Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Do you imagine flying carpets, friendly blue genies, magic, and bad-accented cartoon characters? Forget it!
I�m reading the English translation of the Mahdi version of the 14th century Syrian compilation of Arabic Folklore. It is definitely not what we read as kids. This is adult storytelling at its rawest best.
The strange thing is that the tales of the Arabian Nights have been so much a part of Western exotica, that most stories we�ve known to be Arabic (like Alladin�s lamp) are not original folk tales. Most of them were modified and created by Englishmen and Frenchmen to satiate their own craving for �cool stuff from the east� (very much why :pBollywood:p is thriving today).
In the original world of the Nights, there is magic, adventure, romance, reverence, morality, debauchery, crime, irony and so many other definitely-not-for-children stuff. Sadly now, the names Baghdad, Mosul, Basra and Damascus have taken on negative connotations in today�s �world according to Dubya�.
This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.