Persian satire  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Persian satire refers to satires in Persian literature.


History of Persian satire

Early Persian satire

The Arabic poetic genre of hija (satirical poetry) was introduced after the Islamic conquest of Persia. The Greek dramatic genre of comedy was also later introduced after Aristotle's Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world, where it was elaborated upon by Islamic philosophers from Persia, such as Al-Farabi and Avicenna. Due to cultural differences, they disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with the Arabic poetic form of hija. They viewed comedy as simply the "art of reprehension", and made no reference to light and cheerful events, or troublous beginnings and happy endings, associated with classical Greek comedy. The term "comedy" thus became synonymous with "satire" in medieval European literaure after the Latin translations of the 12th century.

Perhaps the most notable early Persian satirist is Obeid e Zakani (d. 1370 AD). His work is noted for its satire and obscene verses, often political or bawdy, and often cited in debates involving homosexual practices. He wrote the Resaleh-ye Delgosha, as well as Akhlaq al-Ashraf ("Ethics of the Aristocracy") and the famous humorous fable Masnavi Mush-O-Gorbeh (Mouse and Cat), which was a political satire. His non-satirical serious classical verses have also been regarded as very well written, in league with the other great works of Persian literature.

Persian satire and constitutionalism

Persian Constitutional Revolution coincided with the emergence of numerous legendary satirist and literary figures as Iraj Mirza, Ali Akbar Dehkhoda and Bibi Khatoon Astarabadi. Most satirists wrote their works in the form of poetry. Apart from Persian satire, Azeri satire had a strong presence during the revolution. Legendary Iranian-Azerbaijani satirist, Jalil Mohammad Gholizadeh published his famous Molla Nasreddin weekly magazine in Tabriz during this period. He published the first very first cartoons in the history of Iranian cartoon art.

Contemporary Persian satire

During the middle half of the 20th century, Towfigh magazine broke all previous norms of political satire with very direct attacks and jabs at the establishment - all the while within the confines of true satire in a country with no freedom of the press. Three brothers: Hossein Towfigh, Hassan Towfigh and Abbas Towfigh turned Towfigh magazine into the highest circulating and most popular magazine in Iranian history. Never before Towfigh magazine and never after Towfigh magazine has journalism in Iran been so brave at fearlessly attacking the government with humor. At the turn of the millennium, Persian Satire underwent a revolution by the works of Ebrahim Nabavi in Jame-eh daily. He offered a novel form of Persian satire in his work entitled "Sotoon e panjom".

The emergence and development of satire in Afghanistan is closely connected with political history. Mahmud Tarzi, Abdul Sabur Ghafory, Muhamad Yusof, Shaeq Jamal were perhaps the most notable satirist during the period of 1873-1965. The period from 1965 till 1978 was the most productive period and different types of satire emerged and flourished in Afghanistan. In addition, an even larger number of the same kind of work was imported from Iran.

Further reading

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Persian satire" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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