Brookshaw, Dominic Parviz, ed. Ruse and Wit: The Humorous in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Narrative. Ilex Foundation Series 8. Boston, Mass: Ilex Foundation ; Center for Hellenic Studies, 2012.
The essays in Ruse and Wit examine in detail a wide range of texts (from nonsensical prose, to ribald poetry, titillating anecdotes, edifying plays, and journalistic satire) that span the best part of a millennium of humorous and satirical writing in the Islamic world, from classical Arabic to medieval and modern Persian, and Ottoman Turkish (and by extension Modern Greek). While acknowledging significant elements of continuity in the humorous across distinct languages, divergent time periods, and disparate geographical regions, the authors have not shied away from the particular and the specific. When viewed collectively, the findings presented in the essays collected here underscore the belief that humor as evidenced in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish narrative is a culturally modulated phenomenon, one that demands to be examined with reference to its historical framework and one that, in turn, communicates as much about those who produced humor as it does about those who enjoyed it.
Table of Contents
– Introduction / Dominic Parviz Brookshaw
– Amphigory and other nonsense in classical Arabic literature / Geert Jan van Gelder
– Persian Humor in the International Context / Ulrich Marzolph
– Have you heard the one about the man from Qazvin? Regionalist humor in the works of Ubayd-i Zakani / Dominic Parviz Brookshaw
– Bawdy anecdotes in religious settings: examples from medieval Persian literature / Olga M. Davidson
– Playful figures of script in Persian and Chinese / Paul Sprachman
– Despots of the world unite! satire in the iranian constitutional press: the Majalla-yi istibdad, 1907-1908 / Ali Gheissari
– Humor for in-betweeners: Sadiq Hidayat’s myth of creation as a cross-cultural phenomenon / Marta Simidchieva
– Ottoman Karagöz and Greek shadow theater: communicational shifts and variants in a multi-ethnic and ethnic context / Anna Stavrakopoulou.
About the Editor:
Dominic Parviz Brookshaw is Associate Professor of Persian Literature and Senior Research Fellow in Persian at Wadham College. Among his recent publications see:
“Mytho-Political Remakings of Ferdowsi’s Jamshid in the Lyric Poetry of Injuid and Mozaffarid Shiraz,” Iranian Studies, 48:3 (2015), 463-487.