[lit-ideas] Re: Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • From: "Veronica Caley" <vcaley@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 5 May 2004 22:18:16 -0400

John  asks, "Is literary fiction a middle-class privilege?"  

Perhaps.  But is it possible that people not in the middle class can work
their way into it through coming in contact with literary fiction in a
public school?

Alternatively, is being poor but having positive values place one in the
middle class?  By positive values I guess I am showing mine.  I mean ideas
like considering education important and being taught to study, work hard,
etc.  Haven't millions of poor immigrants worked their way into the middle
or upper class, at least as it concerns income?



> [Original Message]
> From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 5/4/2004 7:45:01 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Reading Lolita in Tehran
> 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 the one who has withdrawn from it all.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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