1001_Nights-2.pptx - Sessions 14-15 Thousand and One Nights...

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Sessions 14-15: Thousand and One Nights CLCS 1101 – Classics of World Literature Professor Christopher Bonner October 15 and 17, 2018
Agenda 1- Context: The Story of the 1001 Nights 2- A Storytelling Machine: the Infinite Stories of the Nights 3- Shahrazad as character and narrator 4- Layers of Narrative 5- Why we tell stories
1- Context: Expansion of Islam Red- Islamic Caliphate under Muhammad, 622-632; Orange- Rashidun caliphate, 632-641; Yellow- Umayyad caliphate, 661-750 Spread of the Arabic language Spread of literacy and book culture Paper introduced from China ~750 AD Commerce and trade between different parts of the world: Contact with China, Christian Europe, Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, India Flourishing of science, mathematics, philosophy Preservation of and advancement upon ancient Greek tradition Advances in medicine, astronomy, chemistry
1- Context: Abbasid Caliphate, 750 -1268 CE Baghdad founded 8 th c. CE as Abbasid capital; flourishes under caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809)
1- Context: Abbasid Baghdad The Round City Scholars in a Baghdad library, 13 th c. Bayt al-Malik, The House of Wisdom, 8 th c. Physicians learning a surgical procedure, 11 th c.
1- Context: Origins of the Nights Written by many authors over centuries, across the Middle East 10 th century CE: * A Baghdad book merchant, Ibn al-Nadim, mentions a collection of tales of “Shahrazad,” adapted from from a Persian text, Hazar Afsan , or Thousand Tales * Writer al-Masudi gives the collection its name, Alf Layla, or Thousand Nights 14th century CE: Earliest complete Arabic manuscript composed in Syria w title Alf Layla wa-Layla, Thousand and One Nights
1– Context: Versions of the Nights TWO main manuscript traditions (“recensions”) in Arabic: Syrian and Egyptian Syrian recension : much older manuscripts, more fragmentary, shorter, fewer tales Egyptian recension : later texts, much more varied in content, many originally independent tales integrated into the collection over centuries, up to 18 th -19 th century; it really has 1001 tales! ”Core” stories found in both traditions: The Merchant and the Demon. The Fisherman and the Jinni The Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies. The Hunchback cycle. The Story of the Three Apples, The Story of Nur al-Din Ali and Anis al-Jalis The Story of Ali Ibn Baqqar and Shams al-Nahar, and The Story of Qamar al-Zaman.
1- Context: Translating the Nights Antoine Galland First known European translation: 1701-1706, (Fr.) ; (Syrian original) * immediately captures European imagination; * Galland adds several stories he claims to have heard from Syrian storytellers: -- “Aladdin”, -- Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” -- “The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor” Edward Lane’s translation (1838-1840) (Egyptian original) Traveled to Egypt dressed as a Turk Compiled an Arabic-English Lexicon Sir Richard Burton translation (1885) The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night Edward Lane in “Turkish costume” 1711 edition of Galland’s translation
1- Context: Orientalism Gerome, The Snake Charmer (1880) Disney’s Aladdin

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