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Arabian Nights (Modern Library Series)
     

Arabian Nights (Modern Library Series)

3.7 43
by Richard Burton
 

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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

Overview

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.

   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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679602354
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Series:
Modern Library Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
960
Product dimensions:
5.22(w) x 7.46(h) x 2.29(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

alf laylah wa laylah.

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!

praise be to Allah, the beneficient king, the creator of the universe, lord of the three worlds, who set up the firmament without pillars in its stead, and who stretched out the earth even as a bed, and grace, and prayer, blessing be upon our Lord Mohammed, lord of apostolic men, and upon his family and companion-train, prayer and blessings enduring and grace which unto the day of doom shall remain, amen! 'o thou of the three worlds sovereign!

And afterwards. Verily the works and words of those gone before us have become instances and examples to men of our modern day, that folk may view what admonishing chances befel other folk and may therefrom take warning; and that they may peruse the annals of antique peoples and all that hath betided them, and be thereby ruled and restrained: Praise, therefore, be to Him who hath made the histories of the Past an admonition unto the Present!

Now of such instances are the tales called "A Thousand Nights and a Night," together with their far-famed legends and wonders. Therein it is related (but Allah is All-knowing of His hidden things and All-ruling and All-honoured and All-giving and All-gracious and All-merciful!)

1. that, in tide of yore and in time long gone before, there was a King of the Kings of the Banu Sasan in the Islands of India and China, a Lord of armies and guards and servants and dependents.

2. He left only two sons, one in the prime of manhood and the other yet a youth, while both were Knights and Braves, albeit the elder was a doughtier horseman than the younger. So he succeeded to the empire; when he ruled the land and lorded it over his lieges with justice so exemplary that he was beloved by all the peoples of his capital and of his kingdom. His name was King Shahryar,

3. and he made his younger brother, Shah Zaman hight, King of Samarcand in Barbarian-land. These two ceased not to abide in their several realms and the law was ever carried out in their dominions; and each ruled his own kingdom, with equity and fair-dealing to his subjects, in extreme solace and enjoyment; and this condition continually endured for a score of years. But at the end of the twentieth twelve month the elder King yearned for a sight of his younger brother and felt that he must look upon him once more. So he took counsel with his Wazir

4. about visiting him, but the Minister, finding the project unadvisable, recommended that a letter be written and a present be sent under his charge to the younger brother with an invitation to visit the elder. Having accepted this advice the King forthwith bade prepare handsome gifts, such as horses with saddles of gem-encrusted gold; Mamelukes, or white slaves; beautiful handmaids, high-breasted virgins, and splendid stuffs and costly. He then wrote a letter to Shah Zaman expressing his warm love and great wish to see him, ending with these words, "We therefore hope of the favour and affection of the beloved brother that he will condescend to bestir himself and turn his face us-wards."

What People are Saying About This

Robert Louis Stevenson
A book that captivates in childhood and delights in age.

Meet the Author

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 affordable hardbound editions of important 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 inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

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The Arabian Nights 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
KathrynWhite More than 1 year ago
This version of the classic collection of stories is a big old mess. It is basically a solid block of text. There aren't any meaningful divisions between stories at all, and it's a monster pain in the rear to read. I am looking for another version now, as this one is intensely unreadable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is great tale that broadens your veiw of the large world that we live in. It gives you a cultural idea of how the eastern people communicated and lived through their story telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The arabian nughts are mesmeruzing
alexphilAU More than 1 year ago
Arabian Nights is a collection of stories-short stories of sort-that was told to a King in the East so the storyteller can escape or prolong death which was actually a punishment for a misdeed done. These stories were told at night tot he king, thus, Arabian nights. The storyteller ends everytime morning came and the king, went to bed. These stories are a mammoth of events that happened in the Middle East some years back. They are magical and fairy tale like. I have not read these stories seriously before, until lately when I got a god copy of the book in electronic form. My favorite is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the grandest of them all. I also like The Flying Carpet. For those who like a glimpse of Middle eastern culture and literature, these stories is the best!!!
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This is an all around terrible format for the nook... it's hard to go from story to story
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