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by: juan gomez

Savushun Middle East Humanities MENA 160A2

juan gomez
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About this Document

Notes for November 16th and 18th on Savushun
Middle Eastern Humanities
Yaseen Noorani
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by juan gomez on Thursday November 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Middle East Humanities MENA 160A2 at University of Arizona taught by Yaseen Noorani in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 166 views. For similar materials see Middle Eastern Humanities in Language at University of Arizona.

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Date Created: 11/19/15
Savushun November 16, 2015  Savushun – Conflict o 1941- WWII. English and Soviet Occupation of Iran o Riza Shah replaced by son o Governor of Fars – collaborator o Food shortage – English wants surplus crops o Nomadic Tribes resist settlement. Seek German alliance o English – neutralize Qashiqa’is and landholder resistance o Yusof – large landholder, refuses cooperation with the English. o Yusof’s brother is willing to collaborate to increase his wealth and standing.  Savushun – Characters o Main characters – Zari, Yusof, son Khusrow, Mina, Marjan o Khanom Fatemeh – Yusof’s sister o Abul Qasim Khan (Khan Kaka) – Yusof’s brother o Hormuz – cousin, son of Abul Qasim Khan o Gholam – servant o Governor & family (Gilantaj Khanom, bride) o English – Zinger and Khanom Hakim o Ezzat al-Dowleh – aristocratic lady; hates Zari & Yusof o Hamid – her son o Qashqa’I leaders – Malek Rostam and Malek Sohrab o MacMahon – Irish journalist  Simin Daneshvar (1921-2012) o Born and raised in Shiraz – father was a physician o Went to English school in Shiraz (like Zari in the novel.) o Studied Persian literature at University of Tehran. o Published first collection of short stories in 1948. o Married Iranian intellectual Jalal Al-e Ahmad 1950 o Lived in the US 1952- 1954 o Published Savushun in 1969 o Taught at University of Tehran until 1981  Shariati – Culture and Civilization o The culture of one’s nation is the source of spiritual values. o “When I feel my own religion, literature, emotion, need, and pains through my own culture, I feel my own self, the very social and historical self (not the individual self), the source from which this culture has originated.” o Modernity strips people of their culture and turns them into consumers of Western products o Alienation – people lose their culture and their true selves. They try to do what modernity makes them do. o ”Today the most painful disorder possible sweeps non- European countries, the psychological disorder of non- Europeans who possess a unique character and yet deny they hold in mind something alien. They copy someone else and imitate him blindly  Jalal Al- e Ahmad (1923-1969) o Secular leftist intellectual.Was member of the communist Tudeh party for a time in the 1940’s o Became well –known as a novelist and social critic by the 1950’s o Deeply affected by coup in 1953 o Famous for his book Occidentosis, 1962 o Ideas in Occidentosis  Rich western countries use Third World countries for raw materials and consumption  The West suffers from “mechanosis”  Third World suffers from “occidentosis”  Both are forms of cultural alienation and enslavement  Human values lie in “cultural personality” of one’s nation o Many of these ideas are present in Savushun and influenced Shariati  Savushun – what does it mean o Savushun – commemoration, death of Siyavash o Story of Siyavash, Shahnameh o Father – Shah of Iran o Like Joseph (Yusuf) accused by step-mother (Sudabeh) and passed trial of fire o Virtuous, innocent o Was put to death by his father-in-law unjustly o Avenged by son, Kay Khusrow o One of the most tragic stories in Persian legend o Blood of Siyavash  Martyrdom of Husayn –Parallels o The central narrative of Shi’i Islam is the martyrdom of Husayn o Husayn was the grandson of the prophet Muhammad. Shi’i Muslims believed that he was the Imam and Caliph o Husayn and other members of the prophet’s family were killed by the Umayyad army at Karbala in Iraq in the year 680 o Shi’i belief is that Muslims were supposed to follow their innocent and heroic leader but abandoned him. They should feel guilt for what they allowed to happen o Commemoration of Husayn’s martyrdom is one of the holiest days in Shi’i Islam o Passion Play (ta’ziyeh) – a play that reenacts the martyrdom  Main episodes: o Setting scene – earrings incident –chap 1 o Qashqa’I connection –chap 4 o Sahar incident – begins chap 5 o Story of Yusof’s family – chap 6 o Ezzatoddowleh background story – chap 8 o Zari pregnant – chap 10 o Kolu episode – begins chap 11 o Ezzatoddowleh gunrunning – chap 15 o Yusof and allies – chap 16 o Qashqa’I raid episode –chap 17  Women in Iran o Pahlavi rule – women’s rights granted, but women’s movement suppressed o Marriage age raised, veil prohibited, right to divorce, polygamy restricted, right to vote o Mass female participation in Iranian Revolution o Women’s rights curtailed in Islamic Republic o UNESCO study 2010 – women make up nearly 70% of Iranian graduates in science, more than half in social science, business and law, and more than a quarter in engineering, manufacturing and construction o Participation in employment, public sphere, sports  Savushun – Coming of Age Novel? o Why is Zari the main character and not Yusof? o Does Zari need to come of age? She is married and has children o Does Zari have will and agency? o Instances of passivity – Earrings, son’s horse, fear of Yusof’s boldness o “In her heart she cursed herself for being such a coward. Spineless women like me get what they deserve. “50 o English education – alienation? Thinks Siyavash is John the Baptist, 58. o What is the status of the English in the novel? o How is Zari different from Yusof? o “This home is my city, country, but they even drag the war to my home.”34 o Charity – “the solutions that Yusof proposed seemed so dangerous to her that it made her shudder to even think about them.” 122  Yusof o Yusof is distinguished from the other characters o Yusof has a different attitude towards the British o He has a different attitude towards the peasants who work his lands o Well-educated, went to university in England o “Those who heard Yusof edged away, then left the room altogether” o “You have made a land devoid of heroes” o “What is the use of all this charitable work? The whole thing is rotten to the core.”122  Zari and her conscience o “My whole life has been like this. Every day I have sat behind a pulley, turning the wheels of life and watering the flowers.”134 o “I got scared of the gendarme who came for the horse.”140 o “Your mother has only known instructors and teachers who have tried to keep her away from reality and instead teach her politeness, etiquette, conformity, coquetry, embroidery, and how to smile.”140 o “But I, too, when I was a girl, I, too was brave in my own way.”141 o “If I want to stand up to anyone, I must first stand up to you… It is you who have taken my courage away.” o “Out of Instinct, you put on a show of courage, a raw, unrefined instinct.”142


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