Reading Lolita in Tehran is such a book.
Most very enthusiastic, with only a few not completely won over From the Reviews: There are certain books by our most talented essayists Reading Lolita in Tehran is such a book. This passionate defense of literature lucidly demonstrates how its power resides in the personal space between each reader and the writing on the page.
Unfortunately it does not fulfill them. Reading Lolita in Tehran turns out to be surprisingly, disappointingly, dull. Even the clandestine meetings of the book club, which had to have been exciting affairs, induce tedium.
Striving for objectivity, she has achieved blankness.
It is taken for granted that the accusation that personal freedoms are a bourgeois and decadent concept is condescending and stupid; the problem of societies where historically only the privileged have had such freedoms is not addressed.
The charismatic passion in the book is not simply for literature itself but for the kind of inspirational teaching of it which helps students to teach themselves by applying their own intelligence and emotions to what they are reading.
What she does not do quite as convincingly is make the case that Lolita is a peculiarly appropriate prism through which to view the revolution, and her lengthy early reflections on the novel may deter some readers.
Nafisi admits, in a moment of touching candour, that her skill lies in teaching rather than written literary criticism, and her observations on texts veer between flashes of real insight and passages of earnest exegesis.
You have to spend a lifetime reading to write as well as Nafisi does. She is incapable of writing a trite or bad sentence. Violent events and grand literary themes are handled modestly and elegantly. Her precise, restrained tone reinforces the credibility of her account.
Ultimately, however, Reading Lolita in Tehran is not entirely satisfying. Although she describes how her pupils dress, move and speak, it is often difficult to differentiate between them.
The narrative raises interesting questions about her relationships and her exile but there is little momentum in the story.
It is a thoughtful account of the novels they studied together and the unexpected parallels they drew between those books and their own experiences as women living under the unforgiving rule of the mullahs.
If literature and theory are no longer "politically transformative," it is precisely because they have been so politicized. In their attempt to force literary works into an ideological schema, both the theorists of Chicago and the Islamists of Tehran ignored that which truly makes a novel transformative: Thus it is a memoir of books, for Nafisi seems able to discuss these subjects only by engaging in a literary dialogue, just as she remains unable to read the authors she critiques without feeling their direct connection to the lives -- and deaths -- of the women she taught in Iran.
Used to a captive audience of students, she will digress into pages of literary criticism while the reader longs to interrupt. However, this important book is an eloquent testimony to the ability of human beings faced with tyranny to find freedom inside their own heads.
It is at times a little wordy and somewhat sentimental. However, it must be apparent that it is still a book of extraordinary interest. At times, the writing lapses toward the academic and reads like classroom lectures The most moving passages describe the innocent, everyday sensations the women are denied, such as feeling the wind and the sun on their hair and skin.
Almost everything discussed in this review is to be found in the first 80 pages. Most of the rest of the book is concerned with her life before Because she is intelligent and thoughtful and writes well, this is frequently interesting, but for long stretches the reading class almost completely vanishes.
Because this is the real heart of her story, the reader feels its absence keenly. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.
Reading Lolita in Tehran is presented as a memoir.The Oppression of Women at Home and in the Workplace Due to Gender Stratification - Feminist Theories: The Oppression of Women at Home and in the Workplace Due to Gender Stratification “One is not born a woman, but instead one becomes a woman,” claims sociologist Simone de Beauvoir (as cited in .
Of course, Reading Lolita in Tehran testifies to Nafisi’s understanding of the complex political, social, and cultural realities of modern Iran from the fall of the shah’s regime through the Islamic revolution and the rule of Ayatollah.
The very earliest paragraphs of Reading Lolita in Tehran not only establish the general context of the book,but also introduce its key terms and themes.
Azar Nafisi begins with a description of a dream she fulfilled in her final years of life in. Early in Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi explains that Tehran is defined for her by what is missing.
The city’s true past was papered over by the Grand Ayatollah’s invented past; veiled women learned to express themselves through. - Oppression is when a person or group of people abuse their power or social status in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner because of prejudice against those below them.
Although Female oppression still exists in many of our societies today, American women were the first to try to overcome their oppression. Tehran until she was expelled for refusing to wear the veil.
In , she took a post at the University of Allameh Tabatabai and taught there until , when she resigned and formed the reading group at the center of Reading Lolita in Tehran. Two years later, she and her family moved to America.