Sunday, October 26, 2014

more citations of this blog

In my field blogs generally are thought to mean time wasted not publishing in "legitimate" journals - this is understandable even though there are so many high quality academic online creations. It's unfortunate too, for many reasons outside the scope of this post. 

My blog is useful for me for gathering all of the Nights related materials I almost always randomly come across. It has been a constant inspiration for my legitimate publications and useful in my teaching. It has also been a place of global collaboration of all things Nights-esque. It's fairly safe to say that the role of a blog in the academy, however, remains far under the scope of legitimacy.

The MLA though, among other groups, has started to include digital humanities criteria for judging whether things like a blog are worthwhile. It has yet to catch on at any substantial level. The future, however, is certainly bright for the growth and centralization of online resources serving the humanities.

You can find MLA guidelines for evaluating digital work here -

My blog has been cited in several peer reviewed academic writings and now a book from folklorist Christina Bacchilega (it might not seem like much but there are estimations that most peer-reviewed humanities articles are only cited 10% of the time – this article suggests 93% of humanities articles remain uncited anywhere else -

Here is the passage from the book –

            “The fact that websites are doing more than providing a wealth of folktale and fairy-tale primary texts to those who can access the Internet is further brought home by the multiplying of online publications, like the English-language Cabinet de Fees and Fairy Tale Review (both of which have issues also available in print); discussion forums such as SurLaLune’s, which in the October 2000-June 2011 period had 3,761 average visits per day and 23,391 total posts on over six hundred different topics; blogs, including Breezes from Wonderland by Harvard-based fairy-tale scholar Maria Tatar and the one Michael Lundell has maintained since 2007, The Journal of [the] 1001 Nights; and Facebook groups like Fairy Tale Films Research” (10).

Bacchilega, Christina. Fairy Tales Transformed?:  Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder. Detroit:  Wayne State UP, 2013.

Here is a complete list of other mentions, elsewhere, of this blog -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cuentos del Mundo's Arabian Nights (2014)

Pedro Alonso Pablos writes from Spain where he is producing an Arabian Nights animated series. The series has been included in an animation compendium called "Tales of the World" ("Cuentos del Mundo", in Spanish) and has been released through the VOD Spanish portal for Spain. It is available for rent or to subscribers of that website. Filmin is an independent VOD page in Spain backed by Almodovar's production company and financed in part by the Spanish Government.

Three episodes are currently available, many more to come. 

English version (featuring minor dialogue editing by myself!) is also coming soon and to be released through Amazon video.


Watch at filmin (fee):

About Cuentos del Mundo:  La serie consta de tres capítulos, el primero dedicado a cuentos occidentales, el segundo es una selección de tres cuentos del compendio "Las Mil y Una Noches", y el tercero son dos cuentecitos íntegramente creados por Pedro. En total más de 20 minutos de animación que han consumido grandes recursos, temas musicales originales para cada pieza y años de trabajo.

Here is the trailer:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

1001 Nights around the Fire Ring

Sara Barker announces an upcoming fireside reading of stories from The 1001 Nights, this Saturday October 25 in Arlington, Virginia. She has also successfully funded (via kickstarter) a larger upcoming project on the Nights (info below).
upcoming reading - 
1001 Nights around the Fire Ring!
WSC Avant Bard
Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)
Arlington, VA

Many of us tell stories to understand our lives. Shahrazad tells them to save hers...
One Thousand and One Nights at the Lubber Run Fire Ring

Join WSC Avant Bard Theatre at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 25 at Lubber Run’s Fire Ring for a theatrical reading of selections from One Thousand and One Nights,*adapted for the stage by Hanan al-Shaykh and Tim Supple, and directed by WSC Avant Bard company member Lynn Sharp Spears, who brought her thrilling rendition of Beowulf to the Lubber Run Fire Ring last year!

Come discover the extraordinary tales that kept Shahrazad alive for 1001 nights! The tales will be enlivened by musical accompaniment in this special staged reading under the stars; picnic baskets and blankets are strongly encouraged.

Admission is free but please RSVP.

WSC Avant Bard is proud to produce One Thousand and One Nights as part of the Gaurav Gopalan FREE Reading Series. Visit to help support WSC Avant Bard.

*Parental Advisory: mature themes and content

info from the kickstarter site -
WSC Avant Bard is proud to produce One Thousand and One Nights as part of the Gaurav Gopalan FREE Reading Series. Visit to help support WSC Avant Bard.

*Parental Advisory: mature themes and content

Help WSC Avant Bard bring to life the US premiere of a theatrical retelling of 1001 Nights, adapted by Hanan al Shaykh & Tim Supple!

1001 Nights Performers:
Bette Cassatte
Maggie Clifton
Christian Gibbs
Eryn Gleason
Sha Golanski
Theodore Hadjimichael
Stephen Krzyzanowski
Brooke Mulkins
Autumn Seavey Hicks
Gillian Shelly
Gabriel Swee
Annette Wasno
Chuck Young
Halah Zenhom

1001 Nights Musicians:
Manko Eponymous
Erik Sharar
Jason Wilson

Three members of WSC Avant Bard -- a theatre company that produces shows in and around Washington, DC -- have a dream of bringing a magical piece of theatre to the US. Director Lynn Sharp Spears, Stage Manager Maggie Clifton, and Actor Sara Barker discovered the existence of a new stage version of One Thousand and One Nights while searching for the next play to stage around the Lubber Run Park Fire Ring - a twice yearly tradition for the company. Lynn had great success directing a staged reading of Beowulf around the fire ring and they were looking for something similarly epic. Sara thought that One Thousand and One Nights would make for a splendid staged reading around the fire ring and was thrilled to discover that as recent as 2011 the stories from One Thousand and One Nights had been freshly adapted by celebrated Lebanese author Hanan al Shaykh and dramatized for the stage by British director Tim Supple. The production had its European premiere at the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival. WSC Avant Bard believes its high time this magical play have its US premiere! The first step is producing a staged reading, so the three WSC Avant Bard members are raising funds to provide the actors and musicians involved a small stipend for their talent and time.

Here are a few words about the new adaptation from Tim Supple: "We want to give audiences in the theatre an experience of the One Thousand and One Nights as they are in the original Arabic texts, before they were discovered and translated by the West; and before they were exoticized and adapted for children. When you read the Arabic originals, you find stories that are erotic and brutal; that are about destiny, love, marriage, and power; about the fundamental processes of social existence. These stories are remarkable and surprising; and complex and important."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Arabian Nights (Everyman's Library)

A new edited collection of stories from the Nights has been published by Everyman (2014). It is a selection of stories collected by Wen-chin Ouyang. The stories are culled from Burton, Lane, Scott and Payne. Although I haven't received my copy yet it seems like an interesting text that would possibly make for a good intro reader. There seem to be hundreds of versions of the Nights coming out every week.

Here's an overview of the book's genesis by The National (Abu Dhabi) -

from the article:

"“There is a large group of people who now see The Arabian Nights as a western rather than Arabic classic,” says the anthology’s editor, Wen-chin Ouyang. “And it is very possible that Aladdin and the Magic Lamp and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves were European inventions from writers wanting to pen ‘Oriental tales’. They were then translated into Arabic and became part of this ever-growing compendium of stories by the 19th century. The story of Sindbad is really interesting, for example. Is it originally a Turkish folk tale, or a Turkish translation of an Oriental tale? There’s still work to be done on that.”

You’d bet on Ouyang to do it. Her love of The Arabian Nights reads like a literary adventure all of its own: growing up in Libya, she first read it in Chinese – but her school friends had never heard of this world of genies, ebony horses or fairies. What’s more, in Libya, there wasn’t an Arabic version to be found in libraries, universities or bookshops. Finally, a friend smuggled her a copy of Alf Layla Wa Layla (The Thousand and One Nights) with the warning : “My mother says good girls are not allowed to read it.” This edition was such hard work to read, Ouyang gave up.""

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Haruki Murakami's "Scheherazade"

photo art by Merlin (at link below)

The 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature is set to be announced tomorrow and Murakami's odds, according to an English betting company, is 1/4. The Prize Committee has always been known to surprise, however.

The New Yorker recently published Murakami's story "Scheherazade" and you can read it online here:

Here is the magazine's interview with Murakami about the story - 

"Each time they had sex, she told Habara a strange and gripping story afterward. Like Queen Scheherazade in “A Thousand and One Nights.” Though, of course, Habara, unlike the king, had no plan to chop off her head the next morning. (She never stayed with him till morning, anyway.) She told Habara the stories because she wanted to, because, he guessed, she enjoyed curling up in bed and talking to a man during those languid, intimate moments after making love. And also, probably, because she wished to comfort Habara, who had to spend every day cooped up indoors.

Because of this, Habara had dubbed the woman Scheherazade. He never used the name to her face, but it was how he referred to her in the small diary he kept. “Scheherazade came today,” he’d note in ballpoint pen. Then he’d record the gist of that day’s story in simple, cryptic terms that were sure to baffle anyone who might read the diary later."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"The Prince and the Tortoise" - Fairy Tale Comics

A rarely found Nights story, “The Prince and the Tortoise,” appears in graphic form in the newly recently published book Fairy Tale Comics. The book is edited by Chris Duffy who has been the editorial brains behind significant reboots of series like Nickelodeon Magazine and several key DC Comics titles. The story is illustrated by well-known comic artist Ramona Fradon ( and written by Chris Duffy.

“The Prince and the Tortoise” first appears in the Nights in the Mardrus translation. According to The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia “This tale does not feature in the standard Arabic manuscripts of the Arabian Nights. According to Chauvin, Mardrus appropriated the tale from Yacoub Artin Pacha’s Contes populaires de la vallee du Nil” (Vol 1: 330).

The story concerns a prince who must choose a bride by shooting an arrow into the city and marrying an eligible daughter living in the house the arrow hits. Of course there are issues. The arrow strikes the same house multiple times but it’s not a daughter who lives there but a tortoise.

The prince decides to go ahead with the marriage. His two brothers marry human women. The three couples must then compete for their father the King’s favor and all sorts of hijinks follow involving the tortoise. I won’t spoil the story or the end but it’s happily ever after.

The book Fairy Tale Comics also contains many standard fairy tales rendered by contemporary graphic and comic book artists. These include two of my favorites, Jaime Hernandez (here doing “Snow White”) and Gilbert Hernandez (“Hansel and Gretel”), who pen the fantastic adult graphic series Love and Rockets. The book overall is a great addition to the continuation of fairy tales and is perfect for kids. My daughter reads it constantly and it’s the first exposure she’s had to many canonical fairy tales.

If you are interested you can buy it (with no financial reward to myself by the way) on Amazon here -