[lit-ideas] Re: Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 3 Apr 2004 20:46:04 +0900

On 2004/04/03, at 20:36, Omar Kusturica wrote:

> How can Afrisi be so sure that they all felt that way
> ? Did any of her girls, perhaps, not like Lolita ?

Why not read the book and see for yourself. From page 2,

"I often teasingly reminded my students of Muriel Spark's _The Prime of 
Miss Jean Brodie_ and asked, Which one of you will finally betray me? 
For I am a pessimist by nature and I as sure at least one would turn 
against me. Nassrin once responded mischievously, You yourself told us 
that in the final analysis we are our own betrayers, playing Judas to 
our own Christ. Manna pointed out that I was no Miss Brodie, and they 
well, they were what they were. She reminded me of a warning I was fond 
of repeating: **do not**, under **any** circumstances, belittle a work 
of fiction by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life; what 
we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of 
truth. Yet I suppose that if I were to go against my own recommendation 
and choose a work of fiction that would most resonate with our lives in 
the Islamic Republic of Iran, it would not be _The Prime of Miss Jean 
Brodie_ or even _1984_ but perhaps Nabokov's _Invitation to a 
Beheading_ or better yet, _Lolita_.

I do not, by the way--no, even remotely--suggest that this passage says 
everything there is to say about a book over 340 pages long.

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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