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East is East

Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents by Robert Irwin

Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens
The Atlantic Monthly

"Of what book and author was the following sentence written, and by whom?

Rarely has an Oriental servant of a white-identified, imperial design managed to pack so many services to imperial hubris abroad and racist elitism at home — all in one act.

This was the quasi-articulate attack recently leveled, by a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University, on Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi's account of private seminars on Nabokov for young women in Iran. The professor described Nafisi's work as resembling 'the most pestiferous colonial projects of the British in India,' and its author as the moral equivalent of a sadistic torturer at Abu Ghraib. 'To me there is no difference between Lynndie England and Azar Nafisi,' Hamid Dabashi, who is himself of Iranian origin and believes that Nafisi's book is a conscious part of the softening-up for an American bombing campaign in Iran, has said...." Read the entire Atlantic Monthly review.

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