Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This book is based on the papers presented at a conference entitled “Moments of Silence: The Authentic Literary and Artistic Narratives of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988)” which was held at New York University in Abu Dhabi in March 2011. It is certainly natural to first and foremost...

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Introduction

Arta Khakpour, Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami, and Shouleh Vatanabadi

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pp. 1-8

The term “Gulf War” never achieved an equivalent level of media saturation and buzzword ubiquity when employed to refer to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent events as it had a decade prior, when it referred to Operation Desert Storm and irrevocably conjured a certain...

Part I. Transnational Contexts: Interconnected Histories, Geographies, and Languages

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1. Narratives of Borders and Beyond

Shouleh Vatanabadi

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pp. 11-19

In a previous piece I wrote on the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1989)1 I argued for the necessity of looking at this event not as an isolated moment fixed in time but as an experience within the continuum of temporality as formulated by Walter Benjamin, to point to the shifting and fluidity of...

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2. Lost Homelands, Imaginary Returns: The Exilic Literature of Iranian and Iraqi Jews

Ella Shohat

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pp. 20-58

When I first contemplated my participation in the “Moments of Silence” conference, I wondered to what extent the question of the Arab Jew/Middle Eastern Jew merits a discussion in the context of the Iran-Iraq War. After all, the war took place in an era when the majority of...

Part II. Theorizing Cultural Expressions of War

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3. Treacherous Memory: Bashu the Little Stranger and the Sacred Defense

Kamran Rastegar

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pp. 61-87

Questions of ideological dedication are perhaps most fraught within the context of war. Memory discourse, in particular on the memory of war and its traumas, is often a legitimating instrument in the contest to elaborate who serves as hero and who as traitor during the war and...

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4. War Veterans Turned Writers of War Narratives

M. R. Ghanoonparvar

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pp. 88-102

Writers of fiction often rely on their imagination in their work, and professional writers are able to recreate scenes, events, and incidents of actual or imagined wars by imagining them. In contrast, some of those who experience war first hand, especially as combat soldiers, write...

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5. Between Betrayal and Steadfastness: Iraqi Prisoners of War Narrate Their Lives

Dina Rizk Khoury

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pp. 103-119

Two iconic photographs symbolize the distinct meanings that Iranian and Iraqi governments ascribed to the figure of the prisoner of war. The first is of thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war taken in April 1982 in the wake of the beginning of retreat of Iraq from Iranian cities. Iraqi soldiers...

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6. Stepping Back from the Front: A Glance at Home Front Narratives of the Iran-Iraq War in Persian and Arabic Fiction

Amir Moosavi

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pp. 120-137

In discussions of modern literatures rarely are modern Arabic and Persian fictions brought together in a comparative context. Despite many shared sources and intertwining histories in the classical period and similar trajectories in the development of what are now considered...

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7. Not a Manifesto: The Languages of Aggression

Michael Beard

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pp. 138-160

There is a genre of landscape painting that developed in the late sixteenth century, notably in a series of six etchings Jacques Callot drew depicting the Spanish Siege of Jeda (1624–25). We know that Callot was commissioned by the Spanish government to memorialize their victory...

Part III. War Through Visual Representations

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8. All’s Not Quiet on the Western Front: Graphic Arts in the Iranian War Effort

Peter Chelkowski

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pp. 163-175

In the summer of 1999, I was invited to a conference on “Shii Rituals” in Shiraz. Since I had to see many people, I was assigned a car with a driver. In such instances, it is my custom to sit next to the driver and chat. On this occasion the driver, whose name was Mohammad, was...

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9. Shadows of War: An Overview of Iranian War Films from 1980 to 1988

Marjan Riahi, translated by Arta Khakpour

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pp. 176-190

In 1979, the Iranian monarchy collapsed and the Ayatollah Khomeini assumed leadership of the Revolution, resulting in the transformation of Iran’s government from a monarchy to an Islamic republic. On September 22, 1980, while this fledgling government was still facing numerous...

Part IV. Literary Narratives of War

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10. Representation of the Iran-Iraq War in Kurdish Fiction

Mardin Aminpour

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pp. 193-205

This chapter investigates some of the perspectives modern Kurdish literature has generally adopted vis-à-vis the phenomenon of war and the Kurds’ prolonged struggle for independence, with a narrower focus on examination of some of the notions and impressions of war informing...

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11. Editing (Virayesh) as a Movement of Resistance during the Iran-Iraq War

Farzaneh Farahzad

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pp. 206-216

The role of language in shaping collective and national identities is of prime importance in socio-linguistic studies. The issue gains special significance in the case of Iran. There are at least three reasons for this. The first is that Iran has historically been in constant contact with the...

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12. Narratives of Silence: Persian Fiction of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War

Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami

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pp. 217-236

In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway called war “the writer’s best subject.” Hemingway justified this description by saying that “[War] groups the maximum of material and speeds up the action and brings out all sorts of stuff that normally you have to wait a lifetime...

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Appendix A: Only the Dead Witnessed the End of the War

Ali Bader, translated by Amir Moosavi

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pp. 237-245

At the Ajeerda divide, the strip of land that separates the marshes on the eastern side, east of the city of Amarah, we were gathered into deeply dug out positions. Thousands of soldiers, dressed in khaki uniforms, we were packed together, drenched by the rain, with our helmets and...

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Appendix B: My Brother’s Blue Eyes

Marjan Riahi, translated by Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami

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pp. 246-249

What I am writing is the story of Ms. Vavi’s coming and staying on. Hossein, who is in charge of the storage room, is telling this story in his stuttering speech, and I am writing it down. I was transferred to this section a week ago. Hossein lost the nerves of three fingers in his right...

Appendix C: Two Poems

Sinan Antoon, translated by Sinan Antoon

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pp. 250-251

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Appendix D: A Chapter from The Pomegranate Alone

Sinan Antoon, translated by Sinan Antoon

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pp. 252-257

The only time I ever saw my father crying was many years later when he heard that my brother Ameer, whom we called Ammoury, had died. Ameer, who was five years my senior, turned from “Doctor” to “Martyr.” His framed black-and-white photograph occupied the heart of the main...

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Appendix E: A Letter to the Saad Family

Habib Ahmadzadeh, translated by Paul Sprachman

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pp. 258-264

The first finder or finders of this letter are kindly requested to deliver its contents in any way possible to the family of “Saad Abd al-Jabbar,” a member of the 23rd Battalion of the Special Republican Guard Forces of Iraq; the letter is from the forces under control of the Third Army...

Select Bibliography

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pp. 265-270

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About the Contributors

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pp. 271-276

Mardin Aminpour was born in the Iranian Kurdistan. He pursued higher education in Tehran, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature at Tehran University. Subsequently, he received a Fulbright scholarship in 2007 to teach Persian at the University...

Index

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pp. 277-290