OBEYD ZAKANIS MOUSE & CAT


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In the second, longer and replete with anecdotes and in which the ironic contrast with the first is immediately evident, the description of the abandonment and of the distortion of the virtue in question provides ample opportunity for satire. He declares then that he wants to put witticisms, pleasantries and little stories into writing, so that the reader may enjoy his work.

A POLITICAL FABLE - موش و گربه

The reference to these erudite and regal references enhances the estrangement induced by the reading of the pieces of advice, which invite us to adopt amoral transgressive stances outside every social rule and religious principle. The series of suggestions starts quite innocuously and then grows towards a climax with great parodic effect. Here too we have a world upside-down in which his vis comica and biting humor are expressed forcefully. The central theme of the work is therefore a typical theme of the classic Persian lyric— the first appearance of the beard to spoil the beauty of the beloved youth.

The condemnation of this vice is carried out through the literary expedient of a satirical dispute in which a personified beard defends its own virtues in a lively debate with the poet himself.


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This publication was based on a single manuscript. The same scholar later published another edition Tehran , based on a larger number of manuscripts, with a revised preface, and supplemented by a reprint of the comic works published in Istanbul. A subsequent series of reprints did not bring any new elements from the critical and philological points of view. On the title page we are informed that the editor had examined other manuscripts, but he does not supply any information about them and the volume has no critical apparatus.

He thus made a historical and literary contribution rather than providing any philological insight. Mirzozoda, Dushanbe, , supplemented with the reading of manuscript no. The inadequate exercise of justice by judges, governors and dignitaries is also the subject of pungent satire and of severe condemnation. The author, highlighting the dire failings of the system in which he lives, implicitly affirms his faith in justice as the root of security and public welfare.

Particularly lively is his condemnation of war, instigated by a craving for power and wealth, and creating thousands of innocent victims and leaving behind orphans, widows, and much misery.


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  8. Ethics, often inextricable from politics and religion, provides a broader territory for satire, ranging over all aspects of life at all levels of society. In this context, one can note that his repeated condemnation of passive sexuality catamites is applied to entire social classes, transforming what was a typical tool of satire ad personam into an instrument of social satire. In this last work, the work of reconstructing a text inspired by gnomic and wisdom literature through the subversion of its forms and contents, he undermines the entire edifice of the scholastic method of the Islamic madrasa.

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    In tune with the genre to which they ironically refer and adhere, these works initially begin with a serious and formal proem, but then the appearance of some jarring notes induce the reader to rethink their initial impression and immediately afterwards the blatant obscenities of the middle parts of the work arrive, before closing at the end with an apparent return to seriousness.

    In this sense, his contribution to Persian literature is a singular one, which is powerfully manifested in his rare talent for observation, in his considerable creative power, and in his ability to redraw the existing boundaries of the literary canon. Added to these qualities are the great clarity and effectiveness of his style: concise and terse, and at times pregnant with meaning.


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    7. His invective, sometimes highly provocative and transgressive, is seen as perfectly appropriate in the historical-cultural context in which it is developed, to draw attention to the injustices perpetrated by the persons or social groups who were the subject of the satire. The social criticism against satire and obscenity had not in fact stopped the flourishing of an extremely rich humorous, satirical and obscene literature in the Muslim world, with the birth of Arabic literature first and then Persian literature.

      Idem, in A. Pagliaro and A.

      Encyclopædia Iranica

      Gnoli and A. Rossi, eds.

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      VI, no. Hypocrisy: What he says about the world. Nonsense: What he says about the world to come. Complete paragraphs on Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri, a prominent figure during the Constitutional Revolution , were deleted in new editions of the classical "History of the Constitutional Revolution" by renowned historian Ahmad Kasrawi.

      Ubayd Zakani

      Nouri, who later became a favorite personality of the Islamic regime, first supported but later opposed the anti-absolutist revolution, saying that the revolutionary movement should seek a "theocratic regime. Ali Akbar Dehkhoda's monumental "Encyclopedic Dictionary," printed since the s in 15 volumes, was altered wherever it appeared to criticize the concepts and practice of the Islamic republic.

      A whole entry about "hijab," the Islamic dress code for women, in which Dehkhoda praised changes "freeing women from the hijab," was replaced by a text praising the hijab and describing different forms of female dress code according to Islamic tradition. Other entries, including one about the former Shah of Iran, who was deposed in the Islamic revolution, were removed.

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      Dehkhoda, in a handwritten note, had urged later publishers not to change a single word of his "Encyclopedic Dictionary," "even if it were not accurate. The contents of books must be pre-approved by the ministry. They include classical Persian poetry as well as translations from Western authors.

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