Beyond these (in)visible walls: memory, revolution and estrangement in poems by women of the Iranian diaspora

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Giulia Valsecchi
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2020/167 Language Italian
Pages 27 P. 63-89 File size 145 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2020-167005
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The experience of migrations points out old tensions and affects multifaceted representations of identity. More in detail, the case of the Iranian diaspora is marked by flows of people who moved to the West before and after the outbreak of the Revolution in 1979. Furthermore, mainly after 9/11 events, the same diaspora shows a large number of female prison chronicles and memoirs focused on matters of restrictions and gender confinement under the Islamic Republic. At a distance of forty years since the historical and traumatic divide of the Iranian Revolution, this paper aims at putting aside the Western fixation on the veil and narratives on women’s subjection, in order to investigate a selection of poems written by three Iranian-American women - Laleh Khalili, Aphrodite Désirée Navab and Persis M. Karim - who come from different careers and generations of expatriates. Their poetical work will be explored to highlight a more subtle and vulnerable perspective of self-rewriting based on splitted imageries, memories and cultural legacies all connected with symbols of loss, estrangement and in-betweenness. The poems will be read also as spaces for each writer to recover a discourse on the past and dramatize the connection between the (re)imaginative I and the deeper, plural valency of the diasporic self.

Keywords: Revolution, identity, estrangement, memory, dramatization, symbolism.

Giulia Valsecchi, Oltre queste mura (in)visibili: memoria, rivoluzione e straniamento nella poesia femminile irano-americana in "STORIA URBANA " 167/2020, pp 63-89, DOI: 10.3280/SU2020-167005