Moving from the Quran to the 1001 Nights, looking for theorists on that peak of literature in the Islamic world. I can’t help it that this makes me loudly laugh
the Jewish doctor in the ‘Hunchback’ cycle of stories is presented as the equal of the Muslim storytellers he is with. Moreover the Nights contains several stories about pious Israelites. But some of the stories that were later added to the corpus of Nights have a nasty feel.
One English version I find is 2,500 pages. The only thing most know about it is from Disney’s Aladdin.
it was the favourite book of the racial theorist Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau
Lots of better known western writers have been inspired by it too the last few centuries. It’s a collection of stories written during the Islamic Golden Age, so the same time as the philosophers I’ve brought up. My fave Muhsin Mahdi actually oversaw a translation of it. This is like the Islamic version of the Chinese Dream of the Red Chamber. One of the first pages I find on it is all about its “racism” so one might expect that it’s a marginalized text, as if anything Muslim wasn’t already marginalized enough. I want to know more about the pinnacles of art from the “civilization continent” and people in the west know next to nothing about these two.
Looking at the Mahdi introduction, wow, Aladdin was a forgery, it was written in Paris. Okay, so–correction–we in the west know nothing about the 1001 Nights. Mahdi is eminently trustable, and I’m learning of a history of severe mistranslation in Europe- this claims to be the definitive edition based on the original manuscript and it’s only about 500 pages. Or at least based on the 15th century manuscript. These stories were circulating as early as the 9th century.
Trying to figure out how to understand the Quran, trying to figure out how to understand the 1001 Nights. It isn’t easy as you’d expect. The unknown quarter of the world.
On the 1001 Nights
the translators, by adhering to such sources, deviate not only from the letter but also from the spirit of the original
Just today I randomly saw some article about how one of the ones who killed Bin Laden still gets “chills” thinking about it. That’s where the general mind still is. They don’t even care to find the correct edition of this book.
Begone, Demons! as the venerable Saddam put it. The twin towers represented the west’s godlessness, I’m glad they fell. Too bad that was only used to warm people up to a more rabid zionism. People have such a wistful religious feeling about 9/11. All I think about it is that it served as a flimsy justification for the surveillance state that is still with us now in the present, and only growing more all-seeing by the day. Jerusalem + technology is not my ideal world to live in.
A description of the 1001 Nights
to produce a certain kind of aesthetic pleasure, mainly by grounding the supernatural in the natural