A Contrapuntal Reading of the Iranian Diaspora in the House of Sand and Fog

The cinematic rendition of the House of Sand and Fog in 2003 crated a sensation, it won an academy award. This paper is a contrapuntal reading of the original work written by Andre Dubus III. This contrapuntal engagement with the text would bring about a closer understanding of diaspora as a backdrop of this Hollywood drama. Furthermore, this paper would delineate the ideation of time, the temporal dynamics of diaspora in what is known as diasporic consciousness where ‘being’ assumes an unstable ontic positioning between ‘here’ and ‘there’. At a political level, in the book the writer probes into this diasporic positioning to portray American interventions in the Middle East especially in Iran in the aftermath of World War II that triggered the Iranian Revolution in 1979. This is the political meddling that is even fleetingly acknowledged in the preamble to the movie, Argot. The Iranian diasporic character in the movie, a former army colonel in pre-revolutionary Iran, presents this diasporic subjectivity that sheds light on the dynamics of imperialism and oppression in Iran that led to the Revolution as an indigenous reaction to the geopolitical presence of the United States. Hence, this contrapuntal analysis becomes an apt tool to display the strength of the novel as a political signifier of the events in the 1950’s that three decades later led to the mass emigration of the Iranians to the United States especially to California, the setting of the House of Sand and Fog.