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The receding horizon: Iranian films and the overcoming of the of justice.

This article draws upon the psychoanalytic notion of melancholia to make an argument about the limits of justice as delivered from the law, and analyze Jafar Panahi's White Balloon (1995), Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), and Asghar Farhadi's A Separation (2011) as diverse attempts to challenge the pathos of distance and the idealization or demonization of otherness which marks the melancholic anticipation of justice's arrival.


Many definitions of justice circulate around the notion that the law can render every man his due, or around the use of laws to judge and punish crimes and criminals, clearly invoking the relationship of justice to legal accountability, the isolation of blame, and the setting right of losses through punitive means. Justice, thus, has been imagined as a kind of retributive and securitizing agency which upholds the rights of the innocent through the fair distribution of blame and the proportional punishment of the guilty. In this article, I argue that this notion of justice is fundamentally melancholic, a distancing from lived reality as presence, as enabled by a fetishistic relationship to an impossible ideal and its inevitable failures. I draw upon Iranian cinema to think through what we mean when we talk about and seek justice, and ways we can imagine forms of justice beyond the isolation of sites of guilt or the sacrificial act of legal accountability, thus an imagining of justice beyond the edifice of guilt and innocence. Accordingly, I read Jafar Panahi's White Balloon (1995), Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), and Asghar Farhadi's A Separation (2011) as diverse attempts to challenge the pathos of distance and the idealization or demonization of otherness which marks the melancholic anticipation of justice's arrival. My goal is to show how each film stages a view of the inescapability of injustice and challenges a Manichean worldview which undergirds the desire for a return to a pure state which never was.

These films, I argue, challenge the anxiety of contamination that haunts the preservation of static states by subtly playing with, and ultimately refusing to exalt and idealize nor disavow and demonize, particular states of being, including the innocence of children (White Balloon), the simple grace of Kurdish villagers (The Wind Will Carry Us), or people caught up in institutions through which power functions (A Separation). What they share is representations of loss as coded into the mundane and quotidian realities of life: While playing with the notion of innocence that is always and already on the verge of a great and inevitable fall, each film provides framings through which the notion of the fall is itself problematized and placed under question. In contraposition to representations of worlds as always already formed, separable, and inevitably doomed, these films show how realities that are seemingly divided by gender, class, ethnicity, generation, religion, and levels of commitment nonetheless interpenetrate, revealing the idealized or demonized other firmly within the self. Their representational lens places under question the very notion of justice, mourning its receding horizon through the specificity of overdetermined lives. The films engross their viewers in the simple pleasures of encounters and encourage a process of mourning for the absence of a synthesized deliverance from injustice and loss. This disruption of the melancholic anticipatory gesture of arrival (of what never was) is reflected in the therapeutic function of, and to, the audience, who are left to map the trajectories of failure and loss in various forms of life without being privileged by the possibility of delivering a final judgment upon them. And in the absence of that judgment and the isolation of direct sites of accountability, we are left to think about what we mean when we demand justice in the face of loss.

In "Force of Law," Jacques Derrida offers an analysis of the impossibility of justice as an arrival or event by problematizing the very notion that the law can render every man his due. Arguing that "one cannot speak directly about justice, thematize or objectivize justice, say 'this is just' and even less 'I am just,' without immediately betraying justice if not law" (935), Derrida reveals that justice is not a static state of being, nor is it a category to be assigned to actions, thoughts, or words. In christening the event that has taken place as fundamentally just, we betray everything about it which is not--we do an injustice to it in doing so. Accordingly, Derrida's justice a-venir is a notion of justice not as an arrival, but is a promise of something to come, a perpetual longing, a mourning for the absence of, and yet a vigilant striving toward, the receding horizon.

In On the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche astutely reminds his readers that "'[j]ust' and 'unjust' exist ... only after the institution of the law (and not ... after the perpetration of the injury)" (76). Thus, justice and injustice bear an intractable relationship to the force of law through which they are announced, not to the event of injury or loss with reference to which the law justifies its force. Likewise, Derrida reveals that the law is a form which delivers justice only to itself. He thus argues:
   Every time that something comes to pass or turns out
   well, every time we placidly apply a good rule to a particular
   case, to a correctly subsumed example, according
   to a determinant judgment, we can be sure that the law
   (droit) may find itself accounted for, but certainly not justice.
   Law (droit) is not justice. Law is the element of calculation,
   and it is just that there be law, but justice is
   incalculable, it requires us to calculate the incalculable;
   and aporetic experiences are the experiences, as improbable
   as they are necessary, of justice, that is to say of
   moments in which the decision between just and unjust is
   never insured by a rule. (947)

When we say that justice has been served, what that means is nothing more than saying that the law has triumphed in judgment, securing ever more faith in its functionality and its purported righteousness. In Derrida's essay, we are also reminded that the law is always already imbued with authority as enforceability, referring never just to a right that carries the potentiality of force, but something which can enforce itself and be enforced. The 'enforceability' of the law suggested in the notion of 'right' "is not an exterior or secondary possibility that may or may not be added as a supplement to the law," but it is precisely "the force essentially implied in the very concept of justice as law (droit), of justice as it becomes droit, of the law as 'droit'" (925). The law as 'right' sets the question of the force of law, of the enforceable law, or, in short, of the right of the law (not to be confused with the right of the individual or community) against the question of violence, with all its weight of injustice. The question becomes, then, how to conceive of a justice, with all its conceptual and practical ambiguity, as exclusively indexed to the law, when the reality of an enforceable law is the unimpeachable force that founds, justifies, and sustains it?

Moreover, the law cannot deliver justice because the law is general and generalizable, while justice demands a recognition of the particularity inherent in every injustice and loss. Derrida notes that "what we must not forget when we want justice, when we want to be just, is the rectitude of address" (949). Yet, Derrida reminds us:
   An address is always singular, idiomatic, and justice, as
   law (droit), seems always to suppose the generality of a
   rule, a norm or a universal imperative. How are we to reconcile
   the act of justice that must always cover singularity,
   individuals, irreplaceable groups and lives, the other
   or myself as other, in a unique situation, with rule, norm,
   value or the imperative of justice which necessarily have
   a general form, even if this generality prescribes a singular
   application in each case? If I were content to apply a
   just rule, without a spirit of justice and without in some
   way inventing a rule and the example for each case, I
   might be protected by law (droit), my action corresponding
   to objective law, but I would not be just. I would act,
   Kant would say, in conformity with duty, but not through
   duty or out of respect for the law. (949)

Here Derrida puts a fine point on how the particularity of loss disrupts the possibility of a synthesized notion of justice, that false promise through which so much injustice has reigned and been effectively justified. Justice cannot prevail in the present because there is no law that preserves the singularity of the address.

The radical impossibility which I take, following Derrida, to be emblematic of justice is that it is never complete, never something properly 'arrived at,' inevitability pointing to overdetermined conditions of possibility through which an 'injustice' arises and is enacted. While the injustice can be proclaimed in the present, pointed to, outlined, dissected, and given the privilege of witness as sanctioned through the law, the establishment of justice remains always obscure, merely an imagined object. Justice has no stopping point, but is constituted through an address of the infinite regress of conditions--the conditions of conditions which precede the enactment of injustice--which can only tip the scales of justice toward absolute indeterminacy. What I mean by this is that justice is a desire and promise of accountability, and, as Derrida reminds us, while the law is "the element of calculation," "justice is incalculable, it requires us to calculate the incalculable" (947). When we seek justice, we mean that the perpetrators of injustices should be held accountable for their crimes through punishment and censure. But the punishment never erases the loss of injustice, cannot undo it. In celebrating its punishment as the singular sign of justice, the law stops short of acknowledging, let alone addressing or transforming, the conditions through which an injustice arises or is enacted. It can and does, however, hide behind the veneer of legal justice the crucial institutional, historical, and communal complexes that undergird individual acts. While the perpetrator is but a moment, a decision, a subject in flux, it is institutions--both formal, like government or economy, or informal, like the structure of family, gender, etc.,--that persist and replicate themselves, often by virtue of the very laws which we celebrate as the apotheosis of civilization. Perhaps to do justice, what is needed is an accounting of, and for, the conditions of possibility through which each injustice arises, and collective efforts to transform those conditions. It is that vigilant effort to transform in the present the conditions of past that represents a justice always 'to come.'

Part of my project is to contribute to the process by which we, as readers of the world, citizens, and subjects of the law, remove our careless assent to, and faith in, the notion of legal justice that, while attempting to give every man his due, simultaneously dispossesses, erases, and commits its own forms of violence that cannot be mourned under the banner of justice. What justice demands goes beyond the form of law itself. What it demands of us is that we do justice to others, because, in the words of Etienne Balibar, "There is autonomy of politics only to the extent that subjects are the source and ultimate reference of emancipation for each other" (4). Accordingly, I want to propose that justice, doing justice to the other and to loss, requires mourning. And in mourning, there is the element of the present and presence. It is my contention that the empty form of the law cannot deliver justice because justice is a vigilance and practice of presence. The burden of dispossession and loss cannot be addressed through the general address of a law that deems and sacrifices the guilty other and moves on as if triumphant in justice. To do justice involves the singularity of material presence for the other, a willingness to help lift or share the burdens of the loss, to transform the darkness of a present robbed of its vigor through loss to the wavering light and dark of ordinary existence. Justice begs recognition of the beauty and the losses inherent in all forms of life, and the mourning of irretrievable losses is a way to bear witness to both. Justice is not just the promise of something better to come, a patient awaiting of deliverance from without, but a vigilant mobilization in the present premised on a recognition that every moment is itself ripe to be there for, and do justice to, others in the unfolding of their lives and material realities. To do justice is to be willing to reconsider our abstractions and assumptions--in short, our "laws"--in the face of others' experiences, and to be willing to thwart our demand for perfect formulas and easy and clear cut answers to do justice to the singularity of the experience. Justice demands that we recognize that it is the failure of our imagination to see the experience of the marked other as reducible to merely degraded and abject, or perfect or unsullied for that matter. In all these ways, justice demands particularity, the lived presence of people and their forms of life as prioritized over the abstractions and institutions through which they are administered. A justice without mourning and presence is, thus, melancholic in that it is attached to an external ideal and calculus, against all proof to the contrary, through which a final judgment can be rendered.
   The distinguishing mental features of melancholia are a profoundly
   painful dejection, cessation of interest in the outside world, loss
   of the capacity to love, inhibition of all activity, and a lowering
   of the self-regarding feelings to a degree that finds utterance in
   self-reproaches and self-revilings, and culminates in a delusional
   expectation of punishment. (244)

Thus the melancholic attitude is one in which an unmoumed loss is projected onto the world in such a way that there can be found nothing but ugliness, loss, cruelty, and injustice in it. The expectation of punishment, thus, is a kind of deliverance from uncertainty and loss, an invocation of a sovereign will and presence, if only in the negative. According to Freud, while mourning involves similar feelings of dejection, "[t]he fact is ... that when the work of mourning is completed the ego becomes free and uninhibited again" (245), and is able to experience reality in all its ambiguities, in its unfolding of pleasure and pain. He makes an interesting comparison between mourning, which involves a loss about which nothing is unconscious and which "is overcome with time" (244), and melancholia, which is marked by "a loss of a more ideal kind" (245; emphasis mine). It is this attachment to an ideal forever indexed to a past as the singular site of transformation which indexes melancholia to a failure of mourning. Freud notes that, in the case of melancholia, "[t]he object has not perhaps actually died, but has been lost as an object of love" (245). As he clarifies in a later text, mourning is a process, while melancholia becomes a characteristic of the ego as being. (1)

In "Resisting Left Melancholy," Wendy Brown, does the work of extending the logic of melancholia to a political gesture through a reading of Walter Benjamin. Brown characterizes "left melancholy" as "[Walter] Benjamin's unambivalent epithet for the revolutionary hack who is, finally, attached more to a particular political analysis or ideal-- even to the failure of that ideal--than to seizing possibilities for radical change in the present" (20). This "left melancholy" is a tendency to place the site of transformation always in some crude past and lost moment which contained the answer or kernel of possibility for a markedly different present reality (note that this can easily be used to characterize a "rightist melancholy" as well). It is a kind of gesture that renders the present moment utterly impotent, placing the site and moment of transformation in a now-lost potentiality of a moment in the past, or in the eventuality of an event or a judgment by which everything is set right. Thus, I am invoking the boundary between the supposedly normal and pathological dimensions of mourning versus melancholia as a way to consider that the form of loss of melancholia, which is about the loss of abstract unconscious ideals, is itself a failed gesture of mastery through abstraction which negates the possibility of radical change in the present, upholding a vigil for a moment now lost, but which could have supposedly made it all otherwise. The sublime anguish of the loss of the imagined ideal is fed by the absence, and the absence serves as the proof of the loss, pointing to an interminable cycle through which the living present becomes but the effect, the conditions which supposedly exist elsewhere. Thus, I argue, the desire for justice delivered from above or without is melancholic, a refusal to behold the phenomenological connection between overdetermination of reality and our attempts and limits in acknowledging, addressing, and reacting to its continual unfoldings. The work of mourning for injustice requires us to grapple with the past, and consider the ways we contribute to transformation in, and of, the present.

The work of mourning for injustice and loss is a process that can be cultivated through an attentiveness to singularity and/as difference. Thus, I do not want to merely point out and bemoan the melancholy of political thinking that circulates around idealizations and indictments; rather I want to present us with possibilities of reading beyond it. I have chosen to analyze three widely-acclaimed and internationally distributed Iranian films of varying time periods specifically because they are films that both stage and ultimately resist reductive gestures and simple binaries through which judgment as indictment can take place. In lieu of seeking justice, the films do justice to those caught up within their frames. The interpretive scheme on which I will draw for my readings of these films is encapsulated by Daniel Frampton's discussion of filmosophy, whereby he outlines a mode of philosophical engagement with cinema as "a world of its own" (1) such that the film is not merely a container of some philosophical reality that precedes it but is itself a "phenomenological realisation about how reality is perceived by our minds" (3). Each of the films I will be analyzing, like Frampton suggests, creates its own world and implicates the audience in the interpretive scheme to reveal something about how we perceive its representations. All three films set up, and continuously work against, viewers' anticipations, presenting us with easy identities which are obviated or occluded by their framings of the heteroglossic and accented nature of human reality. While none of the films is explicitly about justice, I read them as performing a just gaze, or doing justice to the forms of life they represent, refiguring perception of even banal interactions to help the viewer achieve an understanding of their inherent complexities. The films I analyze are not explicitly political, but each stages social landscapes of life and loss while resisting overly-neat narratives that isolate sites of blame as transparent and given: They demand of viewers to imagine what it is to think about justice when there is no one left to blame.

Each of the films, as Frampton claims, "uses the real; but it takes it and immediately moulds it and then refigures it and puts it back in front of the filmgoer as interpretation, as re-perception" (4). In this way, these films do not so much cohere to a given philosophical understanding of the world as they help us create our own philosophies about our engagement with and purported understandings of the worlds in which we find ourselves caught. Frampton argues that "film acts out an interaction with a world, which thus becomes a mirror for us to recognise our interaction with our world" (6). The mimetic relationship of film is not to the world it represents, but to the worldviews we carry inside of us in our interactions with one another and with the world at large. Its stakes, thus, are not merely mimetic or representative but phenomenological insofar as film creates the conditions for our interactions with it and its representative and interpretive realities. The particular films I discuss implicate us and force us to become a part of the interactions by setting up expectations in us that are either never fully met or which betray an excess. Each film provides figurations of forms of life which are always marked by, and through, economic, social, political, and gendered realities which both interpenetrate and exceed the subject, and through which it becomes impossible to declare guilty the other in order to enjoy the fruits of justice as an arrival. By thinking through these three films filmosophically, I aim to encapsulate the means through which they establish expectations in the viewer's mind which are then thwarted or obviated through representations of characters, pointing away from the predictive content of judgment in favor of the irretrievable heterogeneity of lived lives and desires.

White Balloon

In the White Balloon, Jafar Panahi's heroes are children that animate, in their beings, the purity of form yet to be broken and corrupted, and are mirrored in the adults that we anticipate will be limited to ignoring or taking advantage of them. Panahi's film draws upon "pre-political" children only to betray the confused social realities of the adult world. The film stages the inevitability of injustice of structural forms--social, political, and economic--which instigate alienation by creating, yet never meeting, even the basic desires of the modern subject. The locus of blame, however, is nowhere to be found in the film, revealing in its wake the victims of its cut but never a subject which carries the blade. There is no simple perpetrator, no simple object of disgust whose downfall or transformation would alleviate the losses figured into each frame. And while it can be argued that the audience would know who to blame, i.e., the Islamic Republic whose culpability can be established through the representation of these losses, I argue that the nuanced representations of each character reveal the desire for an event that delivers us from the pains and losses, thus a fully synthesized justice, to be but a melancholic fantasy. In this way, the film represents persistent social and economic problems without reducing the characters and their interactions to them, revealing the injustices that plague the conditions in which they find themselves entangled, but also highlighting the particularity of relations and interactions with their unfolding of pleasures and losses. The film makes use of 'real time' as a mode of framing the complex and contingent realities of ordinary life, engaging the viewer through the absolute presence of unfolding human experience.

Through its structural framing of a child's world, the film mediates the irredeemable injustices that abound in the social world but which bear no particular face. The film is a kind of mourning for the losses and needs of the nation that constitute the becoming into adulthood of the modern Iranian subject. The film revolves around a simple premise: A little girl, Razieh, is desperate to purchase a particularly big and beautiful fish for the Nowruz holiday, thoroughly dissatisfied with the "skinny ones" that live in her family's pond and which her mother gives to neighbors for the holiday. When her mother finally concedes, Razieh's journey through town is officially inaugurated. On her way to purchase the fish, she is faced with city folk, each of whom at first seems to want to hustle her, but who are revealed to have intersecting desires and needs that present challenges to Razieh's desire to obtain her fish. Through her journey, the attractions of the Iranian city are revealed to be heteroglossic, with individuals who speak Persian with Afghani, Turkish, Polish, and regional Iranian accents, each carrying the traces of the difference which undergirds the sameness of the national language.

As she walks to the store, Razieh finds herself tempted to watch the snake charmers in the square, who claim that the snakes only reveal themselves when they are given money. As she watches for the snakes, one of the snake-charmers purloins her 500 toman note from her fishbowl, thanking her for her contribution and celebrating his ability now to feed his family for the holidays (literally, to feed them fish that evening). The viewer's indignation at the injustice of the pilfered note and empathy for Razieh's tears upon discovering that her bill has been taken is held in check by the realization that the snake-charmer-criminal is himself the head of a family that relies on his income. While the other snake-charmer is moved by her tears and eventually returns her money to her, he reminds her of how quickly money can disappear, a lesson that she comes to learn again and again in her journey to obtain her big fish.

After getting back her bill from the snake-charmers, Razieh stops to look at sweets and then rushes to the store to purchase her fish, only to find out that the price she was quoted has since been doubled, again jeopardizing her ability to get the fish of her desires. She quickly realizes that she has, once again, lost her money on the way to the shop. In seeing Razieh's incredible disappointment, the shopkeeper allows her to buy it for the original price. Thus the shopkeeper is no villain trying to overcharge a little girl, but merely a man earning a living in the last moments before having to close out his shop for the Nowruz holidays.

An elderly woman who speaks Persian with a Polish accent helps Razieh find her way back to her money, only to watch the 500 toman note getting carried away by the wind into the grate of a closed street shop. Her efforts to retrieve the note are stifled by another shopkeeper who cannot be troubled to unlock the store into which the bill has fallen because he is too busy running his business and fending off political threats from a customer, revealing the ways in which the vicissitudes of economics and labor enable a mode of distancing which alienates us from the possibility of being present for others. As Razieh guards the money until she can find a way to it, she interacts with a third man, a soldier who sits next to her near the money and offers her sweets. The initial shots of the soldier suggest something sinister as he longingly gazes at her as she makes her way through the streets. He tries to convince her that he is no stranger because she reminds him so much of his own little sisters. What begins as a suspicious attempt to render himself familiar to her turns out to be his own coping with his estrangement. He tells her that in his hometown there are no strangers, while in this city, Tehran, everyone is a stranger to each other. He tells Razieh how dearly he misses his family since leaving his town for his military service in Tehran. When Razieh brazenly asks him why he does not go and see them, the soldier tells her that he lacks the 400 tomans to go there and to buy presents for them. Thus the sinister-looking soldier is revealed to be but a boy estranged from the city of his desires.

It is, ultimately, an Afghan boy selling balloons in the streets to support himself who comes to the rescue at the behest of Razieh and her brother, Ali. The boy returns to help them retrieve the money, which they do, and the viewer is introduced to the anticipated moment of pleasure in the film. As Ali and Razieh happily go off to buy the fish and rush off to celebrate Nowruz with their family, the last shot of the film reveals the haunting presence of the Afghan boy left alone on the street with his white balloon at the moment of celebration of the new year. (2)

The locale of the film is a series of streets somewhere in Tehran--mostly revolving around Razieh and her constantly shifting whereabouts. Because Razieh, a precocious little girl in dogged pursuit of her desires, is the central protagonist of the film, the figures that cross her path each represent an object of suspicion, whether the snake-charmers who take her money or the shopkeeper who doubles the price of the fish that Razieh is so desperate to possess. Yet, at the same time, the individuals with whom she crosses paths are plagued with the desperation of financial want and social alienation. The horizons to which they point, be they the snake-charmer's desire to have food and fish on the table that night for his family or the soldier's desire for contact and familial bonds in the city, are equally desires that cross hers (and which can be alleviated with the 500 toman note in her grasp). In the pursuit of her desires, the film reveals the injustices that plague the interpenetrating realities of each person whose path crosses hers. It is no coincidence that it is the image of the Afghan boy with the white balloon that haunts the representational moment of Razieh's arrival at her desire. Panahi himself notes:

My concern was not so much with the linear story of the girl who goes to buy her fish but with all her encounters with different people during the course of the film. In reality, when I say "the white balloon," somebody, an unknown man, is my main subject--the one you see only for a second, the anonymous person on the street, (qtd. in Donmez-Colin 127)

The injustices that have left the boy abandoned in the streets of Tehran cannot be undone--nor can the circumstances that render the snake-charmer, the solider, or the store clerks alienated and lost within a world of overdetermined desires. The impossibility of justice and the omnipresence of injustice are figured through frames, as the conscious attention of the shot shifts from the centrality of Razieh's plight to the Afghan boy's abandonment. The move from one particular case to the next makes it impossible to imagine that abstraction which is a desire for a synthesized justice. What I am suggesting through this reading is that the audience is left to wonder what it would mean for everything to have turned out all right. It begs an imagination of justice not as punishment and retribution, but a transformation of the present into a scene that could be otherwise. But, in moving from the pleasure of arrival (seeing Razieh finally obtain her object) to the boy standing alone at the moment of Nowruz, the film seamlessly begs for a reconsideration of our ways of being with others in the world. It betrays the impossibility of a fully synthesized justice precisely because every loss is singular, maddeningly overdetermined, and impossible to fully account for, let alone be delivered from.

The Wind Will Carry Us

While Panahi's film subtly plays with, and challenges, the demonization of individuals caught within the grip of social and economic difficulties of life, Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us stages and continuously resists the melancholy of the secular leftist who seeks to capture authenticity before its eventual downfall. In the film, a Tehrani film crew arrives to the village of Siah Darreh (Siyah Darrih; Dark Valley) in Iranian Kurdistan to make an ethnographic film about a mourning ceremony by women villagers. The crew pretend to be seeking a "lost treasure" and to be there to bring communications networks to the village, only to be informed the village is already endowed with the technologies the crew purports to bring. Thus the film continuously sets up binaries which it then subtly disrupts, chief among them the juxtaposition of the cynical film crew against the unspoiled authenticity of the villagers. (3) Kiarostami, as director of this film about an aborted ethnographic film project, is mirrored in the main character, Behzad, and the self-reflexivity of the film brings into focus the often thin line between the desire to preserve or capture the purity of 'the other' and the violence inherent in the gesture that cages it in within the neat logics of naming. (4) Jonathan Rosenbaum rightly characterizes "the particular ethics" of this film as consisting "largely of Kiarostami reflecting on his own practice as a 'media person' exploiting poor people" in his various films (n. pag.). (5) In exploring this self-reflexive mirroring, "Kiarostami is critiquing the whole premise of his filmmaking from an ethical standpoint" (n. pag.), as Rosenbaum argues. In doing so, he continuously plays with and, ultimately, resists the melancholic interpretive framework which obliquely seeks to preserve the projected purity of the other, and partakes of the righteous indignation of the inevitable failure to do so.

Apropos of this aspect of the film, I want to draw upon Hamid Dabashi's reading and critique of Kiarostami's film as unwittingly betraying an integral part of the unfolding of the film experience itself. In his book, Close Up, Hamid Dabashi offers a criticism of Kiarostami premised on this film which nicely expresses the melancholic thinking which the film implicitly invites and explicitly challenges. In this text, Dabashi offers some beautiful analyses of Kiarosami's earlier films dating from the 1950s to the mid-1990s, then accuses him of having given into his ego and falling into the trap of other Westoxified Iranian intellectuals (252). Dabashi argues that: "With The Wind Will Carry Us Away Kiarostami finally joined the rest of his generation in mutating his creative ego into the collective psyche of what he thinks is his nation but is not" (253), and that "the global celebration of his genius has finally gone to his head and corrupted his miraculously caring camera" (254). Denouncing the film, he notes that a particular scene involving the milking of a cow in a dark cellar
   sheds a new, unfortunate, light on the rest of The Wind Will Carry
   Us Away. Now everything makes horrific sense. A gang of Tehrani
   filmmakers have invaded this remote Kurdish village to see one of
   its elders die and make an ethnographic documentary of the event.
   Totally ignorant of the moral paralysis of ethnographic
   anthropology, Kiarostami becomes an ethnographer and a native
   informant at one and the same time. The village of Siah Darreh
   ("Dark Valley") welcomes the ethnographic crew and puts its
   youngest inhabitant at their disposal as their guide. They partake
   of the village's hospitality, pry into their private quarters,
   condescend to their elders, flirt with their young women, and
   ultimately perpetrate the final insult of visually copulating with
   one of them. (254)

The denunciation betrays little new about the film, but the righteous indignation is played out in Dabashi's demand for us to recognize, or care for that matter, how far the mighty Kiarostami has fallen. The move from idealization to demonization seems especially misplaced since Kiarostami had long built his reputation as an ethnographer-filmmaker, and had long been a kind of native informant for his Iranian audiences long before his international success. The scene under question involves Behzad going into a subterranean stable with a woman named Zeynab, who is the paramour of a ditch-digger in the village with whom Behzad interacts a number of times. Throughout the scene, Zeynab's face is ensconced in shadow, and Behzad unabashedly and crudely exhorts Zeynab to reveal herself to him so that he can see Yusufs--the ditchdigger's--taste in women. It is during these demands to see her visage that Behzad narrates the Forough Farrokhzad poem from which the film takes its title. Though Zeynab neither acknowledges the request nor succumbs to it, Dabashi proceeds to refer to the "stable sequence" as not only an instance of visual copulation, but "one of the most violent rape scenes in all cinema" (254).

Dabashi's reactionary stance toward the film is the very gesture, I believe, the film critiques. What I am suggesting is that Dabashi falls for the binary the film sets up, carrying the mantle of authenticity of the villagers and performing the messianic role of upholding the honor of the as-of-yet unspoilt village subject against the secular gaze of Westoxified intellectual and his international audience. (6) But, alas, the joke seems to be that what he denounces is precisely the structural backbone and critical edge of the film. There is no ambiguity about the cynical nature of the men who have come to the village to record a ceremony without informing, let alone obtaining permission from, the participants. Khatereh Sheibani proposes that the film highlights the "obvious colonial attitude" of the film crew, noting that at no point in the film is their presence "legitimized" (76). Thus, there is nothing about that representation that is subtle or under question. The film makes it incredibly difficult to identify with Behzad, the protagonist, and at every turn mocks and maligns his predatory presence in the village. But neither does the film provide an easy binary between the authenticity of the village and the cynicism of the invading Tehrani film crew. In fact, what the film provides is a kind of deconstruction of both of those poles, revealing how the identities to which we cling for comfort are always marked by an inviolable indeterminacy and heterogeneity.

The film does begin with a staging of the unspoiled spirit of the villagers as set against the cynical arrival of Behzad, the "engineer," and his cameramen. The first is a long shot of the winding road through which the visitors travel in order to find the village, and the only direction provided them refers them to a lone tree, all indicating the great lengths the films goes to express and evoke the remoteness of the Kurdish village, the site of a mourning ceremony which the new arrivals desperately want to record. (7) Aside from this literal instantiation of distancing, the film repeatedly establishes a pathos of separation between its representation of the derisive opportunism of the city-dwelling film crew, as represented by the only one who actually appears in the film: Behzad, and the treasured authenticity and immanence of the villagers, encompassed most neatly in the figure of Farzad, the little boy who assists Behzad throughout the film. Even Behzad's initial lie to Farzad--that they have come to the village to search for a "lost treasure"--unambiguously stages this separation of the one from the other. Yet, the film makes a truth of the lie, clearly showing that it is the idealized desire for a state of authenticity or purity of the village, its presumed treasures, that has always already been the object of Behzad's quest. (8) What we are presented with is, indeed, a picture of corruption: an imagined source from which Behzad feels himself distanced, and against which he, and indeed the viewer, measures his deprivation.

The centrality of the village as a kind of center of immanence is hinted at early on in the film. The first long shot of the arriving crew features their argument about the directions they have been provided, seeking a lone tree among the many trees they encounter. As Mathew Abbott notes, "When the characters see the tree (they do so before we do), there seems to be no mistaking it: someone exclaims 'It's so big!' about ten seconds before a large tree appears on-screen" (167-68). There is, thus, a claim about the ethics of particularity and its inherent ambivalence: You see it and recognize it when you do and never a moment before, what Abbott calls a "call to present-ness" (169). Upon arrival to his destination, Behzad notes that the village is far and hard to find, while Farzad responds that it is close and that he has found himself there since childhood. The mechanical separation the film seems to suggest between Behzad's journey and arrival is overtaken by the absolute presence of Farzad. The film quickly establishes the village as an origin rendering Behzad's metropolitan center but a symbol of deprivation from the source of goodness and life. (9) This point is driven home when we learn that Behzad is skipping a family funeral in anticipation of the death and ensuing ritual at the village. Behzad's gleeful anticipation of death of the old woman, Mrs. Malek, and his refusal to return to the city to mourn his own familial loss stage Behzad's attachment to the village as a kind of lost treasure which he desperately wants to find.

Various scenes perfectly encompass my point about the distancing, and refusal thereof, which occurs in this film through Behzad. One of the earlier scenes takes place when Behzad sits down at a coffee shop in the village and remarks to the attendant that he has never seen a female ghavechi (tea attendant), only to find himself reproached for his ignorance and his careless sexism as the attendant, Taj Dawlat, derisively asks whether his mother never served tea in their household. She also admonishes him for trying to take pictures of her without her consent and threatens to take away his camera if he proceeds to do so. Negar Mottahedeh offers a perceptive reading of the scene:
   In blocking the voyeurism associated with cinematic technology,
   the scene challenges several assumptions, including
   the powerlessness of the female villager compared to
   the female city dweller (i.e. Behzad's seemingly helpless
   mother) and the power of the urban male over the village
   female (she can take his camera away from him). (132)

Thus in this way, the film begins with this refusal of exoticization and eludes the trap of binarization. In another scene, upon learning that Farzad has made a nazr (10) that his grandmother get better, Behzad quickly realizes that his desire to record the funeral of the woman is in direct conflict with Farzad's desire to see his grandmother well again. The next scene is one in which Behzad is shaving in front of a mirror with the camera performing the role of the mirror for the film audience. There is a marked duality between the impression of the innocence and purity of Farzad, of which Behzad clearly finds nothing within himself, and the corrupted figure of the adult shaving his face while asking a neighboring woman to secure him fresh milk for himself and his cameramen. He is the figuration of adulteration and death against the life of the village. This disgust is precisely what the film elicits and playfully undermines.

What I find most interesting is that the film both stages and challenges our ability to take Behzad at his word. The film reveals the mechanical separation to be but the production of Behzad and the complied audience, pointing to the pitfalls of a supposed intellectual distance from, and a fundamental disavowal of, the life that he is, and indeed we are, always already living. There is a specific scene in which Behzad asks Farzad whether he believes Behzad is a good or bad person. Behzad shows some bemusement when Farzad shyly and after a pause says he knows that he is a good one. Why is the boy tasked with this declarative judgment? And what of his response? According to Jonathan Rosenbaum, it was Kiarostami who actually asked the boy playing Farzad the question, knowing that Farzad disliked the director. Kiarostami puts it as follows: "So that's why he wasn't very convincing when he called me a good man" (qtd. in Rosenbaum n. pag.). But what makes the scene powerful is that Behzad's (or Kiarostami's) question tells us more than Farzad's response. The question betrays an anxiety of contamination. The director (as Behzad and as Kiarostami) asks a question that expresses a desire for absolution from the pure and "innocent other" and simultaneously dismisses the response since its source is the "innocent other" who does not know better, and whose response is seen as contaminated by the mere presence of the cynical director. The film, it is important to note, does not stop at this melancholic take on the lost innocence of Behzad and the authenticity of the villagers.

Through a conversation between Behzad and Farzad's uncle, a local schoolteacher, we learn that the mourning ceremony that Behzad has come to record involves rituals of self-mutilation: Women of the village express the level of respect they have for the dearly departed through scars they inflict on themselves. Interestingly, the immanence and authenticity of the villagers is also reconsidered: Behzad learns that the women of the village have instrumentalized self-mutilation such that they do so for the death of influential people in order to gain favor for economic opportunities. (11) The unitary reference altogether dissolves, at least momentarily, the picture of the idyllic immanence of the villagers, revealing the cynical self in the image of the idealized other.

There is another way that the film achieves this. For the viewer, the comic and recurrent sight of Behzad running through the same pathway in the village and driving to the cemetery to answer phone calls quickly comes to form part of the background, the daily ebb and flow, of the organic life of the village. What Behzad, in his singular focus on the death of the old woman, misses is that he and the cameramen quickly become, in the reactions of the villagers and the comic timing of the film, part of the life of the village but for the pathos of distance that he continuously exercises with the villagers. What Behzad struggles to see is the idealized other in the self, that he is not fundamentally different from what he beholds and, unconsciously, desires. Sheibani astutely observes how "Behzad travels from epistemological assurance to indecisiveness when he is troubled by the philosophical dilemmas that Farzad confronts him with" (77). Abbott, on the other hand, notes that "what's interesting about this education is that it seems to be coextensive with the breakdown of the filmmaker's fantasy: It is only when he stops projecting onto the villagers that he can see the world rightly, and perhaps vice-versa" (175). While Behzad sees himself through a slight transformation (he never records the ceremony, though he takes a few stills), the viewer is cued into the fact that the separation between him and the villagers was always and already a function of his own ideological self-understanding and self-positioning, one the film takes pains to deconstruct. Or, as Abbott states, "It is only after our letting go of the desire for certainty--which in the filmmaker's case was enacted through a projection of such certainty onto those that were to become his subjects--that acknowledgement can occur" (176).

A Separation

While Panahi's and Kiarostami's films play with idealized binaries only to subvert them in nuanced ways, Farhadi's A Separation challenges the possibility of binary thinking altogether from the first frame. In its own way, the film asks us to consider the question: If the law is full of exceptions, then how can we begin to talk about justice? The first scene of the film thrusts the viewer in the midst of negotiations for a divorce, which are--unexpectedly--not marked by ideological accusations of monstrosity. When Simin, the female protagonist, is asked by the magistrate why she is seeking a divorce if her husband Nader is neither an addict, an abuser, or one who denies her an allowance, the viewer is cued into the fact that the film is not about the guilt of the other, but rather presents a complex world of competing needs and desires marked by sadness and loss, one that is free of the presence of absolute guilt or a singular perpetrator. The two central characters of Farhadi's film, Nader and Razieh, are figures guided by explicit sets of laws, cautious and vigilant to ensure rightness in word and deed. In following the trajectories of relationality, the film exposes how the internalized law through which each seeks to exercise justice nonetheless inflicts and exposes ever more injustices in its wake. The central problematic of the film is an incident that comes about through the complex contingencies of lived reality, and the multiple and interpenetrating situations undermine the privilege of judgment, the condition of possibility for justice through law.

The film begins with the separation of Simin from Nader, premised largely on Simin's desire to go abroad and Nader's refusal to go with her beacuse he feels that he needs to remain at home to take care of his ailing father. Nader is a middle-class secular intellectual and a man of principle, a kind of Kantian figure caught up within his own paradoxical negation of liberation. (12) The film establishes this through various means, including a scene in which he makes his daughter, Termeh, ask for change back from a gas station attendant because he insists that you only tip when someone has pumped your gas for you. He gives the change she gets to Termeh herself, in the form of a lesson about rightness and the order embedded in the law. In another scene, Nader helps Termeh study for a vocabulary exam, which includes the Islamic regime's Persian neologisms for common foreign words that have become a part of the Persian vocabulary. When Termeh proposes tazmin and zemanat as Persian synonyms for the word "guarantee," Nader points out to her that these words are Arabic and not Persian. The following exchange ensues:

Termeh: That's what my teacher said.

Nader: Don't you ever say that sentence to me again.

What is wrong is wrong, regardless of who says it or where it has been written.

Despite her protestations that she will be deducted points on the test, Nader insists that she respond with the word poshtvaneh on her test. In short, Nader is the ideal Kantian intellectual, upholding the right of the law over the lived reality of his daughter's existence.

He is mirrored through an inverse, Razieh, a pregnant lower-class religious woman who secretly takes on the job of taking care of Nader's father who suffers from old-age dementia. She is a devout woman who often calls on religious authorities to find out whether her actions are religiously sanctioned. She hides the job from her husband because she fears he may disapprove, and only agrees to clean up after Nader's father--who suffers from old-age dementia, rendering him helpless and in need of someone to take care of and bathe him--after consulting a religious authority and finding out that her seeing this man naked would not constitute a sinful act.

The knot that entangles everyone into the central problematic in the film is tied by the decisions and dissimulations of these two people, who are faced with situations in which the law that they believe guides their actions reveals itself to be full of exceptions. They both refuse to see the contradictions in the ideological stakes in which they find themselves. The irony of Nader's Kantian position is expressed at those moments when Nader lays the burden of judgment for his decisions and actions on his teenage daughter, on whose integrity and sight he so thoroughly depends when his own fail. (13) When he is tasked with providing blood money for an event that transpired with Razieh, he finds himself unable to reason his way to the just position, and he disavows the limits and contradictions of the law through which he functions and lays the decision at the foot of his daughter, asking her to declare him guilty or innocent of the crimes with which he has been accused. In short, through Nader, the law says: "You decide" and preserves itself in never having to account for itself. Razieh, on the other hand, fails to see how her fear of judgment, by her husband or by God, are the very source of the lies she tells to save herself. She is caught up within the same paradox Derrida refers to--the law supposes "the generality of the rule" and the "act of justice ... must always cover singularity, individuals, irreplaceable groups and lives, the other or myself as other, in a unique situation" (949). In living out the fantasy of the law, Razieh fails to see that her law can never account for the singularity of loss and injustice.

The spouse of each is a concomitant figure who is closely aligned with, and simultaneously a victim of, the ideological stakes of the law, whether in secularism or in religious revelation. Simin is an upper-class educated woman who desperately wishes to escape the limits of her life in Iran, and finds herself caught up in the turmoil of Nader's crisis. Hojjat, Razieh's husband, is a lower-class, uneducated but proud, man who is deeply in debt and, like Simin, in search of a way out of his situation. It is he who becomes a victim of Nader and Razieh's search for a justice as certainty. And it is the gaze of Termeh and Somayeh, Razieh's little girl, the victims of adult machinations and mistakes, the clutches of the law and its continual exceptions, who figure the aporia of justice. In the final analysis, when the truth of the central problematic is revealed, the film seems to suggest that the truth helps little with the attribution of blame. The infinite regresses of responsibility betray to the viewer the impossibility of justice as an event or an arrival. With unflinching simplicity and honesty, the film portrays the gut-wrenching realities that make a lie of the law, revealing in its wake the inescapable caprice of the unfolding of subjects in their limited forms of life. Farhadi's A Separation stages this reality by showing that justice is always already indexed to a law which is itself a mythical attachment, made material through the human beings who do its bidding, and through which they seal not only their own fates but the fates of those around them.

The belief in justice as an event or an arrival, I am suggesting through Freud, Brown, Derrida, and especially these films, is a melancholic anticipation premised on an attachment to an ideality which never existed and, thus, cannot be truly mourned. It is a loss of that which one never possessed, but through which life and the world at large seem ever more ugly, cruel, and unjust. In contraposition to this melancholic longing, the three Iranian films I have analyzed provide representations of characters who are neither all good nor bad, and forms of life that are so thoroughly overdetermined as to be beyond absolute judgment. In the absence of this justice, there is but the unfolding of realities with their ancillary pains and pleasures. There is no beyond this realm of lived reality, no outside through which it can be properly accounted for and made ultimately meaningful. The ever-receding horizon of justice is itself a process of mourning for the possibility of full agency and absolute self-presence, a mourning for the existence of cruelty, loss, and injustice, a mourning--in short--for the possibility of absolute positivity and mastery. That justice must remain perpetually to come is tantamount to a recognition that contingent, limited, and finite beings cannot be truly held accountable as they are overdetermined, and no amount or kind of punishment can undo the losses they have inflicted or have had inflicted upon them. The legal and institutional crux of justice is that the institution or law represents itself as sovereign and absolute self-presence through its continued existence, and the subject who believes it to be sovereign, and thus believes in its necessity, is the material means through which the institution remains intact. The justice that arrives is never about the victims of losses and cruelty, but a reification of the mastery of the law and its institutions.


* Academic writing is a cooperative act which ultimately effaces that cooperation under the banner of the author's singular name. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to Amy Motlagh who set up a panel at the Middle East Studies Association's (MESA) Annual Meeting in 2013 for which an earlier version of this article was written, and for the engagements I received from co-panelists Nasrin Rahimieh, Babak Elahi, and especially Arzoo Osanloo, whose comments as the respondent were particularly productive. I would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers who commented on an earlier version of this article. One provided much appreciated and needed encouragement, while the other astutely pointed out ways the article could benefit from more clarity and disciplinary positioning and accountability to film studies. Without these thoughtful interventions, the article would not have reached its present form.

(1) In The Ego and the Id, a text published six years later, Freud says about his earlier discussion of melancholia:
   At that time ... we did not appreciate the full significance of
   this process and did not know how common and how typical it is.
   Since then we have come to understand that this kind of
   substitution has a great share in determining the form taken by the
   ego and that it makes an essential contribution towards building up
   what is called its "character." (23)

(2) There is no ignoring the political valence of that image in the context of

Iranian political life. The image of the Afghan boy is a trace of the more than one million Afghan nationals in Iran, many of whom are refugees and laborers denied citizenship and residency rights. Bert Cardullo generalizes the image of the Afghan boy to include not only Afghan immigrants in Iran, but also the polity more widely:
   ... The idea that not only every Iranian female over the age of
   nine lives her life in a fishbowl, but that in a sense too does
   every other inhabitant of Iran, especially a resident alien like
   the Afghan boy. The goldfish, then, may be a symbol of the mystery
   and joy of life for Persians celebrating Nowruz, but in the context
   of this film, it becomes a symbol of the restrictiveness and
   subjugation of Iranian humanity as well. (182)

(3) Khatereh Sheibani views the film as one that characterizes truth as a "textual and contextual commodity" (74), and reality and truth as "contextual prospects" (74). In particular, she notes how the film problematizes the concept of binaries, and uses the little boy, Farzad, to thwart both Behzad's and the audience's expectations for clear-cut answers (73-74).

(4) In a similar vein, Christopher Gow argues that "Rather than constituting a lurid ethnographic study, therefore, The Wind Will Carry Us seems to be a meditation on the impossibility of capturing on film the essence of this particular Iranian village, and the ethical problems involved in attempting to do so" (33).

(5) Sheibani characterizes the film not as
   an innocent mystical journey but a self-critical account, because,
   after all, these middle-class people are involved in making a film
   in a poor village, just like Kiarostami himself who travels to
   remote places to make films. It is a self-mirroring movie that
   questions the moral validity of the film crew's presence in Siyah
   Darrih. (77)

(6) Ironically, as Christopher Gow argues, by declaring the stable scene as "one of the most violent rape scenes in all cinema," Dabashi undermines the agency and autonomy Zeynab, the subject of the scene, exercises within it (33). Gow notes:
   The problem with Dabashi's analysis of the stable scene, for
   instance, is the absolute intolerance it seems to show toward any
   other possible interpretations or alternative readings of this
   scene--in other words, its failure to recognize the scene's
   strongly polysemous nature. On the one hand, Behzad is very clearly
   trying to violate Zeynab, metaphorically speaking, by persistently
   asking her to reveal her face, while the camera similarly subjects
   Zeynab to its cold, impassive, unrelenting gaze. But on the other
   hand--as Jonathan Rosenbaum has observed ... despite Behzad's
   repeated supplications, Zeynab does not show her face, barely even
   acknowledging Behzad's presence throughout the scene (note also
   that for some reason Dabashi never refers to Zeynab by her actual
   name, despite it being clearly mentioned several times throughout
   the film). Seen in this light, Behzad's attempt to charm Zeynab, by
   loftily reciting a poem for her, appears to be as much a sign of
   desperation as it is one of patronizing condescension. What is
   particularly amusing about the scene is the way in which Zeynab
   herself actually undercuts the romantic mood that Behzad is trying
   to create, by interrupting him before he manages to finish the
   poem, bluntly informing Behzad that the bucket is full of milk just
   as he is about to utter the poem's final lines. (32)

For another detailed reading of the sequence, see also Mottahedeh, pp. 91-95.

(7) Mathew Abbott notes that "there is something self-aware or even self-effacing about these opening images," because they seem to be a playful nod on the part of Kiarostami to his "signature" of his previous films and their similar long shots (165).

(8) Abbott makes a similar claim, noting that while "the men are in town to film the ceremony, ... they have projected something onto it, something that sets it up as treasure-like" (174).

(9) On this point, Dabashi offers a strong analysis of how power relations with in the center and periphery in Iran replicate the colonial metropole and its colonized peripheries:
   the relation of power between national center and ethnic
   peripheries simply replicates that of the presumed metropolitan
   center and its implicit colonial periphery. There is not much
   difference between the Iranian cultural colonization of ethnic
   minorities like the Kurds and global relations at large. Tehran
   simply replicates what London, Paris, and Washington have done to
   their satellite peripheries" (257).

In my view, that is precisely what the film critiques in its own self-reflexive way. This point is also made by Christopher Gow who argues that Behzad "represents a critical self-portrait on the part of the director, a highly unsympathetic portrayal of the kind of nativist filmmaker which critics such as Dabashi have accused Kiarostami himself of becoming" (33).

(10) A spiritual vow and prayer for gifts from God

(11) Similarly, Mottahedsh argues that "The ritual performed at an elder's death in Siah Darreh is just another entrepreneurial ploy in climbing the capitalist ladder" (133). Likewise, Abbott makes reference to how this scene works against expectations of binary thinking: "What I take the filmmaker to have learned isn't that the villagers are dishonest, but rather that his own idea of a village populated by locals living in an entirely different world was itself a projection: that the image of tradition with which he was working--what you could call an access to a premodern experience of meaning, even a mythical experience of meaning--is itself a kind of fantasy" (174).

(12) In referring to Nader as a Kantian intellectual, what I mean to suggest is that he believes freedom comprises moral laws or duties that exist a priori in pure reason outside the realm of human experience. Kant argues that metaphysical morals are necessary, for experience and practical reasoning easily corrupt morals; only in separating the two can moral law transcend all else. For man to be a moral agent, he must act in accordance with, and for the sake of, a "duty" toward metaphysical moral laws. Kant's moral philosophy is characterized by what he refers to as the Categorical Imperative, which universally binds all rational subjects. He establishes that the formulations of this imperative include the demand that one ought to "[a]ct only according to the maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become universal law" (30), adding that "man, and in general every rational being, exists as an end in himself and not merely as a means" (35). Thus, for Kant, every individual who adheres to the Categorical Imperative legislates universal maxims to which he himself has a duty to adhere, and the aggregate of rational beings willing their wills exists in a system of "common laws" which benefit all. When I say that Nader is caught up within his own paradoxical negation of liberation, I am pointing out the imperative demands of a subject to become a kind of alienated calculating machine, ever processing the world through the lens of the universally valid law, even in the face of its continual exceptions. This requires the agent to act according to a uniform standard of morality that requires absolute adherence, regardless of other mitigating, complex, and contingent circumstances. In denying the subjective experiences and concerns of agents, the Categorical Imperative delivers a subject alienated from his contingent reality and under a duty to adhere to prescribed, unwavering, and objective sets of maxims regardless of consequences. Failure to adhere perfectly to these supposedly self-given maxims, it should be noted, is met with external punishments that locate their justification in the law.

(13) What I mean by this is that, in lieu of questioning the validity of the laws he supposedly follows, he displaces the decision onto his daughter, thereby saving himself from having to face the contradictions inherent in his position.
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Author:Frouzesh, Sharareh
Publication:Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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