Literature as a Tribunal: The Modern Iranian Prose of Incarceration

Forthcoming in Prose Studies

27 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2017 Last revised: 1 Dec 2018

See all articles by Rebecca Ruth Gould

Rebecca Ruth Gould

University of Birmingham; Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Date Written: October 29, 2017

Abstract

This essay examines the development of prison memoirs in modern Iranian prose, with a focus on how literary texts function as a tribunal, delivering forms of justice missing from the existing legal system. It constructs from the prison memoirs of a range of dissident writers (Dashti, ĘżAlavi, and Baraheni) a genealogy of prison consciousness in Iranian modernity. The modern Iranian prose of incarceration is contextualized within an account of the prison as a site where the modern technologies of the state are refined. As I trace resonances between the long history of prison writing across the Islamic world and the prison literature of modern Iran, I consider how literary texts illuminate the relation between aesthetics and power in modern Middle Eastern literatures.

Keywords: prison, justice, memoir, testimony, aesthetics and politics, prose, modernity, Iran, Pahlavi, Islamic Revolution

Suggested Citation

Gould, Rebecca Ruth, Literature as a Tribunal: The Modern Iranian Prose of Incarceration (October 29, 2017). Forthcoming in Prose Studies. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3061393

Rebecca Ruth Gould (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham ( email )

College of Arts and Law
Birmingham, UK, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom
https://rrgould.hcommons.org/ (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/rebeccagould

Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies ( email )

1730 Cambridge Street, 3rd Floor
Cambridge, 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/about-us/people/rebecca-gould

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
142
PlumX Metrics