kicker in the book title Reading Lolita in Iran is the shock of imagining people risking their freedom to read Nabokov’s scandalous masterpiece about an elderly writer who falls in love with twelve-year-old “nymphet” Dolores Hayes. What would anyone get out of that experience? The surprises keep on coming in Azar Nafisi’s book as […]

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Reviewing Lolita in Tehran

  Yesterday’s mention of Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books gave me an excuse to go back and reread that marvelous book. The work embodies the central premise of this website: that literature can come to our aid when we need it most, helping us negotiate even the most difficult of […]

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Poetry Standing Firm in the Face of Fire

“But maybe stories and poetry can help open our minds to possibilities that are very real but extremely hard to see; and in that sense, they can be very practical.” – Rachel Kranz in a response to yesterday’s post I love the two responses to yesterday’s post (from the two major women in my life) […]

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