Archive Sections: letters | music | index | features | photos | arts/lit | satire Find Iranian singles today!

Satire

Let's not talk about sex
Zakani's ribald satire: what's wrong with the act of love?

November 15, 1999
The Iranian

Bibliotheca Persica Press in New York, under the supervision of Ehsan Yarshater, has published Obayd Zakani: Collected Works. Edited by the late Mohammad-Ja'far Mahjoub, this must be considered the definitive collection of Zakani's brilliant works of satire and social criticism.

Zakani, born some six hundred years ago in a village near Qazvin, is well known among Iranians. His humorous anecdotes and maxims are especially popular. But lesser known among the general public is his ribald satire with explicit sexual references.

In his introduction, Mahjoub says that prurient writings by Zakani, as well as those by such great classical poets as Rumi, Sa'di, Sanaie, and even Iraj Mirza in more contemporary times, "are all tactless and full of violence. Their explicitness does not conform with the higher state of love making, coquettish manners or loving desire."

QUESTIONS

Let's assume Zakani's writings about sex are tactless and crude. But how many works of Persian literature can be named where the physical expression of love is beautifully described? Has Iranian society ever had the tolerance for it (before and after the revolution, or before and after Islam)? Why not?

Why is references to sex and sexuality among Iranians (religious or non-religious) a taboo, except in coutnless jokes. We have magnificent love stories such as Laili & Majnun and Shirin & Farhad. But why is it that almost no one has taken that extra step to show the beauty of physical intimacy?

Anecdotes

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5

Ribaldry

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5

* *

COMMENT
For letters section

* FAQ
* Advertising
* Support iranian.com
* Editorial policy
* Write for Iranian.com
* Reproduction

RELATED
Satire
in iranian.com

Experimental
in iranian.com

Book of the day
mage.com

Crowning Anguish
Taj al-Saltana, Memoirs of a Persian Princess 1884-1914
edited by Abbas Amanat

Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions