Just a few reminders about our Christmas Party this Saturday (Jan. 12 @ 2pm @ Steph's):
- Please bring a wrapped book (new or used) for our book exchange.
- Steph is doing a tapas-style meal so bring a dish of something to share that goes with that theme
Here is a list of some of the questions/topics that we’ll discuss at the meeting, in case you want to think about your answers ahead of time:
1 – According to Nafisi, how is the Ayatollah Khomeini like Humbert in Lolita?
2 - Think about "the blind censor" and how he relates to the larger story.
3 - Consider the position of women in Iran before the revolution versus their position during Nafisi's story.
4 - Why did the regime feel it necessary to ban/restrict most books? Why did it matter what the people were reading? What did the government fear?
5 - In your opinion, should books ever be censored or banned? Why or why not? Are there circumstances that would be an exception to your rule?
6 – What is “home” to you? Is it a place, people, things? Is it stationary or “portable”?
7 - Nafisi focused on two specific novels, Lolita and The Great Gatsby, and on two specific authors, Henry James and Jane Austen. Why did she choose these and not others? What was the relation between the books/authors and Nafisi and her students in Tehran at that specific time?
8 - And finally, the message at the core of the book - What is the real value of fiction? Why should we read it? Is it meant solely for enjoyment or is there something more to "great fiction"? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these topics and more!
See you all tomorrow!
PS. If you’d like to hear Azar Nafisi herself, here are some links you may enjoy:
http://www.authorbytes.com/abmediaplayer/readerscircle10/player.htm http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=3617 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5140411773302656963 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4602009390796832062