Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Life of Edward William Lane (1877) by Stanley Poole-Lane

 image info - Edward William Lane by Richard James Lane, plaster statue, 1829, 37 1/2 in. (953 mm) high, Given by the sitter's grand nephew, Stanley Lane Poole, 1893, NPG 940 - http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw03752/Edward-William-Lane

Here, for free, in many formats to download or read online, is the book Life of Edward William Lane (1877) - https://archive.org/details/lifeedwardwilli00lanegoog

The biography was written by Lane's nephew Stanley Poole-Lane, a professor and "Egyptologist" who spent a great deal of time editing and re-publishing his uncle's works, including several editions of Lane's Arabian Nights.

The biography pays particular attention to Lane's time in Egypt and his Arabic related publications and research.

more reading -

Stanley Poole-Lane at Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Lane-Poole

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Arthur Rimbaud - "Conte" ("Tale")

Here is Rimbaud's Nights inspired poem "Conte," from Illuminations (1946, New Directions, translated by Louise Varese)


A Prince was vexed at having devoted himself only to the perfection of ordinary generosities. He foresaw astonishing revolutions of love and suspected his women of being able to do better than their habitual acquiescence embellished by heaven and luxury. He wanted to see the truth, the hour of essential desire and gratification. Whether this was an aberration of piety or not, that is what he wanted. Enough worldly power, at least, he had.

All the women who had known him were assassinated; what havoc in the garden of beauty! At the point of the sword they blessed him. He did not order new ones.–The women reappeared.

He killed all those who followed him, after the hunt or the libations.–All followed him.

He amused himself cutting the throats of rare animals. He set palaces on fire. He would rush upon people and hack them to pieces.–The throngs, the gilded roofs, the beautiful animals still remained.

Can one be in ecstasies over destruction and by cruelty rejuvenated! The people did not complain. No one offered him the benefit of his views.

One evening he was proudly galloping. A Genie appeared, of ineffable beauty, unavowable even. In his face and in his bearing shone the promise of a complex and multiple love! of an indescribable happiness, unendurable even. The Prince and the Genie annihilated each other probably in essential health. How could they have helped dying of it? Together then they died.

But this Prince died in his palace at an ordinary age, the Prince was the Genie, the Genie was the Prince.–There is no sovereign music for our desire.


Un prince était vexé de ne s'être employé jamais qu'à la perfection des générosités vulgaires. Il prévoyait d'étonnantes révolutions de l'amour, et soupçonnait ses femmes de pouvoir mieux que cette complaisance agrémentée de ciel et de luxe. Il voulait voir la vérité, l'heure du désir et de la satisfaction essentiels. Que ce fût ou non une aberration de piété, il voulut. Il possédait au moins un assez large pouvoir humain.

Toutes les femmes qui l'avaient connu furent assassinées : quel saccage du jardin de la beauté ! Sous le sabre, elles le bénirent. Il n'en commanda point de nouvelles. - Les femmes réapparurent.
Il tua tous ceux qui le suivaient, après la chasse ou les libations. - Tous le suivaient.

Il s'amusa à égorger les bêtes de luxe. Il fit flamber les palais. Il se ruait sur les gens et les taillait en pièces. - La foule, les toits d'or, les belles bêtes existaient encore.

Peut-on s'extasier dans la destruction, se rajeunir par la cruauté ! Le peuple ne murmura pas. Personne n'offrit le concours de ses vues.

Un soir, il galopait fièrement. Un Génie apparut, d'une beauté ineffable, inavouable même. De sa physionomie et de son maintien ressortait la promesse d'un amour multiple et complexe ! d'un bonheur indicible, insupportable même ! Le Prince et le Génie s'anéantirent probablement dans la santé essentielle. Comment n'auraient-ils pas pu en mourir ? Ensemble donc ils moururent.
Mais ce Prince décéda, dans son palais, à un âge ordinaire. Le Prince était le Génie. Le Génie était le Prince.

La musique savante manque à notre désir.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Arabian Nights Bibliography Updated

I received this update on a listserv I am a member of and would like to share it. It's an exceptional online bibliography, now updated, with Nights related articles/books and etc., in several languages.

"This is to inform you that the Arabian Nights Bibliography, available online since several years, has recently been substantially updated.


As a further service to the scholarly community, we now offer to supply scans of items listed in the Bibliography, most of which are available here.

In the future, we aim to link pdf-scans to specific out-of-copyright items.

As always, any suggestions to make the Bibliography (and our service) better will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards, UM

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Marzolph"