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Iran: The Rebirth of a Nation by Hamid Dabashi

By Hamid Dabashi

In this unheard of e-book, Hamid Dabashi presents a provocative account of Iran in its present resurrection as a strong local energy. via a cautious learn of latest Iranian background in its political, literary, and creative dimensions, Dabashi decouples the assumption of Iran from its colonial linkage to the cliché thought of “the nation-state,” after which demonstrates how an “aesthetic instinct of transcendence” has enabled it to be re-conceived as a strong state. This rebirth has allowed for repressed political and cultural forces to floor, redefining the nation’s destiny past its fictive postcolonial borders and self reliant from the nation gear that wants yet fails to rule it. Iran’s sovereignty, Dabashi argues, is inaugurated via an energetic and open-ended self-awareness of the nation’s background and up to date political and aesthetic instantiations, because it has been sustained via successive waves of progressive prose, poetry, and visible and appearing arts played categorically opposed to the censorial will of the state.

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6. Forough Farrokhzad, “Tavallodi Digar/Another Birth” in Forough Farrokhzad, Tavallodi Digar/Another Birth (Tehran: Morvarid, 1343/1964). These and all other translations from the Persian originals are all mine. Citations are permitted only with reference to this book. 7. W. Griffith's the Birth of a Nation: A History of the Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). 8. I rely heavily on the magnificent work of Christoph Menke, The Sovereignty of Art: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999) for this articulation of the “sovereignty” of art.

Those formed in the aftermath of the ascendency and demise of European classical colonialism) on a different scale. The European and North American democratic claims to the nation strengthened them both by virtue of collusion of interest, while on the postcolonial site the fundamental disparity between the nation and the state strengthened them by friction. No ruling regime—in the case of Iran from the Qajars to the Pahlavis to the Islamic Republic—has ever had a total claim to the evolving and multifarious disposition of the nation.

As indices of this transformation. Suicidal violence was simply an extension of the mad logic of this posthuman body. The Foucauldian notions of biopower and biopolitics had rightly drawn our attention to the systematized technologies of state domination. But I looked at suicidal violence as an act of symbolic and material defiance against biopower and biopolitics. Now in this book, Iran: Rebirth of a Nation, I pick up all these strands and pull them forward toward a significant but hitherto unforeseen conclusion and read the nation as distinct from state in the classical nation-state construction, and then through the formation of what I will articulate as an “aesthetic reason” (overcoming both colonial modernity and the postcolonial reason it had occasioned) find and pronounce its self-sustained sovereignty, predicated on sustained and successive waves of revolutionary prose, poetry, and visual and performing arts performed categorically against the dominant censorial will of the ruling state.

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