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The Arabian Nights Norton Critical Editions - A Labyrinth Of Incredible Stories_

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					  The Arabian Nights (Norton Critical
              Editions)




                        A Labyrinth Of Incredible Stories!


This Norton Critical Edition includes twenty-eight tales from The Arabian
Nights translated by Husain Haddawy on the basis of the oldest existing
Arabic manuscript. Few works of literature are as familiar and beloved as
The Arabian Nights. Yet few remain also as unknown. In English, The
Arabian Nights is a literary work of relatively recent date—the first versions
of the tales appeared in English barely two hundred years ago. The tales
are accompanied by a preface, a note on the text, and explanatory
annotations. “Contexts” presents three of the oldest witnesses to The
Arabian Nights in the Arabic tradition, together in English for the first time:
an anonymous ninth-century fragment, Al Mas„udi‟s Muruj al-Dhahab, and
Ibn al-Nadim‟s The Fihrist. Also included are three related works by the
nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers Edgar Allan Poe, Marcel Proust,
and Taha Husayn. “Criticism” collects eleven wide-ranging essays on
The Arabian Nights‟ central themes by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Josef
Horovitz, Jorge Luis Borges, Francesco Gabrieli, Mia Irene Gerhardt,
Tzvetan Todorov, Andras Hamori, Heinz Grotzfield, Jero me W. Clinton,
Abdelfattah Kilito, and David Pinault. A Chronology of The Arabian
Nights and a Selected Bibliography are also included. .

Personal Review: The Arabian Nights (Norton Critical Editions)
As a previous reviewer commented, this collection is "imganitive and rich."
I could not say it better - so I plagerize. Many of the stories of
Sherherazade are familiar to us all - Sinbad, the genie in the bottle ... what
I was not expecting, however, was the way in which these stories were
woven together. The story begi ns with a description of the setting: the
Sassanid king, after being cuckolded by his wife, decides to marry again -
but only for one night, after which she is killed. The vizier's daughter
volunteers to become the king's next wife; her father urges her n ot to,
relating a parable - which in turn leads to the daughter's response through
another parable. The marriage occurs, and in this manner - one story
leading into another and another, the the reader (like the king himself) is
helplessly pulled into the stories. A brilliant literary device.

The stories themselves are beautiful and varied - some are fantastic
(genies, flying horses, talking donkeys), others poignant. It was difficu lt to
put the book down, and each tale had my rapt attention. How much of this
is the result of the translator and how much of this is a function of just good
story-telling is hard to determine. That, in addition to being entertaining,
the stories provide a glimpse into Arabic (and to a lesser extent, Perisan)
culture is an added bonus. Recommened reading.

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