Now Reading – The Arabian Nights

After completing the penultimate book of my Marx Reading Challenge, Capital Volume II, I’m ready to begin a set of “lighter” fare books so my brain can relax and rest from the rigors of completing, as I mentioned in my previous post, probably the most difficult book I’ve ever read.

I’m beginning my break by tackling The Arabian Nights.  This book is on my 2011 goals list that I established earlier this year.  This set of stories is one that I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time, and I finally managed to pick up a paperback copy of it last year at Barnes and Noble when they were running a buy two get the third free, of their classics set.  That’s typically the type of deal that I can’t ever pass up.  🙂

Here’s what the back of the book says:

Once upon a time, the name Baghdad conjured up visions of the most magical, romantic city on earth, where flying carpets carried noble thieves off on wonderful adventures, and vicious viziers and beautiful princesses mingled with wily peasants and powerful genies.  This is the world of the Arabian Nights, a magnificent collection of ancient tales from Arabia, India, and Persia.

The tales–often stories within stories–are told by the sultana Scheherazade, who relates them as entertainments for her jealous and murderous husband, hoping to keep him amused and herself alive.  In addition to the more fantastic tales, which have appeared in countless bowdlerized editions for children and have been popularized by an entire genre of Hollywood films, this collection includes far more complex, meaningful, and erotic stories that deal with a wide range of moral, social, and political issues.

Though early Islamic critics condemned the tales “vulgarity” and worldliness, the West has admired their robust, bawdy humor and endless inventiveness since the first translations appeared in Europe in the eighteenth century.  Today these stories stand alongside the fables of Aesop, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and the folklore of Hans Christian Andersen as some of literature’s most-quoted touchstones.

I’m truly looking forward to a very enjoyable experience reading The Arabian Nights.  If you’ve read this book, I’d definitely love to hear your thoughts!


About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

2 Responses to “Now Reading – The Arabian Nights”

  1. I just added this book to Goodreads a few days ago. I had no idea it was so old. It sounds fascinating!! I actually read about it in the notes of my copy of Persuasion (Jane Austen).

    The description of a woman telling stories every night to keep from being killed? Creepy and fascinating — what would she possibly say to keep her husband interested enough not to kill her?

    I wonder if this writer was the first to use ‘cliffhangers’?

    Interesting how literature links up like that, so that a reading of one book, brings to mind another.

    (I believe I’d need a break, too, after reading Capital. 😉

    Have fun! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    • So far, about 80 pages into it, it does seem like there are cliffhangers. However, what I’ve also come to discover is that the stories seem to roll right into each other, which is something I wasn’t expecting.

      So far it’s very interesting, and I’m sure I’ll have several more posts about them as I move along.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: