Saturday, April 09, 2005

Saturday Quote: Azar Nafisi

"I then began a schizophrenic period in my life in which I tried to reconcile my revolutionary aspirations with the lifestyle I most enjoyed. I never fully integrated into the movement. During the long and confrontational meetings between rival factions, I would often leave the room under different pretenses, and sometimes locked myself in the bathroom to escape. I insisted on wearing long dresses outside the meetings and refused to cut my hair. I never gave up the habit of reading and loving 'counterrevolutionary' writers--T.S. Eliot, Austen, Plath, Nabokov, Fitzgerald--but I spoke passionately at the rallies; inspired by phrases I had read in novels and poems, I would weave words together into sounds of revolution."
--Azar Nafisi, from Reading Lolita in Tehran, p. 86.


  1. I can relate in a way. Lord knows my "black" card is pulled every five seconds. Especially when I am accussed of "only" reading the white folks. As if just because I can appreciate a few white writers, my loyalty to anti-racist politics is suspect.


  2. I hear you, CS. Try to let it roll off your back if you can, though it's not easy being viewed this way. Just do your own thing and be fierce about it! ")

  3. Oh CS, I wanted to add that this is a tactic that some folks use to shut you down;
    by appealing to nationalism (from the blackhandside) or stereotypes (that, is, "outside the race") and against what they take to be insufficient loyalty or adherence to your blackness (which is an improvisatory field, Lord knows), too much cosmopolitanism and interracialism
    (which admittedly aren't the same thing)
    and realizing that because you do possess feelings of solidarity and loyalty--you are GROUNDED
    they know such attacks (which have been used on everyone from Hurston to Anthony Braxton--"Stop Messaien around") will hurt
    I say pull your books to your chest and let 'em have it, cuz you know you can!