Innocent Texts Conspiring with Imperial Desire: A Critique of Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran

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Humaira Riaz

Abstract

'Native informant' acclaims the transmission of stereotypical representation of Muslim society as a general rule and women specifically. The present work provides a comprehensive prospect of women status defined by religion Islam to build consciousness globally. Through qualitative inquiry, the present study critically analyzes Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003). Iranian writer Azar Nafisi assumes the role of 'native informant' who amplifies the narrative to authenticate her account. The study employs 'amplification' as apparatus to scrutinize fundamentalist perspective of religion Islam reflected in Iranian fiction. Spivak's concept of 'native informant' is reproduced in the narratives to establish the narrator's role as a hybrid character whose thoughts regularly record and oppose the assumed fundamentalist obligations set by the Islamic regime. The narrative begins in the narrator's house, who ardently assembles her university students and discusses various classical literary works. The memoir recounts a woman's experience in Tehran before, during, and after the revolution. Names of characters are concealed to keep individuals safe from probable vengeance and degradation. Primarily, the study enquires how knowledge production through writing personal narratives runs into mainstream culture, characterizing the representation of stereotypes. Narratives inform about a specific culture and mirror the role of 'native informant' in amplifying fundamentals of native culture and religion. Nafisi's account of extensive cultural and religious judgments from context-specific attempts to extrapolate that Islamic Republic Iran vehemently formed a desperate unobtrusive region, which maltreated women. Nafisi may have a self-protective standpoint for women, but she emerged more like a "native informant" rather than a social reformer by amplifying the situation.

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