Monday, June 10, 2019

New Book by Dr. Ulrich Marzolph

I'm excited to announce a new book by the "Godfather" of 1001 Nights research, Professor Dr. Ulrich Marzolph (

Dr. Marzolph's career has been instrumental in Nights research. He is the editor of the indispensible The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, The Arabian Nights Reader, and The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective. He is also the author of several books and scores of articles on the Nights.

His latest book is Ex Oriente Fabula:  Exploring the Narrative Culture of the Islamic Near and Middle East Part 3.

I've attached the table of contents below. Most all of the articles are Nights related.

You can order the book through the publisher, Verlag für Orientkunde, by emailing them –

Here are the Table of Contents:

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Barnum & Bailey's Circus

Poster for Barnum & Bailey's Persia or the Pageants of The Thousand and One Nights (1916)

And also the following info about the show is from the book, From Barnum & Bailey to Feld by Ernest Albrecht (2014):

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Aladdin Scentsy Bars - May 20

So, like, yeah. On May 20th you can buy Disney Aladdin based/themed Scentsy bars. It wasn't clear to me exactly what a scentsy bar was so I did some "research" and found out that they seem to be these wax scented thingys that you warm up in your house to make your house smell a certain way. Those plug-in scent blaster things that always give me allergic headaches. I think that's what they are.

But now you can have your house smell like Aladdin! And the Arabian Nights!


Not until May 20th though. And Disney's live action Aladdin hits the big screen on May 24. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves - Felicitas Kuhn

“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” - The Golden Book of Fairytales- Collins Publishing, 1966, United Kingdom. Illustration by Felicitas Kuhn (

Monday, February 11, 2019

Aladdin Trailer 3 - Will Smith as the Blue Genie

A new trailer from Disney was released which ends with a brief glimpse of the live action genie played by Will Smith. He's blue. And he's sort of animated and sort of live. This blend seems to do something weird. It's likely not to be the weirdest thing about this film though.

See it for yourself –

Friday, January 25, 2019

Galland’s Scheherazade and Mary Shelley’s 1831 Frankenstein

"'Have You Thought of a Story?':  “Have You Thought of a Story?”Galland’s Scheherazade and Mary Shelley’s 1831 Frankenstein" is an interesting 2005 article by Rebecca Nesvet which explores Shelley's debt to the Nights in creating her novel. 

Among the similarities are Shelley's use of the frame technique and also her inclusion of "Orientalist" motifs, including Safie the Turkish merchant's daughter and the female narrator in general. The article suggests in a sideways fashion, interestingly, that the novel could not have been written without Galland's Nights.

The article can be read here - target="blank"

Article Abstract:

"Internal evidence from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its 1831 Introduction reveals Antoine Galland’s translation of the Arabian Nights as the source of many of the novel’s most significant themes and imagery. From Scheherazade’s legendary experience and her own, Shelley constructs a lineage of female survivalist storytellers crossing temporal, geographic, and cultural boundaries. For the text of Frankenstein Shelley appropriates the telescopic structure, the character of Safie, and several anecdotes and images. In her Introduction to the revised edition of 1831, Shelley more conspicuously emphasises the parallel with the Arabian Nights, reliving Scheherazade’s struggle and triumph when she takes up Byron’s intimidating storytelling challenge. Shelley’s use of Scheherazade’s stories and life story suggests that in her own perspective, to quote the Introduction, her “invention” of Frankenstein comes not “ex nihilo”, but out of Arabia."