- The Translingualism of Kurdish Writers: A Postcolonial Reading of Ali-Ashraf Darvishian’s Autobiographical Novel Sālhāyi Abrī (Cloudy Years)
- Studies in the Novel
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 48, Number 4, Winter 2016
- pp. 462-476
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This paper examines the phenomenon of “literary translingualism” in Cloudy Years (2000), an autobiographical Persian novel by a Kurdish writer, Ali-Ashraf Darvishian. By drawing on strategies of appropriation proposed by Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin in The Empire Writes Back (1989), this paper shows how Darvishian has incorporated the Kurdish dialect and culture of his hometown into his Persian narrative, thus highlighting his cultural distinctiveness while writing in the only official language of his country. The postcolonial reading of Cloudy Years affirms that writing in any of the dominant languages of Persian, Turkish, and Arabic does not necessarily mean the assimilation of a Kurdish writer into the dominant culture. On the contrary, hybrid translingual texts such as Cloudy Years not only defy the state-imposed monoculturalism but also manifest a hybridity that is emblematic of the country’s heterogeneous ethno-cultural makeup.