The Arabian Nights

Front Cover
Husain Haddawy, Muhsin Mahdi
W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - Fiction - 428 pages
19 Reviews
Full of mischief and valor, ribaldry and romance, The Arabian Nights is a work that has enthralled readers for centuries. The text presented here is that of the 1932 Modern Library edition for which Bennett A. Cerf chose the "most famous and representative" of the stories from the multivolume translation of Richard F. Burton.
The origins of The Arabian Nights are obscure. About a thousand years ago a vast number of stories in Arabic from various countries began to be brought together; only much later was the collection called The Arabian Nights or the Thousand and One Nights. All the stories are told by Shahrazad (Scheherazade), who entertains her husband, King Shahryar, whose custom it was to execute his wives after a single night. Shahrazad begins a story each night but withholds the ending until the following night, thus postponing her execution.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford-
able hardbound editions of impor-
tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-
fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torch-
bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-
gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world'sbest books, at the best prices.This selection includes many of the stories that are universally known though seldom read in this authentic form: "Alaeddin; or, the Wonderful Lamp, " "Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman, " and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." These, and the tales that accompany them, make delightful reading, demonstrating, as the Modern Library noted in 1932, that Shahrazad's spell remains unbroken.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BayardUS - LibraryThing

I've recently read several interesting short story collections from antiquity, namely The Canterbury Tales, Arabian Nights, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. Each of them has inspired enough academic articles ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CurrerBell - LibraryThing

Note that this review is written specifically of the Norton Critical Edition, ISBN 978-0-393-92808-2. I can't remember ever rating a Norton Critical Edition of any book this low, and I'm very much a ... Read full review

Contents

The Story of the Merchant and the Demon
17
The Story of the Fisherman and the Demon
30
The Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies
66
The First Dervishs Tale
86
The Story of the Three Apples
150
The Story of the Hunchback
206
The Young Man with
214
The Young Man from Mosul
238
Tailor
268
The Story of Nur alDin Ali ibnBakkar and the SlaveGirl
295
The Story of the SlaveGirl Anis alJalis and Nur alDin
344
The Story of Jullanar of the Sea
383
Translators Postscript
428
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About the author (1995)

Husain Haddawy was born and grew up in Baghdad, taught English and comparative literature at various American universities, wrote art criticism, and is now living in retirement in Thailand.

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