Reading Ahmad Mahmoud’s ‘The Neighbors’ as a Subaltern Narrative
The present study examines the Iranian novelist Ahmad Mahmoud’s The Neighbors in the light of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s concept of Subaltern. Reading the novel as a subaltern narrative, our essay investigates the main characters’ experience of subalternity as well as their survival in the light of the resistance of the committed intellectuals. In his narrative, Mahmoud depicts a society where intellectuals play a major role in resisting colonization despite the fact that they have different understandings and expectations about their society. Affected by the cultural and economic pressures foisted on them by the colonizer and colonized and their relationship, the central characters undergo hard times until they either leave their country or become imprisoned. Understanding the circumstances and necessities of their society, some intellectuals are able to help the common people out of trouble. The intellectuals who prefer to leave the country have to go under the processes of Othering and Worlding. This essay, therefore, tries to show how Mahmoud’s novel provides a third space through which the Subaltern can speak and transform the conditions of impossibility, hopelessness and negative feelings into the Subaltern and marginalize them into possibility.
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