How the Arabian Nights Inspired the American Dream, 1790-1935 by Susan NanceAmericans have always shown a fascination with the people, customs, and legends of the "East--witness the popularity of the stories of the Arabian Nights, the performances of Arab belly dancers and acrobats, the feats of turban-wearing vaudeville magicians, and even the antics of fez-topped Shriners. In this captivating volume, Susan Nance provides a social and cultural history of this highly popular genre of Easternized performance in America up to the Great Depression. According to Nance, these traditions reveal how a broad spectrum of Americans, including recent immigrants and impersonators, behaved as producers and consumers in a rapidly developing capitalist economy. In admiration of the Arabian Nights, people creatively reenacted Eastern life, but these performances were also demonstrations of Americans' own identities, Nance argues. The story of Aladdin, made suddenly rich by rubbing an old lamp, stood as a particularly apt metaphor for how consumer capitalism might benefit each person. The leisure, abundance, and contentment that many imagined were typical of Eastern life were the same characteristics used to define "the American dream." The recent success of Disney's Aladdin movies suggests that many Americans still welcome an interpretation of the East as a site of incredible riches, romance, and happy endings. This abundantly illustrated account is the first by a historian to explain why and how so many Americans sought out such cultural engagement with the Eastern world long before geopolitical concerns became paramount.
Scheherazade's Children: Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights by Marina Warner (Editor); Philip F. Kennedy (Editor)Scheherazade's Children gathers together leading scholars to explore the reverberations of the tales of the Arabian Nights across a startlingly wide and transnational range of cultural endeavors. The contributors, drawn from a wide array of disciplines, extend their inquiries into the book's metamorphoses on stage and screen as well as in literature--from India to Japan, from Sanskrit mythology to British pantomime, from Baroque opera to puppet shows. Their highly original research illuminates little-known manifestations of the Nights, and provides unexpected contexts for understanding the book's complex history. Polemical issues are thereby given unprecedented and enlightening interpretations. Organized under the rubrics of Translating, Engaging, and Staging, these essays view the Nights corpus as a uniquely accretive cultural bundle that absorbs the works upon which it has exerted influence. In this view, the Arabian Nights is a dynamic, living and breathing cross-cultural phenomenon that has left its mark on fields as disparate as the European novel and early Indian cinema. While scholarly, the writers' approach is also lively and entertaining, and the book is richly illustrated with unusual materials to deliver a sparkling and highly original exploration of the Arabian Nights' radiating influence on world literature, performance, and culture.
Location: Mugar Stacks PJ7737 .S44 2013
Publication Date: 2013
The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective by Ulrich Marzolph (Editor)In a 2004 meeting marking the Arabian Nights' tercentennial at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenb#65533;ttel, Germany, nineteen international scholars presented their work on the transnational aspects of the Arabian Nights. This volume collects their papers, whose topics range from the history of the Arabian Nights manuscripts, to positioning the Nights in modern and postmodern discourse, to the international reception of the Nights in written and oral tradition. Essays are arranged in five sections. The first section contains essays on Galland's translation and its "continuation" by Jacques Cazotte. The second section treats specific characteristics of the Nights, including manuscript tradition, the transformations of a specific narrative pattern occurring in the Nights and other works of medieval Arabic literature, the topic of siblings in the Nights, and the political thought mirrored in the Nights. The essays in the third section deal with framing in relation to the classical Indian collection Panchatantra and as a general cultural technique, with particular attention to storytelling in the oral tradition of the Indian Ocean islands off the African coast. The two concluding and largest sections focus on various aspects of the transnational reception of the Nights. While the essays of the fourth section predominantly discuss written or learned tradition in Hawai'i, Swahili-speaking East Africa, Turkey, Iran, German cinema, and modern Arabic literature, the fifth section encompasses essays on the reception and role of the Nights in the oral tradition of areas as wide apart as Sicily, Greece, Afganistan, and Balochistan. A preface by Ulrich Marzolph unifies this volume. In view of the tremendous impact of the Arabian Nights on Western creative imagination, this collection will appeal to literary scholars of many backgrounds.
Location: Mugar Stacks PJ7737 .A733 2007
Publication Date: 2007
Nocturnal Poetics: the Arabian Nights in Comparative Context by Ferial GhazoulThe Book of a Thousand and One Nights, better known as The Arabian Nights, is a classic of world literature and the most universally known work of Arabic narrative. Although much has been written about it, Professor Ghazoul's analysis is the first to apply modern critical methodology to the study of this intricate and much-admired literary masterpiece. The author draws on a wealth of critical tools -- medieval Arabic aesthetics and poetics, mythology and folklore, allegory and comedy, postmodern literary criticism, and formal and structural analysis -- to explain the specific genius of the The Arabian Nights. The author describes and examines the internal cohesion of the book, establishing its morphology and revealing the dialectics of the frame-story and enframed cycles of narrative. She discusses various forms of narrative -- folk epics, animal fables, Sindbad voyages, and demon stories -- and analyzes them in relation to narrative works from India, Europe, and the Americas. Covering an impressive range of writings, from ancient Indian classics to the works of Shakespeare and the modern writers Jorge Luis Borges and John Barth, she places The Arabian Nights in the context of an ongoing storytelling tradition and reveals its influence on world literature.
A Concise History of the Middle East by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr.; Aomar BoumAn introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, this widely acclaimed text by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment. This book explores the evolution of Islamic institutions and culture, the influence of the West, the modernization efforts of Middle Eastern governments, the struggle of various peoples for political independence, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the reassertion of Islamic values and power, the issues surrounding the Palestinian Question, and the post-9/11 Middle East. The eleventh edition has been fully revised to reflect the most recent events in, and concerns of, the region, including an expanded and more nuanced discussion of the "War on Terrorism" and the Arab uprisings, coverage of the rise of ISIS, and a new chapter on the growing environmental problems of the region. In addition, the authors have incorporated new scholarship on the early history to provide a fuller picture of the political shifts and socioeconomic concerns of that time. With updated bibliographical sketches, chronology and glossary, A Concise History of the Middle East remains an essential text for students of Middle East history.
Publication Date: 2015
The Great Caliphs: the Golden Age of the 'Abbasid Empire by Amira K. BennisonIn this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the ‘Abbasid Empire (750–1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions. At its zenith the ‘Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison’s examination of the politics, society, and culture of the ‘Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the “civilized” values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison’s argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.
Publication Date: 2009
Destiny Disrupted: a History of the World through Islamic Eyes by Tamim AnsaryThe Western narrative of world history largely omits a whole civilization. Destiny Disrupted tells the history of the world from the Islamic point of view, and restores the centrality of the Muslim perspective, ignored for a thousand years. In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as it looks from a new perspective: with the evolution of the Muslim community at the center. His story moves from the lifetime of Mohammed through a succession of far-flung empires, to the tangle of modern conflicts that culminated in the events of 9/11. He introduces the key people, events, ideas, legends, religious disputes, and turning points of world history, imparting not only what happened but how it is understood from the Muslim perspective. He clarifies why two great civilizations-Western and Muslim-grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe-a place it long perceived as primitive-had somehow hijacked destiny. With storytelling brio, humor, and evenhanded sympathy to all sides of the story, Ansary illuminates a fascinating parallel to the world narrative usually heard in the West. Destiny Disrupted offers a vital perspective on world conflicts many now find so puzzling.