[lit-ideas] Re: Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 14:45:20 +0900

On 2004/05/04, at 11:29, Veronica Caley wrote:

> I had a feeling of suffocation as  the book proceeds from Ms. Nafisi 
> and the girls starting out at the University of Tehran which I assume 
> is a relatively large place.  Then from there, they go to the girls 
> college as they are forced out of the university.  Finally they are 
> confined to this one room in Ms. Nafisi's home.  The constriction of  
> their world is disturbing to read about, catastrophic to experience.  
> Finally, she is at home most of the time, except for an occasional 
> lunch with another female teacher and the rare visit with her friend, 
> the one who has withdrawn from it all.

This is, to me, an important insight. But again I think of the 
ambiguities. There is Sanaz, who is able to take the trip to Turkey to 
meet the fiance who jilts her or Nafisi, herself, who will, in the end, 
pack her bags and return to the USA. These are, for their country and 
their time, highly educated women, the daughters of affluent and, to at 
least some extent, well-connected families. And for them the books they 
read create an imagined space of their own. Raises an interesting 
question: Is literary fiction a middle-class privilege?

John L. McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd.
55-13-202 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Japan 220-0006

Tel 81-45-314-9324
Email mccreery@xxxxxxx

"Making Symbols is Our Business"

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