Who created the strange world of a Thousand and One Nights?  - Photo 1.
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Who created the strange world of “Thousand and One Nights”?

“Thousand and One Nights” is known as a unique plot monument, it is considered a gift from the imagination of mankind for centuries. Perhaps the stories of “Thousand and One Nights” are the most valuable treasure that Arabic literature has left to the world. It has influenced literature, music, art and film in many forms and genres to this day. And among us, everyone knows such characters as Aladdin, Alibaba, Sinbad, …

Sinbad is a fictional sailor character appearing for the first time in the Thousand and One Nights.

There are many genres of stories in “A Thousand and One Nights”, including fables, adventure, mystery, love, comedy, tragedy, horror, poetry, comics, … These stories have a complex and complete world in which humans and fantasy creatures with supernatural powers live together. “They contain something everyone wants, from romance to science fiction, from short essays to poetry … They are written for the general public and accessible to everyone. They reveal a woman’s point of view. Seeing the world is sometimes natural, sometimes it’s lust, “says writer, storyteller and filmmaker Nacer Khemir. He also believes that Arabic culture is mainly based on two books, the Koran and the Thousand and One Nights.

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Nacer Khemir, born in 1948 in Korba, Tunisia, is a Tunisian writer, artist, storyteller and filmmaker.

As mentioned earlier, stories in a thousand and one count combine genres and are drawn from the rich folklore traditions across the Middle East. The stories are combining elements of magic, mystery, mythology with reality and history. Some of the main characters in the tales in addition to mythical figures such as goblins, vampires and birds, there are real historical figures such as Harun Rashid (the fifth ruler of the dynasty. Great Abbasid), Ja’far ibn Yahya (member of the Barmakid family, formerly the Buddhist head of the Nava Vihara monastery), Abu Nuwas (one of the most outstanding medieval Arab poets), and other real famous object.

However, due to the folklore nature of stories, a thousand and one nights are often considered folk literature. In addition, since some stories contain sexual descriptions and suggestions, as well as vulgar language and some topics that are not socially acceptable, those stories are often ignored and also considered vulgar.

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In fact, stories in “A Thousand and One Nights” are formed through many stages. The first manuscript originated in Baghdad in the 9th century (it became the political, economic and religious center of the Arab world at that time, and is now the capital of Iraq). incorporating the traditional manuscripts of Syria and Egypt with all kinds of oral folktales.

Thousand and one-night stories are written by many different people and accumulated over the centuries. These stories originate from the cultural traditions of the Middle East and integrate many cultures through trade exchange, travel, war, mysticism … So stories in a thousand and one night there are cultural elements of Persia, India, Greece, Turkey, Central Asia, and even stories of the Mongol invasions, the Crusades … and These stories were then Arabicized and transformed into styles suitable to the tastes of the Middle East and Muslim masses.

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Until the Europeans were fascinated by the magical legends of the mystical East, these thousand-and-one-night stories were still manuscripts and word of mouth. A thousand and one nights represent 1001 nights, each night corresponding to a story, but in reality the number is an exaggeration of “many nights”.

In 1690, the French Orientalist, translator and archaeologist Antoine Galland completed the first translation of the French language and it is now called “Arab Nights”, and from then on many other European countries. has used Antoine Galland’s translation into other languages.

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Antoine Galland was an Orientalist and French archaeologist, most famously the first European translator of the Thousand and One Nights, which he called Les mille et une nuits.

But perhaps the most famous translation is that of Richard Francis Burton, the 1885-1888 translation used in English. In this translation, he accurately described the original descriptions and adapted it to Victorian readers, but he also added more relevant content and some notes to make the description. This is more detailed. Therefore, his translated version was printed exclusively for pre-order readers instead of being published in the usual way.

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Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS is an English explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist linguistics, poet, hunter, Masonry and diplomat.

In 1835, the Cairo Publishing House announced the completion of the first Arabic edition, and so far all modern translations and versions in different languages ​​have been based on this version. Ulrich Marzolph, a scholar who studies “A Thousand and One Nights”, believes that this edition ended the development of this collection, because the collection was altered during oral circulation and manuscripts. .

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In fact, there are many versions as well as different versions per night. These translations are very interesting to Europeans (1700s and 1800s). At that time, the Arab Muslim world was always a mysterious fantasy country for the Western world. Amulets, magic formulas, alchemy and other novelties to the Western world have aroused the world’s strong interest in the stories in this book.

And considering the restrictions on women in the 1800s, the context of these stories is told from a woman’s mouth, and the content of that story is daring, so it captivates. a lot of the world’s attention.

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