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Hezar o Yek Shab (1001 Nights)

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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hezar o Yek Shab (1001 Nights)
    Posted: 04-Sep-2005 at 06:36

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

(Redirected from Arabian Nights)
Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar.
Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar.

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights ( in Arabic or ی in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, 1001 Arabian Nights, or simply the Arabian Nights, is a piece of medieval Middle-Eastern literature in the style of a frame tale. The nucleus of these stories is formed by an old Persian book called Hazr Afsna (the Thousand Myths) (in Persian ). The later compiler and translator in Arabic is reputedly storyteller Abu abd-Allah Muhammed el-Gahshigar in the 9th century. The frame-story of Shahrazad seems to have been added in the 14th century. The first modern Arabic compilation, made out of Egyptian writings, was published in Cairo in 1835.

During the reign of Harun al-Rashid, Baghdad rose to a world metropolitan city. Merchants from Persia, China, India, Africa, and Europe were all found in Baghdad. Its during this time that many of the stories, which are originally folk stories, are thought to have been collected orally over many years and later then compiled to include them in a single book.

The story starts with the Persian Shahryar, king of an unnamed island "between India and China" (in modern editions based on Arab transcripts he is king of India and China), is so shocked by his wife's infidelity that he kills her and, believing all women to be likewise unfaithful, gives his vizier an order to get him a new wife every night (in some versions, every third night). After spending one night with his bride, the king has her executed at dawn. This practice continues for some time, until the vizier's clever daughter Shahrazad (the name is perhaps better-known in English as "Scheherazade" or "Shahrastini", which is a Persian name) forms a plan and volunteers to become Shahrayar's next wife. Every night after their marriage, she spends hours telling him stories, each time stopping at dawn with a cliff-hanger, so the king will postpone the execution out of a desire to hear the rest of the tale. In the end, she has given birth to three sons, and the king has been convinced of her faithfulness and revoked his decree.

The tales vary widely; they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and Muslim religious legends. Some of the famous stories Shahrazad spins in many western translations are Aladdin's Lamp, Sindbad the Sailor, and the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; however Aladdin and Ali Baba were in fact inserted only in the 18th century by Antoine Galland, a French orientalist, who had heard them in oral form from a Maronite story-teller from Aleppo. Numerous stories depict djinns, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography; the historical caliph Harun al-Rashid is a common protagonist. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture.

Contents

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Editions

The first European version (and first printed edition) was a translation into French (1704 - 1717) by Antoine Galland of an earlier compilation that was written in Arabic. This book, Les Mille et une nuits, contes arabes traduits en franais (in 12 volumes) probably included Arabic stories known to the translator but not included in the Arabic compilation. The Arabic compilation Alf Layla (A Thousand Nights), originating about 850 C.E., was in turn probably an abridged translation of an earlier Persian work called Hazar Afsanah (A Thousand Legends) but probably originated in India. The present name Alf Layla wa-Layla (literally a "A Thousand Nights and a Night", i.e. "1001 Nights") seems to have appeared at an unknown time in the Middle Ages, and expresses the idea of a transfinite number since 1000 represented conceptual infinity within Arabic mathematical circles. Legend has it that anyone who reads the whole collection will become mad.

The work is made up of a collection of stories thought to be from traditional Persian, Arabic, and Indian stories. Some elements appear in the Odyssey. However, Aladdin's Lamp and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves appeared first in Antoine Galland's translation and cannot be found in the original writings. He heard them from a Syrian Christian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar, Youhenna Diab, whom he called 'Hanna'.

Perhaps the best-known translation to English speakers is that by Sir Richard Francis Burton, published as The Arabian Nights. Unlike previous editions, his 16-volume translation was not bowdlerized. Though published in the Victorian era, it contained all the erotic nuances of the source material. More recent and more legible versions are that of the French doctor J. C. Mardrus, translated into English by Powys Mathers, and, notably, a critical edition based on the 14th century Syrian manuscript in the Bibliotheque Nationale, compiled in Arabic by Muhsin Mahdi and rendered into English by Husain Haddawy, the most accurate and elegant of all to this date.

John Payne, Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp and Other Stories, (London 1901) gives details of Galland's encounter with 'Hanna' in 1709 and of the discovery in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris of two Arabic manuscripts containing Aladdin and two more of the 'interpolated' tales. He instances Galland's own experience to demonstrate the lack of regard for such entertainments in the mainstream of Islamic scholarship, with the result that

'complete copies of the genuine work were rarely to be met with, collections... and the fragmentary copies which existed were mostly in the hands of professional story-tellers, who were extremely unwilling to part with them, looking upon them as their stock in trade, and were in the habit of incorporating with the genuine text all kinds of stories and anecdotes from other sources, to fill the place of the missing portions of the original work. This process of addition and incorporation, which has been in progress ever since the first collection of the Nights into one distinct work and is doubtless still going on in Oriental countries, (especially such as are least in contact with European influence,) may account for the heterogeneous character of the various modern MSS. of the Nights and for the immense difference which exists between the several texts, as well in actual contents as in the details and diction of such stories as are common to all.'

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights has an estranged cousin: The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, by Jan Potocki. A Polish noble of the late 18th century, he traveled the Orient looking for an original edition of The Book... but never found it. Upon returning to Europe, he wrote his masterpiece, a multi-leveled frame tale.

Adaptations

Film and television

There have been many adaptations of the Nights, for both television and the big screen, with varying degrees of faithfulness to the original stories.

The atmosphere of the Nights influenced such films as Fritz Lang's 1921 Der mde Tod, the 1924 Hollywood film The Thief of Baghdad starring Douglas Fairbanks, and its 1940 British remake.

One of Hollywood's first feature films to be based on the Nights was in 1942, with the movie named Arabian Nights. It starred Maria Montez as Scheherazade, Sabu as Ali Ben Ali and Jon Hall as Harun al-Rashid. The storyline bears virtually no resemblance to the traditional version of the Nights. In the film Scheherazade is a dancer, who attempts to overthrow Caliph Harun al-Rashid and marry his brother. Unfortunately Scheherazades initial coup attempt fails and she is sold into slavery, many adventures then ensue. Maria Montez and Jon Hall also starred in the 1944 film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Arguably the most successful movie based on the Nights was Aladdin, the 1992 animated movie by the Walt Disney Company, which starred Scott Weinger and Robin Williams. The film led to several sequels and a television series of the same name.

The Voyages of Sinbad have been adapted for television and film several times, the most recent of which was in the 2003 animated feature Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, which starred Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Perhaps the most famous Sinbad film was the 1958 movie The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, produced by the stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen.

There are of course, many non-English versions of the Nights. These include numerous Bollywood movies, the famous 1974 Italian movie Il fiore delle mille e una notte and the 1990 French movie Les 1001 nuits, that starred Catherine Zeta-Jones as Scheherazade.

One of the most memorable television adaptations was the Emmy award winning miniseries Arabian Nights, directed by Steve Barron and starring Mili Avital as Scheherazade and Dougray Scott as Shahryar. It was originally shown over two nights on April 30, and May 1, 2000 on ABC in the United States and BBC in the United Kingdom. Out of all the television and film versions of the Nights, this miniseries is perhaps one of the most faithful to the original stories.

Upcoming movies

A film entitled 1001 Nights, written by Jeff Vlaming and due out 2006, is to be set in the present day and star Juliette Binoche and Laurence Fishburne. It portrays Scheherazades equivalent as the unfaithful wife of a mobster, who is kidnapped by her husband's henchmen and forced to tell stories in order to win her freedom.

Another film based on the Nights, is due out in 2007 and is simply named Arabian Nights. Written by Enio Rigolin, it will depict a more traditional version of the Nights set in ancient Persia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_Nights



Edited by Zagros
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2005 at 09:38
coooooooooooooooooooooooool
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2005 at 10:15

The story starts with the Persian Shahryar, king of an unnamed island "between India and China" (in modern editions based on Arab transcripts he is king of India and China)

According to Shahryar-Nameh of Mokhtari Ghaznavi (one of the greatest Persian poets of the 11th century), Shahryar was a king of Persia who helped Faranak/Serendipity, the queen of Serendib Island (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) to fight against Arzhang.

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  Quote Behi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2005 at 06:39
39 of 1001 Nights Storys are here: "in Parsi"
http://www.iiketab.com/ebook/hezarshab/hezarshab.htm

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  Quote Rakhsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2005 at 19:26
yeah we all knew it was written by A Persian but why the heck 1001 arabian nights I rather 1001 Persian nights
Never under estimate the predictablity of stupidity! - Bullet Tooth Tony
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2005 at 19:30
Arabian nights is what the westerners called it, we call it hezaro yek shab, simply 1001 nights, not referring to them being arabic or persian, because ethnicity was not really very important in those days.
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  Quote Rakhsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2005 at 19:35
True
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