By offering a comprehensive survey of the theories pertaining to the literature produced by Iranian expatriate communities, this essay argues that the many faces of “emigration literature” indeed reflect the immigrants' varied experiences of their departure and their host societies. Furthermore, the essay pursues the points of divergence of this genus of literature to show how, ironically, various strands and different works in Iranian emigration literature contribute to the diversity of literature in their host societies. This “dual function” characterizes emigration literature: on the one hand, as a literature of departure from a homeland that vanishes in memory, this strand of literature narrates the existential dilemmas of the loss of a past in one's homeland; on the other hand, the existential settlement in the host land drifts such narrative into an ever-expanding future not necessarily bound by a place. Emigration literature dwells in this terra nulleum.
Where Will I Dwell? A Sociology of Literary Identity within the Iranian Diaspora
Peyman Vahabzadeh; Where Will I Dwell? A Sociology of Literary Identity within the Iranian Diaspora. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 December 2008; 28 (3): 495–512. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-2008-028
Download citation file: