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Best Loved Classics-The Arabian Nights-Tales from the Thousand anb One Nights
Best Loved Classics-The Arabian Nights-Tales from the Thousand anb One Nights Author:Grossett and Dunlap The Arabian Nights, a collection of more than 250 tales are called in Arabic "The Thousand and One Nights." According to the fiction which binds the collection together, the stories are told by Scheherazade to prevent her husband, the sultan Schariar, from killing her. Each night Scheherazade postpones the climax of her narrative to the followi... more »ng night, thus postponing, and eventually escaping entirely, the fate of her predecessors as wife to the sultan-death the day following the bridal night.
any of the Arabic tales have been traced to Indic, Persian, Grecian, and Egyptian sources, and some possibly may have come from China and Japan. A simple form of their framework existed in papyrus as early as 2000 B.C., but they were originally related and handed down by traveling storytellers. Later, around f1450, they were transcribed by Egyptian scholars. Between 1704 and 1717, a French translation by Antonine Galland appeared, and since that time the tales have been translated into every principal language in the world. The best-known English translation is that of Sir Richard Burton (1885-88). With the exception of the Bible, no other compliation has so circled the globe. The seven voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba's encounter with the forty thieves, and many other events have become familiar to readers throughout the world.
Abounding with imagination and spiced with lively incidents, the tales present picture after picture of luxurious Eastern material splendor. For the most part, however, they are grounded on a description of this manners and customs of the medieval Moslem middle and lower classes, and concern themselves chiefly with myth and magic. In addition to story patterns common to fairly tales, they utilize beast fables, folk counts of strange adventure and Arabic chivalry, love, valor, and military achievement. Harun-er-Rashid, whose nocturnal excursions through Baghdad provide the starting point of many of the tales, was introduced as a hero in the eighth century because the entertainers at his court wished to flatter him.« less