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Title: Censorship of poetry in post-revolutionary Iran (1979 to 2014), growing up with censorship (a memoir), and the kindly interrogator (a collection of poetry)
Authors: Hassani, Alireza
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The thesis comprises a dissertation, a linking piece and a collection of poems. The dissertation is an analysis of state-imposed censorship in Iranian poetry from 1979 through 2014. It investigates the state's rationale for censorship, its mechanism and its effects in order to show how censorship has influenced the trends in poetry and the creativity of poets during the period studied. The introduction outlines attitudes towards censorship in three different categories: Firstly, censorship as "good and necessary", then censorship as "fundamentally wrong yet harmless or even beneficial to poetry", and lastly, censorship as a force that is always destructive and damages poetry. Chapter one investigates the relevant laws, theories and cultural policies in order to identify the underlying causes for censorship of poetry. Chapter two looks at the structure and mechanism of the censorship apparatus and examines the role of cultural organizations as well as judicial and security forces in enforcing censorship. Chapter three contemplates and explores the reaction of Iranian poets to censorship and different strategies and techniques they adopt to protest, challenge and circumvent censorship. Chapter four analyses the outcome of the relationship between the censorship apparatus and the poets, providing a clear picture of how censorship defines, shapes and presents the poetry produced and published in Iran. Chapter five compares the type of censorship in Iran with two historical cases of Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Bloc to conclude that every censorship regime has particular characteristics and affects creativity in a unique way. It revisits the previous arguments in light of findings of the research and concludes that censorship in Iran has highly influenced the contemporary Iranian poetry, and that it leaves a lasting effect on creativity of the Iranian poets. Growing up with Censorship is a self-reflective memoir which chronicles the author’s personal encounters with censorship both as a reader and a writer from 1979 to 2014. It links the dissertation to the poems and provides an intimate narrative of the role censorship has played in shaping the author’s poetic life and his poetry. The Kindly Interrogator is a portfolio of 57 poems concerned with the themes of censorship, surveillance and persecution.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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