Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran

Univ of North Carolina Press, 05.03.2007 - 192 Seiten
In a direct, frank, and intimate exploration of Iranian literature and society, scholar, teacher, and poet Fatemeh Keshavarz challenges popular perceptions of Iran as a society bereft of vitality and joy. Her fresh perspective on present-day Iran provides a rare insight into this rich culture alive with artistic expression but virtually unknown to most Americans.

Keshavarz introduces readers to two modern Iranian women writers whose strong and articulate voices belie the stereotypical perception of Iranian women as voiceless victims in a country of villains. She follows with a lively critique of the recent best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which epitomizes what Keshavarz calls the "New Orientalist narrative," a view marred by stereotype and prejudice more often tied to current geopolitical conflicts than to an understanding of Iran.

Blending in firsthand glimpses of her own life--from childhood memories in 1960s Shiraz to her present life as a professor in America--Keshavarz paints a portrait of Iran depicting both cultural depth and intellectual complexity. With a scholar's expertise and a poet's hand, she helps amplify the powerful voices of contemporary Iranians and leads readers toward a deeper understanding of the country's past and present.

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

I'm glad to have read this. I've only read free samples of Reading Lolita in Tehran (RLT), which Jasmine and Stars criticizes. But, as it will probably be years before I get around to it, I'll capture ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - heina - LibraryThing

Silly and fluffy at best, and dangerously optimistic about the state of Iran and Islam ar worst, this book is still worth a read for those who have already completed the work it purports to refute ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Ausgewählte Seiten


What Does the Elephant Look Like?
1 The Jasmine the Stars and the Grasshoppers
The Voice of Our Earthly Rebellion
3 My Uncle the Painter
Fireworks of the Imagination
What Is Wrong with Reading Lolita in Tehran
6 Tea with My Father and the Saints

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite 75 - Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star.
Seite 75 - God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp (the lamp in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star) kindled from a Blessed Tree, an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West whose oil wellnigh would shine, even if no fire touched it; Light upon Light; (God guides to His Light whom He will.) ( And God strikes similitudes for men, and God has knowledge of everything.
Seite 141 - I954-) somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose m or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring...
Seite 133 - The war has used up words; they have weakened, they have deteriorated like motor car tires; they have, like millions of other things, been more overstrained and knocked about and voided of the happy semblance during the last six months than in all the long ages before...
Seite 110 - I think it would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Seite 70 - We would take turns reading passages aloud, and words literally rose up in the air and descended upon us like a fine mist, touching all five senses. There was such a teasing, playful quality to their words, such joy in the power of language to delight and astonish.
Seite 128 - I don't know why people who are better off always think that those less fortunate than themselves don't want to have the good things—that they don't want to listen to good music, eat good food, or read Henry James.
Seite 135 - The sense of touch that is missing from Austen's novels is replaced by a tension, an erotic texture of sounds and silences. She manages to create a feeling of longing by setting characters who want each other at odds...
Seite 116 - Most of these girls [her female classmates] have never had anyone praise them for anything. They have never been told that they are any good or that they should think independently. Now you come in and confront them" (221 ) . The book reinforces this narration of Iranian women through repetition of negative and erasure of positive experiences.

Über den Autor (2007)

Fatemeh Keshavarz is Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. She is author of four previous books, including Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal Al-Din Rumi and a volume of poetry.

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