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May 25, 2004

Persian Dance and Persian Accent

Reading a paragraph from: Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
by Azar Nafisi

You might have noticed at times that when a passage is being read-on the radio for example- from a book written in English, if the author's native language is not English, the reader's accent is usually close to the English accent of the speakers of the author's native language. Listen to the following paragraph with that perception in mind, if you will:

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" There are different forms of seduction, and the kind I have witnessed in Persian dancers is so unique, such a mixture of subtlety and brazenness, I cannot find a Western equivalent to compare it to. I have seen women of vastly different backgrounds take on that same expression: a hazy, lazy, flirtatious look in their eyes. I found Sanaz’s look, years later, in the face of my sophisticated French-educated friend Leyly as she suddenly began to dance to music that was filled with stretches of naz and eshveh and kereshmeh, all words whose substitutes in English-coquettishness, teasing, flirtatiousness-seem not just poor but irrelevant. "

May 25, 2004 09:44 PM

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