The story I want to talk about is entitled Riš-nama (meaning “The book of the beard”, or “Pogonology”), one of Obayd Zakani’s recognized masterpieces.
Riš-nāma narrates about the ‘critical moment in which facial hair replaces the soft down on a pubescent boy’s cheeks. 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. Obayd’s intention in composing this work is to condemn the moral corruption of pederasty, while recalling the theme and style of an obscene poem by Sadi (Kolliyāt-e Sadi, ed. M.-A. Forugi,Tehran 1995,pp 1000.1001) 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.*
(To be continued on http://www.pappisaaa.com/post/155674239952/storytelling-and-talking-and-listening-my-work, within the frame of “Pour la petite histoire” project by Michela Alessandrini, in collaboration with PAPPIS – Art Anecdotes Archive)
* Daniela Meneghini on http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/obayd-zakani