The Arabian Nights by AnonymousThe 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.
In Search Of History - Arabian Nights (History Channel Documentary)
It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights , from the first English-language edition c. The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa. Some tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic , Persian , Indian , Greek , Jewish and Turkish  folklore and literature.
The Thousand and One Nights
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. The stories are so entertaining, and the king so eager to hear the end, that he puts off her execution from day to day and finally abandons his cruel plan. Though the names of its chief characters are Iranian, the frame story is probably Indian, and the largest proportion of names is Arabic.
The frame story that holds all the tales of The Thousand and One Nights together feels more like horror than anything else. In it King Shahrayar, after discovering that his wife has been unfaithful to him, resolves to marry a new woman each day, spend the night with her, and kill her in the morning. This homicidal arrangement continues until he marries Shahrazad Scheherazade , who has a plan to rescue the kingdom from the king. Each night she tells Shahrayar a story. These are invariably cut short when dawn arrives, and the king, not wanting to miss the ending, allows Shahrazad to live and continue the story the next night.
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. The translation was well received and since Galland had been told that "The Voyages of Sindbad" were part of a much larger collection of stories known as Alf Layla wa Layla , or "The Thousand and One Nights", he located a three or four-volume manuscript of this work and set about translating it.
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. They continue this for 1, nights. Thankfully, a Disney-approved happy ending is in store.
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