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The Thousand and One Nights by Anonymous
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The Thousand and One Nights (1954)

by Anonymous

Other authors: N. J. Dawood (Translator)

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847716,576 (3.93)35
A selection of the tales told by Shahrazad in an attempt to save her life, including "The Young Woman and Her Five Lovers," "The Fisherman and the Jinnee," "The Historic Fart," and "The Tale of Kafur the Black Eunuch."
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Who doesnt like epic tales of adventure and excitement. An absolute classic
  ghendel | Nov 28, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this collection of stories and the insight it offered to lands far far away I have only ever dreamed of, during a time of magic and wonderment. Even though the values are outdated and somewhat of the 'men are far superior and women are all whores' category, I still couldn't help but be fascinated by a world so different from my own. ( )
  crashmyparty | Sep 5, 2013 |
This is a compilation of tales of jinn and sorcerers and bold adventures come from India, Persia, Arabia, Egypt and Mesopotamia. They're framed as being told by Scheherazade, the newest bride of Shahryār, a ruler who after finding his first wife committed adultery had been killing a succession of wives after their wedding night. Scheherazade tells her husband a new tale every night, breaking off at dawn unfinished and thus postponing her execution another day. The entertainment continues for 1,001 nights, by the end of which Shahryār decides to spare her life. I remember as a child considering that frame tale romantic, of course as an adult I can only find Shahryār monstrous. But the tales themselves still enchant.

From what I can gather from the introduction and online sources, the genesis of this work is complex. The earliest versions with a small core of perhaps 200 stories derived from a collection of Persian fairy tales is thought to have first appeared in the early 8th century, with the earliest extant fragments of manuscript from the 9th century. Over the centuries stories were added to the core until they reached that number of 1,001. ("Complete" versions such as that by Sir Richard Francis Burton run to 10 volumes). But different editions have different stories included, different versions. The first European translation (into French) was in 1704, but it's thought the tales might have spread through Muslim Spain and influenced earlier works such as Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, both of which feature collections of tales within a frame.

This edition translated by Dawood is just a small selection of the most famous tales: "The Tale of the Hunchback," "The Donkey," "The Fisherman and the Jinnee," "The Young Woman and Her Five Lovers," "Sinbad the Sailor," "The Historic Fart" (Yes, really), "Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp," "The Tale of Kafur the Black Eunuch," "The Porter and the Three Girls of Baghdad," "The Tale of Khalifah the Fisherman," "The Dream," "The Tale of Judar and His Brothers," "The Tale of Ma'aruf the Cobbler." No "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" alas and also missing was the favorite tale of my childhood: "Abu Kir the Dyer and Abu Sir the Barber." Still, magical, readable translation, with a chance to see the source of the iconic Sindbad and Aladdin. What's not to love? ( )
3 vote LisaMaria_C | May 30, 2013 |
I had never read any versions of these stories except those which had been retold for children. Thus, even the tales of Sindbad and Aladdin were somewhat new to me. I've no way of knowing how this translation stacks up to others but I did find it easy and interesting to read. A good introduction to a classic of world literature and to the folklore and legends of the Arabic peoples.
1 vote hailelib | Oct 2, 2010 |
Some of these stories are entertaining, and short. Most of them start out entertaining, and then go on. and on. and on. If this is what the original Aladdin is like, then (heaven help me for saying this) Walt Disney did us all a favor. ( )
  norabelle414 | May 16, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymousprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dawood, N. J.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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It is related - but Allah alone is wise and all-knowing - that long ago there lived in the lands of India and China a Sassanid king who commanded great armies and had numerous courtiers, followers, and servants.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the Penguin Classics translation/abridgment by N. J. Dawood. Please DO NOT combine abridgments unless they have the same ISBN or you have confirmed they are exactly the same work with the same translator/editor. Please DO NOT combine abridgments with complete works. If you see abridgments and complete sets/editions combined together, please help by separating them. If in doubt, please DO NOT combine. Especially not when combining large numbers of copies. It takes a lot of time and effort to separate and recombine works.
 
Original (1954) title: The Thousand and One Nights; reissued (1957) as Aladdin and Other Tales; reprinted (1961) as The Thousand and One Nights; reissued with revisions (1973) as Tales From the Thousand and One Nights

Unfortunately the situation is more complicated and the information above is not accurate. The first Penguin Classics selection of stories from The Thousand and One Nights translated by N J Dawood was issued in 1955 as L64 under that title. It included the complete Prologue, The Hunchback, Sindbad and other tales. This selection had been issued previously in 1954 as an orange Penguin, No. 1001 in the Main Series.

The 1957 volume, L71, was a different selection: the title was Aladdin and Other Tales from the Thousand and One Nights and it included a condensed Prologue, The Tale of Judar and His Brothers, The Porter and the Three Girls of Baghdad, Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp and the Epilogue. I believe, but cannot confirm, that the Black Cover issue in 1973 combined the two earlier volumes.

It is clear that, as well as this mix-up, the editions entered under this heading are not all Penguin Classics but include collections from different translators and publishers. There is more work to do!
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