One Thousand and One Nights by Hanan Al-ShaykhIts tales of Aladdin , Ali Baba , and Sindbad the Sailor have almost become part of Western folklore , though these were added to the collection only in the 18th century in European adaptations. As in much medieval European literature, the stories— fairy tales , romances , legends , fables , parables , anecdotes , and exotic or realistic adventures—are set within a frame story. Then, loathing all womankind, he marries and kills a new wife each day until no more candidates can be found. His vizier , however, has two daughters, Shahrazad Scheherazade and Dunyazad; and the elder, Shahrazad, having devised a scheme to save herself and others, insists that her father give her in marriage to the king. Each evening she tells a story, leaving it incomplete and promising to finish it the following night.
In Search Of History - Arabian Nights (History Channel Documentary)
The Thousand and One Nights
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By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. Though the Persian story collection One Thousand and One Nights has been famous for centuries, today, few people dare to actually read it. Its unwieldy length several thousand pages , expansive narrative structure, and uneven quality make cover-to-cover completion a foreboding prospect--plus, no definitive version exists. Also known as The Arabian Nights , the set of folktales was passed down orally until the 9th century and then compiled into an array of differing written versions and translations. Storytellers and scribes added, subtracted, and altered individual stories for ages, so even if you wanted to read the "whole thing," the question remains: Which one? One thing all versions share, however, is a sophisticated narrative device: the famous frame story of Shahrazad, a brilliant woman forced to marry a bloodthirsty king who kills his wife each night and marries a new one in the morning. Shahrazad outsmarts the king by telling him a story each night before he goes to sleep; she ends each tale on a cliffhanger in order to maintain suspense within an episodic structure--and, of course, to keep her husband hooked and herself alive.
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic .. under the title The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night (, nine volumes), and then by Sir Richard Francis Burton, entitled The Book.
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A lady on a divan telling stories to a turbaned sultan; men with scimitars running down a dark and narrow street; a jinni issuing like a vast dark cloud from a flask; a prince in a pavilion guarded by lions; a veiled lady at the entrance to a shop; a young man on a flying carpet circling over a domed palace; a man clinging to driftwood in a stormy sea. These days, thanks to illustrated children's books, comics, films and video games, people are much more likely to have a sense of what the world of The Arabian Nights should look like than to have actual knowledge of the stories themselves. It was not always so. The first edition of The Arabian Nights had no pictures, and even when, in the late 18th century, fully illustrated editions began to be published, their illustrations gave little sense of the exotic medieval Arab environment in which the stories were set. Only from the 19th century onwards did some illustrators try to get Arab buildings and costumes right.
This frame story for the entirety of the work is the common thread between each edition of Nights. Shahryar is a king who rules over India and China. Shahryar marries and executes several virgins, each on the morning after they are married. The king postpones her execution to find out the end of the story. The next night she finishes her story but begins a new one, and Shahryar postpones her execution again.