Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austin

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged that…”

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged that a Moslem man, regardless of his fortune, must be in want of a 9 year-old virgin wife…”. That’s how Nassrine started the discussion with the opening sentence of Jane Austin book “Pride and Prejudice”, a temptation that a reader is most likely to feel and rearrange…

Azar Nafisi held Thursday’s sessions for 7 of her former students, discussing selected English fiction novels and keeping diaries.

Manna rejoined: “It is a truth, universally acknowledged that a Moslem man will eventually displace his older wife for a fresh naive 16 year-old virgin…”

What is your “truth, universally acknowledged….?”

Azin, who is in the process of divorcing her third husband, said: “Who is thinking about love these days? The islamic Republic of Iran has taken us back to Jane Austen’s blessed arranged marriages. Nowadays, girls marry either because of famiy pressures, or to get a green card, or to secure financial stability… And we are talking about educated girls, discussing English literature, and who have gone to college…”

Mahshed replied: “Many women are independent in Iran, and are business women and who have chosen to live alone…”

Manna retorted: “Most women don’r have a choice now. My mother could chose her husband and wearing the veil was optional…”

Nassrine said: “Temporary marriage contracts are all the rage. President Rafsanjani is encouraging these kinds of short-term marriage contracts… Many conservative clerics call these contracts a sanctified form of prostitution… A few progressive men are for these contracts, and I tell them that they should demand that this law gives women the same rights as men… Talk about hypocrisy!”

At the start of the 20th century, the age of marriage was changed to 13 and increased to 18. In the 1960’s, there was little difference between the rights of both genders, and women were at a par with western democratic States standards in human rights.

As Khomeini grabbed power in 1979, and this totalitarian and theocratic regime came in the name of the Past, and individual freedom was banished… the first law was to repeal the Family-Protection law, which guaranteed women’s rights at home and at work.

The legal marriage age for women was lowered again to 9 year-old, sort of 8.5 lunar years… Adultery and prostitution were punished by stoning to death, and women were considered to have half the worth of men

And why this 9 year-old cut-off standard?

Prophet Muhammad had officially married Aicha at the age of 9. Aicha’s father was Abu Bakr, later to become the first Calif of the Moslems.

Muhammad didn’t have intercourse with Aicha until she was 13, but they didn’t beget any children. Aicha was the most beloved of wives and the most educated.

This terribly jealous wife used to throw tantrums when exposed to injustices. As Muhammad announced his desire to marry another wife (9 in total), Aicha shouted: “This God of yours has the habit of satisfying all your desires in verses…

Aicha was in charge of transcribing the verses during Muhammad’s bouts of epilepsy.

And the Moslem clerics want to emulate their prophets, particularly in life-style that pleases their pleasures and comfort…

Sanaz was to meet with her long-time preferred Iranian young man, accompanied by her family, across the border in Turkey: The beau was settled in England for the last 6 years and decided to give it a shot and get engaged with Sanaz. The discussion among the girls was on how to discover the compatibility attribute, after so many years of absence, before Sanaz agrees to get engaged.

Nassrine suggested that “The first thing you should do to test your compatibility is dance with him

This suggestion was a reminder of the “Dear Jane Society” idea of forming dance sessions: Teacher Azar had gathered the girl students after class following a lecture on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to dance in the style of Austen’s period (the Napoleonic age). But that is another story.

Note 1: The story is taken from “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi

Note 2: If interested in a biography of Aicha, check https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/aicha-la-bien-aime-du-prophet-by-genevieve-chauvel/

A shed of my own: Not necessarily Marcus Berkmann’s

Do you think mid-life crisis is in the eye of the beholder? Whatever statistics of researchers in social sciences mildly try to make you swallow?

Do you believe by now that mid-life crisis is actually a series of crises after “maturity”, interspersed with memory lapses?

Like this kid of 9 who wrote: “Mr. Salteena was an elderly man of 42“.

People in their late 30’s prefer to be labeled “thirty something”, and as they reach their 50’s, they like to be called “fiftysomethings”…simply because they lived that glorious period…

Is middle age defined by physical limitations in endurance, such as:

1. Going “ooof” when sitting down on a sofa

2. Refraining from eating pizza after sundown,

3. Preferring to change to slippers immediately as you enter your home…

Is middle age defined by leisure of wider opportunities, as Jane Fonda expressed it: “People tend to be happier after 50: They are less stressed, less anxious, less hostile…Maybe because they realize that “I have been there, done it, and none of it killed me”. You tend no longer to make mountains out of mole hills…”

Late French author Albert Camus wrote: “Nobody realizes that many of us invest tremendous energy merely to be normal“( looking normal in the eye of the majority?)

Dr. von Heller wrote: ” Forty is a critical age.  Between 35 and 40, everybody has to turn a corner in his life, or smash into a brick wall…”

In mid-life crisis we become increasingly paranoid of physical shortcoming, only to discover that the rear tire of our bicycle is flat, and nothing is wrong with our leg muscles…Has one of your kids commented: “You’re a grown up. What do you know about style?”

Jane Austin in Emma wrote: “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasure of the other…”  Is she referring to the two groups divide: Youth and after middle age?

After all, at which age have you started checking the obituary pages of your local daily? Given that you have started reading anything at all before then…

Kurt Vonnegut wrote: “True terror is waking up and discovering that your high-school class is running the country (politically)…” Middle age people knew how stupid they used to look and think, and now they are behaving as the wisest of all…

J.M. Barrie wrote: “I have warned against letting the golden hours slip by.  A few of them hours happened to be golden because I let them slip by…”

And Albert Einstein wrote: “I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity…”

Note: Marcus Berkmann is the author of Rain Man, and he latest is “A shed of his own” reflecting on mid-age crisis


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2020
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