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This volume reproduces the 1932 Modern Library edition for which Bennett A Cerf chose the most famous and representative stories from Sir Richard F Burton's multivolume translation and includes Burton's extensive and acclaimed explanatory notes The tales of told by Shahrazad over a thousand and one nights to delay her execution by the vengeful King Shahriyar have become among the most popular in both Eastern and Western literature as recounted by Sir Francis Burton From the epic adventures of Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp to the farcical Young Woman and her Five Lovers and the social criticism of The Tale of the Hunchback the stories depict a fabulous world of all powerful sorcerers jinns imprisoned in bottles and enchanting princesses But despite their imaginative extravagance the Tales are anchored to everyday life by their realism providing a full and intimate record of medieval Islam'

10 thoughts on “The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night

  1. says:

    When I was a little girl my grandmother gave me a big blue cloth bound edition of this book It had the most exuisite coloured plates protected by tissue paper interleaved with the printed sheets It was the perfect storybook for a bookish fanciful child living in an abusive home I spent a year reading this book Every night I would read it and disappear from all the fear and unpleasantness around me into this realm of people in exotic clothes who could do magic I cherished the book I took it everywhere It was never on display but always kept in the airing cupboard where it would be warm and dry view spoilerI think I got this from my father He used to read dirty books in the bath and leave them in the airing cupboard to dry out I read uite a lot of Miller DH Lawrence etc that way hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Ah if only I could write like the late Sir Richard Burton Normally I dislike translations but to refuse to read The Arabian Nights on those grounds would be like refusing to read the Bible I love parodying people's styles and I have tried my utmost to parody Burton convincingly but I can't do it He's too clever He has taken this uniue book a miraculous survival from the most ancient antiuity and he has created a uniue language to make it accessible to us the backbone is a kind of Spenserian English but he has modified it in subtle ways adding some French roots here some Nordic ones there pinches of obscure ingredients when he feels he needs them creating alliterations and internal rhymes and odd sentence structures to echo the rhythms of the original inserting endless footnotes to tell us poor people what we're missing through not knowing Arabic Burton is always present in the text leading us by the hand through his favorite passages flooring us with a jaw droppingly inappropriate comment one moment it isn't sexist or racist it transcends sexism and racism and then turning round a second later to hit us with a marvellous piece of poetry or romance or heroism crowing over his rivals' mistakes inserting irrelevant anecdotes or obscure pieces of etymology that he just couldn't resist showing off his knowledge of the seventeen languages he speaks fluently and the others that he just has a passing acuaintance with And all the time often without us even realizing what he's doing telling us about Islam the religion so many of us Westerners fear without understanding it showing us what it's like from the inside from the perspective of an eighth century cobbler or Caliph or slave girl how whatever else it may be it is a great religion one that hundreds of millions of people have gladly lived and died in without ever uestioning the will of Allah or his prophet Mohammed peace be upon himI have never read anything like it

  3. says:

    996 The Thousand and One Nights AnonymousThe work was collected over many centuries by various authors translators and scholars across West Central and South Asia and North Africa The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic Greek Indian Jewish Persian and Turkish folklore and literature In particular many tales were originally folk stories from the Abbasid era while others especially the frame story are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hezār Afsān A Thousand Tales which in turn relied partly on Indian elementsتاریخ نخستین خوانش سال 1981 و سپس بارها نسخه های متفات را نیز خوانده امهزار و یک شب؛ همیشه ماندنی، همیشه یادگار قصه ها و غصه های روزهای دور، همیشه دوست دوستدر باره ی اصل و نسب «هزار و یک شب»؛ که از شناخته ­ترین کتاب­های جهان است، و تقریبا به همه ی زبان­های زنده ی این دنیا ترجمه شده، سخنان بسیار گفته­ اند، و از معتبرترین نوشته ­ها در این باب، یکی مطلبی است که روانشاد «مسعودی متوفی به­ سال 346 هجری قمری» در «مروج­ الذهب» آورده، و دیگری قول روانشاد «ابن­ ندیم متوفی به­ سال 385 هجری قمری» در «الفهرست» است از سخنان این دو چنین برمی­آید، که کتاب ایرانی «هزار افسانه»، بی تردید مرجع اصلی «الف لیلة ولیله»، بوده است اما ممکن است، و گمان میرود، که خود هزار افسانه ی «پهلوی» و یا چارچوبه ی «داستان شهرزاد و شهریار»، و برخی از داستان­های آن، از منابع «هندی» گرفته شده، و از روی سرمشق و الگویی «هندی» در «ایران» پدید آمده است، و «الف لیل» میراث «هند» و «فرس» شاید باشد چون علاوه بر مشابهت­های دقیقی، که میان برخی داستانهای کهن «هزارویک شب»، و داستانهای «هندی» کهن میتوان یافت؛ که در تقدم تاریخی کتابهای «هندی» بر «هزار افسان» پارسی حرفی نیست، شیوه ی نقل و روایت داستانهای پیاپی و تودرتو، و درج قصه در قصه، برای مانع شدن از انجام یافتن کاری شتاب­زده، و نسنجیده، و به­ دست­ کردن مهلت، نظیر کتاب «طوطی­نامه» نیز، شگرد ویژه ی «هندیان» بوده است، و در ادبیات دیگر ملل جهان بی­نظیر است، و یا کمتر مانند دارد به­ هر حال چه «هزارافسانه» از کتاب «هندی» اقتباس شده باشد، و چه زاده ی طبع ایرانیان باشد، تردیدی نیست که همین هزار افسانه ی «پهلوی» در عصر خلفای عباسی، به عربی ترجمه شده، و «الف لیلة ولیله» یا همان «هزارویک شب» نام گرفته است البته «هزار افسانه»ی اصلی نیز بخش مختصری از «هزارویک شب» کنونی را، که پرحجم است، تشکیل میداده، و میدهد، چون «هزارویک شب» امروزین، به مرور فراهم آمده، و بدین حجم رسیده، و در روزگاران مختلف، داستانهای گوناکون، از منابع «ایرانی»، «هندی»، «یونانی»، «یهود»، «عربی»، و «اسلامی» بر آن افزوده­ اند بنابراین کتاب، همچون مجموعه­ ای، که پیوسته آن را تکمیل کرده­ اند، به دست امروزیان رسیده است، اما این جمله در مدت زمانی دراز، رنگ ­و بوی اسلامی نیز، یافته است، یعنی راویان و ناقلان مختلف، قصه­ های غیراسلامی را، تا آنجا که توانسته­ اند، به رنگ­ و نگار اسلام درآورده­ اند، و بدین علت در حال حاضر کتاب، که قسمت عمده ی آن، رنگ اسلامی و عربی دارد، گنجینه و جـُنگی از ادبیات عامیانه ی مشرق زمین، در سده های میانه است، و نقش و تصویری از کلیت تمدن، و فرهنگ دنیای اسلام را در قرون وسطی عرضه میدارد ا شربیانی

  4. says:

    For those 2 people who don't know The Arabian Nights is sort of a collection of short stories told in the Arabian world as I'm told it should be called which seems to include India and parts of China waaaaaay back in the day The framework of the story is about a sultan who caught his wife cheating on him After he has her killed he decides to take out his revenge on the entire sex so he marries a different wife every day and has her killed the next morning Scheherazade is the Grand Vizier's beautiful intelligent daughter She realizes that this can't go on so she comes up with a plan She asks to be the next wife of the sultan and she starts telling him a story on their wedding night But buried within that story is another story The sultan is so intrigued by the story that he decides to let her live so he can find out how the story ends She keeps stringing him along like this theoretically for 1000 nights until he relents and gives her a full pardon and takes her for his real wife But that's only a very small part of the book The biggest part of the book is the stories Scheherazade tells the sultan Included are Aladdin Ali Baba Sinbad and others that we've probably all heard in one form or anotherI just picked this up because I wanted to see what it was all about This version was very readable It was interesting to see a slice of Arabian life I would catch myself thinking They treat women so badly over there and then I would remember that when these stories were first told women were treated badly pretty much everywhere But then there would be some stories where the women had surprising freedom and I would catch myself wondering where things started going bad I can't say that I know enough about the culture to comment on what's changed and what hasn't but these stories do give you a little idea of what life iswas like in the Middle East and where they're coming from And in these times a little understanding can only be a good thing

  5. says:

    Arabian Nights is one of the great literary works of all time but precautions need to be made if you want to read it to your kids First off there is a LOT of violence in the stories and a TON of sex Don't be an idiot like me and start reading an unabridged copy to your kids or you will have to be explaining very early on why so and so killed his wife and imprisoned anotherThat being said there are few works with as much imagination and wonder in them and taken in lighter doses it is a beautiful way of expanding your children's imaginationsFor adults one has to take a lot of this in its historical context and try hard to put aside the misogyny which is rampant in the text Perhaps easier said than done But there are so many eternal stories here Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves Sinbad the Sailor Aladdin and the Magic Lamp that they must be read at least once to get the non Disney died versions like the Anderson and Grimm fairy tales that were similarly contorted to fit mass consumption and commercialisation by WaltCo

  6. says:

    A review is pointless for this book It’s a classic and everyone should read it Those who are complaining about how women are treated in the stories should read it carefully and should pay attention also when it was first written Reading this edition two things amazed me how well I remember all the stories taking into consideration that last time I read them was than 20 years ago and second how accurate the Romanian translation I read is compared to this one As for this edition it is simply superb Starting with the translation the beautiful artworks inside its pages the cover the paper It is a feast for eyes senses and soulLoved it I read 1001 Nights several times in my childhood and adolescence and loved them to pieces I still have it in Romanian translation 4 volumes edition from 1959 from my grandparents But I couldn’t resist not to buy this exuisite edition – it is absolutely gorgeous For many months from now on it will be on my nightstand to savor now and then a story from it the beautiful artwork of the pages and the stunning illustrationsHave a look

  7. says:

    As I say in my review I wanted to write a parody of this wonderful book but was forced to admit defeat Burton is too damn clever for a good parody to be possible During my preliminary negotiations I had however received a remarkable offer from Alfonso A Burton parody without political incorrectness is unthinkable and Alfonso bravely put himself forward to play the role of an evil blackamoor of hideous appearance It seems wrong that Alfonso's selfless devotion to literature should go unrewarded I am therefore proud to presentA Fragment of the Tale of Rashid al Bhattan and al Fonso the MaghrabiNow there dwelt not far from the Caliph's court another foreigner a Darwaysh from the Maghrib named al Fonso a powerful magician and geomancer; from his earliest age upwards he had been addicted to witchcraft and had studied and practiced every manner of occult science for which unholy lore the city of Africa is notorious And the Maghrabi possessed a seal ring a signet that once had graced the hand of Solomon Davids son; yet so woven about with secret spells and enchantments was it that the Maghrabi could not avail himself of its familiar for all his arts But by his gramarye the Maghrabi learned how it stood with Rashid and he thought himself a scheme whereby he might bend the ring to his will And one day as Rashid left the Caliph's court the Maghribi thrust himself in Rashid's way; and addressing him he asked if he would learn the infallible method to win the favour of any woman even the highest and most beautifulThe Maghrabi was a hideous blackamoor ill favoured and foul with grease and grime and Rashid laughed to hear his words believing that he spoke in jest But the Maghrabi spoke kindly to Rashid and flattered him and used all his charms to put him at his ease; and presently he took forth the ring and instructed him in its use telling him that he had but to rub it to gain aught that he might want but that only one of the Isles of the Setting Sun might thus constrain the Spirit of the Ring; and Rashid still doubting the Maghrabi put the ring on Rashid's finger and told him to rub it Rashid did as the Maghrabi bade; and instantly before him appeared a Marid He trembled at the terrible sight; but hearing the Slave of the Ring say Ask whatso thou wantest verily I am thy thrall seeing that the signet of my lord be upon thy finger he took courage Command the Marid said the Maghrabi that he transport us to the Caliph's Harim Rashid did as the Maghrabi said; Hearing and obeying replied the Marid and smote the earth so that it clave in two; and taking the Maghrabi under one arm and Rashid under the other he bore them to the innermost sanctum of the HarimHide thyself in this closet said the Maghrabi to Rashid when they were arrived As soon as thou dost espy one of the Caliph's concubines command the Marid to make me in all ways pleasing to her; then shalt thou see the true power of the Ring Rashid did as the Maghrabi said; and no sooner had he concealed himself than entered a girl high bosomed and pleasing of face slender waisted and heavy of hip of whom one might soothly say as the poet¹ Eyes like two stars and hair as black as nightLips ruby red caught in a winsome puckerSo fair a maid I ween ne'er crossed my sightTo look on her is aye to wish to embrace herShe glanced with displeasure on the Maghrabi; but Rashid heeding the magician's rede rubbed the ring and commanded the Marid The Maghrabi spake some words to the girl; and instantly her aspect changed and she did with goodly gree suffer the Maghrabi for all his hideousness to kiss her and toy with her and presently to disrobe her of her gold purfled dress and even of her petticoat trousers and know her carnally² whereby she joyed with great joyance Now command the Marid to take us hence said the Maghrabi without even making the Ghusl ablution for he was a Kafir; and again Rashid commanded the Marid and they made good their escape leaving the Caliph's concubine swooned on the ground Notes¹ I use Lane's somewhat anaemic translation² The Breslau Edition adds some details concerning the excessive size of the Maghrabi's manhood; the wording leaves it unclear whether or not this can be ascribed to the influence of the Ring

  8. says:

    When I first read One Thousand and One Nights I was literally put under the book’s spell – charmed enchanted and bewitched It isn’t just magic of fairytales It is first of all magic of the oriental world And of course I was at once mesmerized with the incredible frame tale of Shahryar and ScheherazadeNowhere is so much magic as in Arabian Nights magical word opening the cave door “‘Open Sesame’ And forthwith appeared a wide doorway in the face of the rock The robbers went in and last of all their chief and then the portal shut of itself” powerful Jinni sealed in the magical lamp “This is not he O my mother This who appeared before thee is the Slave of the Lamp” and many many othersAnd of course my favourite tales are Voyages of Sindbad the Seaman Stunning adventures in the distant lands full of fantastic beasts evil creatures monsters wonders and miracles And most of all I was stupefied and simultaneously disgusted with Old Man of the Sea“I told them all that had betided me whereat they marveled with exceeding marvel and said ‘He who rode on thy shoulder is called the Sheikh al Bahr or Old Man of the Sea and none ever felt his legs on neck and came off alive but thou and those who die under him he eateth So praised be Allah for thy safety’”Even nowadays I gratefully remember this miraculous book which practically was for me a door into the absolutely new world

  9. says:

    Oh the wonders of literature While reading this book I could not help but sing the songs or hum the tunes associated with the tales ♪♫♪ A whole new worldA new fantastic point of viewNo one to tell us noOr where to goOr say we're only dreaming ♪♫♪ I grew up with mostly Filipino komiks around me Only my father loved reading books and we had very few compared to what I have now classics and contemporary books at home My parents did not read to me when I was young Those are the reasons why I missed all those children's books So reading these Tales from 1001 Nights aka The Arabian Nights was like going back to the komiks time in the province You see the story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp although I read it just now is so popular that we must all have seen it in movies read in local adaptations as individual children's books or comics or even seen in TV ads However if you compare the original story to the Disney produced movie the carpet in the book does not fly Rather it just covers the distance between the entrance of the King's palace and Alladin's pavilion so that the princess Lady Badar Al Budur maybe the euivalent of Princess Jasmine will not walk on mud The story is fantastic I admire how the magician thinks cunning and devious I hate Alladin before he got rich particularly on his laziness and how he treats his old mother ♪♫♪ A li ba ba A li ba ba ♪♫♪ I still remember the theme and my sister used to mimic it Low key She marches like a soldier and with eyes wide and scary The other tale that I liked was Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves Who would not remember ourselves shouting Open Se sa me when we saw a closed door when we were kids? Then expecting our mom or playmate to open it for us? Who says that this book treats women badly? In this tale the maid Morgiana is so smart that she saves his master's Ali Baba life several times ♪♫♪ Sinbad the SailorSailing through the seas ♪♫♪ I tried looking this up for lyrics but I think that there is a popular Hindi rock song with the same title I remember the tune and I thought that it is similar to Popeye the Sailor Man or maybe as catchy as that Well the tale of Sinbad the Sailor is a short one and it talks about is mistake of killing his falcon It is one of those tales inside another taleAll of these 70 whew tales are framed into a story that Scheherazade is telling King Shahryar so that she will not be killed The king and his brother have philandering wives who they have killed so the King does not want to have a wife any so he orders his vizier assistant to bring young pretty girls from the village and after one night of sex the king orders his soldiers to kill the girl To survive the wise Scheherazade tells the 1001 tales part by part The king so eager to know what comes next decides not to kill her until all the tales are told I will not tell you if she gets eventually killed in the end

  10. says:

    In Urduthis is called Alif LailaThese are familiar stories which enthralled me in my childhoodAlso adapted as countless TV episodes and moviesFondly recall Pakistan television's series Alif Laila from the 1980swhich though made on a shoestring budget was great funKing Sheharyar takes a new wife each day and executes her the next dayThe beautiful Sheherzade agrees to be his wife to stop himShe tells him a storyand then another and still anotherThe king is so engrossed that he does not kill herWho can forget Ali Baba and the Forty ThievesAladin's Magic Lamp and Sindbad the SailorCruelty and violence is certainly a themebut the entertainment value is very much there