The Making of a Modern Trickster, 1906-1911
- ISBN: 9781474499521
- Published By: Edinburgh University Press
- Published: September 2022
In the early twentieth century, a group of Azerbaijani and Georgian artists and intellectuals reinterpreted the Middle Eastern trickster figure Nasreddin in their periodical Mollā Nasreddin. They used folklore, visual art and satire to disseminate a consciously radical and social democratic discourse on religion, gender, sexuality and power in South Caucasus and Iran. The periodical reached tens of thousands of people in the Muslim world, impacting the thinking of a generation.
This highly-illustrated book explores the milieu in which Mollā Nasreddin was born, the way the periodical recreated the trickster trope, and the influence of European graphic artists, especially Francisco Goya, on the journal. It focuses on the most creative period, 1906-11, when the journal reflected the social and political concerns of three major upheavals: the 1905 Russian Revolution, the 1906–1911 Iranian Constitutional Revolution, and the 1908 Young Turk Movement.