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the Thousand Nights and One Night. RENDERED INTO ENGLISH FROM. THE LITERAL AND COMPLETE. FRENCH TRANSLATION OF. DR simpwaperlacal.cfS. "The Arabian Nights" is a magnificent collection of ancient tales told by the sultana Scheherazade, who relates them as entertainment for her jealous and. A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, Now Thousand Nights and a Night. Part 2 PDF (The Caliph's Night Adventure).
Introduced and annotated by Robert Irwin. London: Penguin, paperback Do we really need yet another retranslation of the famous Arabic story collection Alf layla wa-layla A Thousand Nights and a Night, or simply, Nights , better known in English as the Arabian Nights?
After all, readers of English already have access to a wealth of different translations, from the Grub Street prints contemporary with Galland's first-ever French translation at the beginning of the eighteenth century, via the "complete" translations made directly from the Arabic by such eminent scholars as Edward William Lane and Richard Burton , the latter largely dependent on John Payne's earlier version , to Powys Mathers's still widely read English rendering of Joseph Charles Victor Mardrus's imaginative French version , N.
Dawood's selection of "the finest and best-known tales in contemporary English" 10 , and Husain Haddawy's English translation of the fragmentary Galland manuscript as edited by Muhsin Mahdi Is there an advantage gained by yet another translation of "all the stories found in the Arabic text of Calcutta II" vol.
A striking response to this question is the evaluation of T. The most readily accepted designation for Orientalism is an academic one and indeed the label still serves in a number of academic institutions. Anyone who teaches writes or researches about the Orient and this applies whether the person is an anthropologist, sociologist, historian or philologist and what he or she does is Orientalism " Said, , p.
He also worked on the history, culture and languages of the East. Consequently, he falls under Said's definition. Said further expands its definition: The first encounter between the West and the East that generated an ever-growing interest in the cultures, religions and languages of the east goes as far back as the 7th century when Islam emerged as a serious threat to Christianity wheatcroft, , p.
Islam was seen by the church as the quintessence of evil wheatcroft, , p. Moslems were seen as an evil that needed to be eradicated. This confrontational relationship manifested not only in the battlefields, but also in an immense body of knowledge that sought to depict Islam in negative terms as a threat against Christianity during the crusades.
The ideologically-motivated translation of the Quran was instrumentalized by the church to portray Islam as a barbaric and backward religion. In addition to translation, the negative Christian image of Islam intensified in the Renaissance through poetry and popular superstitions to the extent that it became apparent to European thinkers that "something would have to be done about Islam" Said, , p. To this end, they focused on the oriental tales and the mythology of the East.
However, the general tendency toward the East was Eurocentric, representing the East as a backward place, populated by irrational and passive people practicing a violence-driven religion.
For Said, such misrepresentations of the Orient were the counter-image of the West. In his critique of Orientalism, Said introduces a format for colonialism and its motives by colonial powers.
He demonstrates how Orientalist studies created a political vision in favor of promoting a discourse based on the "Self" and "Other" dichotomy for the sole purpose of western domination and supremacy.
The following statements made by the British diplomat, Lord Cromer sum up the West's biased perceptions of the Oriental people: He is a natural logician, albeit he may not have studied logic. He is by nature skeptical and requires proof before he can accept the truth of any proposition.
The mind of the Oriental on the other hand, like his picturesque streets, is wanting in symmetry. He is deficient in the logical faculty. He is incapable of drawing the most obvious conclusions from any simple premises" Said, , p. As we will see, Burton also in his Arabian Nights assumes the Easterner's acceptance of the Western governance. Cromer's statements about the East and the West show that the Orientalist discourse, whether it takes the form of a translation, a political statement, a traveler's account, developed historically into a power knowledge.
In the following sections, we will analyze Burrton's translation of The Arabian Nights to see how they relate to the dominant discourses about the Orient. Drawing on Said's definition of Orientalism, we have selected Burton for our study to show how the discourse of Orientalism manifests itself in literature and translation.
The rationale behind selecting Burton for our study is that he belonged to England, a country with a long history of colonialism and Orientalist scholarship. Furthermore, he had a close contact with the Orient on account of his long stays in the Middle East as Britain's intelligence service agent.
The method adopted in this study is corpus- based. Burton's English translation of The Arabian Nights constitutes the corpus for this study.
Instead of the texts, we have focused on meta- texts, i. The narrative of The Arabian Nights The story of "Shahryar" and "Shah Zaman", the two brothers who rule over China and Samarkand respectively forms the introductory frame to the remaining tales. One day, Shah Zaman leaves Samarkand for China to meet his brother. In the middle of the way, he is backing home to fetch something. All of the sudden, he catches his wife, red-handed, in a situation of adultery with a black slave.
He kills his wife on the spot and resumes his journey to visit Shahryar. In his brother's palace, Shah Zaman is still depressed as a result of his wife's infidelity. His brother tries to relieve him and bring him some comfort, but to no avail. One day, when Shahryar is out hunting, Shah Zaman discovers his brother's wife committing adultery with a slave. He then realizes that he shouldn't feel any envy towards his brother as both are now victims of the same fate.
As soon as Shahryar returns, Shah Zaman informs him of the sad incident. Pretending to go on another hunting expedition, Shahryar surprises his wife in the same amorous situation. As his brother did before, Shahryar executes his wife, her lover and all the slaves involved in the betrayal. Shahryar carries out this revengeful plan for three years until the day when all the women of the kingdom start to shun the fate that Shahryar has reserved for them.
Shahryar orders his minister to find a woman for him to marry. To succeed in her suicidal endeavor, Shahrzad has to use her talent of story-telling to escape a certain death. She starts to narrate a story in Shahryar's presence, but makes sure not to end it before the break of a new day. This careful plan allows Shahrzad to delay her execution.
The narrator for example, tells the story of the tailor who, in turn, tells the story of the barber who tells the story of each one of his brothers. Such a juxtaposition of the tales in the form of Story-inside-a story technique to which Shahrzad resorts not only allows her to stay alive, but also to prove her faithfulness to Shahryar and to safeguard the women of the kingdom from a certain death.
Systemic analysis of The Arabian Nights According to Itamar Even-Zohar's polysystem theory , literary works belong to a system of systems examples are canonized literature, children literature, banal literature, etc.
Translated literature also is considered as a system. Later, I did manage to read the Nights as a whole - though I admit it was a laborious task, and not only because I read Enno Littmann's German translation, which ever so often is being praised for its accuracy as well as being criticized for its uninspired dryness. I was and I still am fascinated by the Nights- but gradually my uncritical fascination became at first intermingled with and then superceded by a critical distance, originating from and continuously being fed by a general aversion to monuments.
Monuments rise high and tend to cast long shadows. True, they do attract awe and amazement, but Sonderdruck aus: MARZOLPH their sheer bulk and their impressive shadow more often than not prevent an adequate appreciation of their own composite nature and also obscure a deeper understanding of neighboring constituents contributing to the monument's grandness.
Contrary to other complex narrative compilations of Near Eastern lit- eratures, such as the Sindbiid-Niime or Kallla wa-Dimna whose contents were canonized in a native language at a considerably early stage 1, the textual history of the Arabian Nights can be traced back with some cer- tainty only to the fourteenth century A. Anything likely to be regarded as a Vulgate text of the Arabian Nights was not created until late in the eighteenth century, in direct response to the European demand for complete editions initiated by the enthusiastic reception Galland' s publication had received.
The Arabian Nights were "discovered" in a European atmosphere thoroughly impregnated by the French literary narrative conventions and fashion of 'conte de fees' and their craving for the extravagant.
Ultimately, one might even go as far as stating that the Arabian Nights were created by the West. And certainly the history of their textual development as well as the approach of researchers after Galland are much more telling about Western attitudes towards the Ori- ental other than conveying an idea of the roles and functions the Arabian Nights possessed in their original surroundings.
Muhsin Mahdi, in the concluding volume three of his edition of the Galland manuscript2 has supplied two decisive chapters with titles whose headings read: While the former refers to the various components of the first French edition, the latter deals with the Sabbagh forgery of a complete and unique copy of the alleged Baghdad Nights.
To these two historicizing steps, one might add a third aiming to under- stand the Nights in the meaning they originally possessed within their indigenous context. This can probably best be achieved by a deconstruc- tive process I would like to define as "re-locating" the Nights. The even- tual result of such a re-location is to be the unveiling of a new meaning, specific to the text as it came into being. Yet, in order to arrive at this stage, it is first necessary to disassemble the Nights, to analyze their complex nature in order to dismiss components of extraneous origin and 1 BELCHER, The Diffusion of the Book ofSindbad, Fabula 28, , p.
This kind of re-location does not result in a radically new analysis of the Nights. In a most unspectacular way, it is merely a focused evaluation of some of the most important results of previous research.
In this respect, two points deserve particular consideration: While al-Mas'ildi and Ibn an-Nadim in the tenth century A.
This small collection of state- ments in Western research usually serves as the basis for the general assumption that narrative literature as such is disregarded in the Arab 3 N. Idi, al-Imtii' wal-mu'iinasa, ed. AMIN, A. MARZOLPH world, a statement which - even though to some extent it might be true - clearly contradicts the overwhelming popularity of narrative literature in the Near East then and now.
The contradictory nature of this hypo- thesis becomes obvious when one considers the fact that even some of the most conservative authors such as the I: Ianbalite Ibn al-Gauzi died ! Any- how, they apparently had no impeding effect on the flow of tradition.
Even though the popularity of the Arabian Nights is attested as early as the ninth century, the first documentary evidence for the exact title Alf laila wa-laila, contained in the notebook of a Jewish book dealer from Cairo around the year , was discovered as late as Even more surpris- ing, so far only one Arabic manuscript containing a primary dating prior to Galland's publication is known to exist. We are told that this manuscript of the Thousand and one Nights- the Vatican ms.
Is this just a coincidence or simply a fake? Since Galland's publication obviously constitutes a turning point in the history of the Arabian Nights, for a re-contextualizing evaluation of the Nights's indigenous position it is of particular importance to study manuscripts prior to the crucial date of , when Galland's enlarged adaptation of the tales available in his manuscript was pre- sented to the public. Surprisingly, previous research has never sought to compile a complete list of pre-Galland Arabic manuscripts of the Nights.