The Arabian Nights: A Companion guides the reader into this celebrated labyrinth of storytelling. It traces the development of the stories from prehistoric India and Pharaonic Egypt to modern times. It explores the history of the translation, and explains the ways in which its contents have been added to, plagiarized and imitated. Above all, the book uses the stories as a guide to the social history and the counterculture of the medieval Near East and the world of the storyteller, the snake charmer, the burglar, the sorcerer, the drug addict, the treasure hunter and the adulterer.
About the Author
Robert Irwin is the Middle East editor for the Times Literary Supplement and a prolific author.
Table of Contents
Introduction * Beautiful Infidels * The Book without Authors * Oceans of Stories * The Storyteller's Craft * Street Entertainments * Low Life * Sexual Fictions * The Universe of Marvels * Formal Readings * Children of the Nights * Chronology * Notes * Index