Ayşe Atay

Keywords: Contemporary Azerbaijan Literature, Molla Nasreddin, Anar, Humour, Tradition


Since Aristotle, the notion of "laughing" has been described with the works of many critics, such as Kant, James Beattie, Schopenhauer, Mc. Dougall. Today three fundamental theories are recognized about laughing: "superiority", "incongruity" and "relief". This notion has been used in the field of culture and literature mostly with the genres such as humour, satire, burlesque. Humorous style which has quite active, dynamic and effective expressive power, just like in the journal of Molla Nasreddin style, has been one of the prime sources that determine and improve the literary life. Molla Nasreddin journal, which had a leading role in the settlement of progressive ideas, reached an intense audience in a wide geographical area including Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Tashkent, Crimea, Kazan, Ufa, Asthana, Orenburg as well as Azerbaijan. Humour has been a major remedy which is utilized for social difficulties from the point of Azerbaijani artists who were suffering under the domination of czarist and communist eras by facilitating their intellectual attitudes and freedom. The journal Molla Nasreddin, interiorizing this as an editorial policy, has been a significant pathfinder for the artists who tries to carry tradition to modern. One of those among the literati of 1960's is Anar, who is prominent with his skills on revealing inner world of human. In his books such as Molla Nesreddin-66 and Sizi Déyip Gelmişem (1984) which include his satirical stories, the author aimed to install cultural relation between the past, now and the future with the inspiration coming from the school of Molla Nasreddin. He has preferred the use of humour to give a stronger response against the regime and time-servers that ignore moral and national entity. In this article, Anar's satirical stories will be examined and the main criteria that will be used on re-evaluating traditional literary materials and methods with a contemporary approach will be determined.