Friday, March 26, 2010

Salman Rushdie on "Fictionality"

Here's a brief lecture/interview with Salman Rushdie from Emory University. Rushdie has used the Nights motif and stories in many of his own works and often speaks about the Nights in his many lectures and readings.

In this case, while he backgrounds the Nights in their fictional/story-in-a-story genre, he also makes a point to reference the Nights' origins. This is interesting to me for a number of reasons but namely because of the number of people who "claim" the Nights as "their" own. Here he draws a definitive line from India to Persia (and then to Arabic, he suggests minorly).

I've heard arguments from all three sides (India, Persia/Iran, "Arabic") and they are typically so nationalistic (these stories are from x, y or z). Not sure what to make of it all but it is an interesting and marked topic when the history of the Nights is brought up.

Here Rushdie is clearly marking his territory and his authority by situating the Nights in his own personal "ethnic" background.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Classic Comics - Arabian Nights - No. 8

Here's the entire version of the Classic Comics Arabian Nights that someone has uploaded on scribd.

I find the story fascinating in terms of its portrayal, or lack really, of Scheherezade. In this retelling of the frame story of the Nights Shahriar is just killing brides for no reason and just appears to be crazy for no reason: "so cruelly fanatic" is the only one given.

He sees Scheherezade and marries her but she comes up with a plan to tell her father stories (not her sister) in earshot of the Shahriar.

Here's the comic, which includes, of course, Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin (click 'full screen' to read it better):

Arabian Nights (Classics Illustrated)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lyons Edition set for Paperback Release

The newest English translation of the Nights by Malcolm and Ursula Lyons will be available in paperback via Penguin very shortly. Previously available in a limited UK hardcover release for about 100 pounds (three volumes) this will make for a more widely accessible version.

I'm still up in the air about the Lyons translation. While it contains many stories not typically available in most translations it does quite a number on the inherent sexuality of the Nights and ultimately loses some of the poetry of the language. I'm still partial to Dawood's handling of the stories, though Jack Zipes also has a very very readable to contemporary audiences version of the Nights as well.

Here's the Amazon listing for the Lyons' version (which will be available in May):

Check the label marked "Lyons reviews" below on the right side of the blog for more info on their translation and lists of reviews of it as well.

Thanks, Moti, for passing this info on to me by the way.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MLA Call for Papers - Influence of the 1001 Nights

I'm looking to fill one or two spots on a panel having to do with the 1001 Nights for the upcoming MLA conference in Los Angeles in January 2011.

You have to be an MLA member by April 7.

Email me abstracts at my email address in my profile here.

I'm looking for papers under the topic "The Influence of the 1001 Nights" (which is a bit broad but specific enough I think for a viable panel topic). The panel is not approved yet and I need to submit everything fairly soon.

Please email me if you'd like to participate, hopefully by a week from today so I can get in the submission. Feel free to spread the word!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

1001 noc

Here's a nice looking poster from the ex-Yugoslavia currently on ebay selling for around $65 US. It's of the Mr. Magoo film based on the 1001 Nights.