Projects The Mouse and the Cat


It has been centuries since Persian speakers tell and hear an engaging and memorable story, in kuttabs, schools, private gatherings, or literary societies. The aim of this literary narrative, which embraces social and anthropological values, contemporary to the author, is to remind worthwhile and favorable concepts to its extensive audience. This short allegorical story is The Mouse and the Cat, written by Ubayd Zakani. The story of the Mouse and the Cat is very popular among Iranians. This short story, with animals as characters, narrates and describes a period of the 14th century. The bloodthirsty cat and the oppressed mice are the main characters of the story which can be interpreted as metaphors of the contemporary society of the author, Ubayd Zakani, or in a broader sense, of Iran’s entire social history. After killing a mouse, the cat renounced violence and became virtuous. His piety, however, did not last long that he soon returned to his old rebellious attitude of killing the mice. Many authors and poets have taken an allegorical approach to demonstrate their socio-cultural concerns, criticize their contemporary society, as well as give guidance. Being among the most prominent poets whose works are a critical reflection of the instability and intensity of their society, Ubayd Zakani’s critics are metaphorical narrations through the language of animals. This short yet rich treatise, published by Tabl Space, starts with a brief description of Zakani’s age and life, followed by a brief analysis of his works, and finally, re-examines the Story of The Mouse and the Cat, offering an interpretation of the historical, social, and literal dimensions of it.

The Struggle between the Mouse and the Cat Concerning the Circumstances of the Pious Amir is a subset of the artistic and cultural projects of +3:30. Through the reinterpretation of the old literature and paintings, +3:30 is an invitation to text-wearing; it is an attempt to promote thought and knowledge by the means of visual narration, founded on the beliefs and mundane lives of people. For this project, The Struggle between the Mouse and the Cat Concerning the Circumstances of the Pious Amir, by Mehrakali Sabounchi, together with The Mouse and the Cat, by Ubayd Zakani, corrected by Eghbal Ashtiani, are published in one volume, with 240 full-colored pages. This volume has been launched along with +3:30’s collection of “The Mouse and the Cat.”