Hedayat's Qazzieh [Parody] as a Literary Genre

It is a commonly accepted fact that Sadeq Hedayat introduced parody to Persian modern literature in the form of qazzieh. Indeed, there is an explicit reference to the pioneering nature of this attempt in one of Hedayat's own works. At times resorting to prose but often in metered and rhymed phrases, Hedayat used this genre in his qazziehs to ridicule customs, traditions, social behavior or religious beliefs that he found to be irrational, inhumane or otherwise abhorrent to his own sensibilities.

A number of his parodies, however, had as their targets the traditional Persian literary works, in terms of their contents as well as the style and mode of writing. In his own writing, Hedayat often scoffed at the prevalent literary norms and disregarded accepted syntactic and orthographic rules. Thus, he deliberately misspelled ordinary words in these parodies in a clear attempt to ridicule some of Iran's traditionalist men of letters who were sticklers for detail and grammatical correctness.

As to the content of the writings of his contemporaries, he targeted what he saw as banal and repetitious themes and claimed that the arena of Iranian literature had been dominated by mediocre storytellers, second-rate poets and peddlers of insignificant biographies. In a sense he lamented the prevalent social and literary tastes which tolerated the continuation of the literary status quo and shunned those who deviated from the beaten path and tried to revitalize Persian literature in modern and innovative ways.

Iraj Parsinejad
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