Iran: The Rebirth of a Nation by Hamid Dabashi

By Hamid Dabashi

In this remarkable booklet, Hamid Dabashi presents a provocative account of Iran in its present resurrection as a robust nearby strength. via a cautious learn of up to date Iranian historical past in its political, literary, and creative dimensions, Dabashi decouples the belief of Iran from its colonial linkage to the cliché inspiration 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 sustaining from the country equipment that desires yet fails to rule it. Iran’s sovereignty, Dabashi argues, is inaugurated via an lively and open-ended self-awareness of the nation’s historical past and up to date political and aesthetic instantiations, because it has been sustained by means of 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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A postnational reading of the nation is made possible by retrieving the transnational origin of the nation (a task I initially undertook in my Iran without Borders, and before that in my Persophilia) and linking it to the geostrategic disposition of its structural– functional organism (as I do in this book). The poetic surplus that enables that aesthetic reason is the underlining metaphysics of all colonial cultural productions yearning for liberty in the absence of the material foregrounding of “democracy” as a politically potent floating signifier.

However, the Iranian factional divisions and the strong internal (the only legitimate) opposition to the deal made sure at least on the surface this compromise of the national sovereignty was not total. But certainly the ruling regime was allowing access to its nuclear infrastructure in a manner that no other sovereign nation-state— Russia, India, Pakistan, China, or any European country—would ever allow. Under circumstances when Israel is sitting on a massive stockpile of nuclear warheads and nobody dares even to ask it to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) the Iranian concessions were certainly out of the ordinary.

Iran and its environ are undergoing deep-rooted and wide-ranging changes in the twenty-first century, and the existing modalities, paradigms, and analytical tools have become completely outdated and cliché-ridden, regurgitated senselessly by politicians, journalists, and area studies scholars alike. When the Green Movement in Iran took place in June 2009, I thought the task at hand for those deeply committed to the civil rights in Iran and its region at large to offer a perspective from the necessary and inevitable distance of the globality of our perspective, theoretically strengthening the movement in a language radically different from the current clichés.

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