Peso della libertà o repubblica dell'immaginazione? Il caso Nafisi

Giulia Valsecchi


A critical analysis of the dual perspective developed by the Iranian-American scholar and memoirist, Azar Nafisi, from the bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003) to the most recent The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books (2014). Actually, Nafisi’s positions epitomize a controversial case study focused on the exile discourse and the inclination towards a kind of transnational identity passing through the so called “imaginative knowledge”. Through the lens of a recurring celebration of Western myths of freedom, a series of stereotypes and paradoxes are investigated in relation to the censorship experienced by the author under the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also to the following attempts, described by the same writer, to acquire the American citizenship. Moreover, Nafisi’s juxtaposition of political and literary topics is shown as an ambivalent narrative strategy, despite the author’s search for a “true self” without any ideological engagement. The explored split between oriented dissertations and pure imaginative recreation enable to reconsider Nafisi’s memoirs as committed depictions of a Westernized legacy.

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