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Widely held in contempt in the Middle East for their frivolity and occasional obscenity, "The Arabian Nights" have nevertheless had a major influence on European and American culture, to the extent that the story collection must be considered as a key work in Western literature. This book guides the reader into this labyrinth of storytelling. It traces the development of the stories, their translation and the ways in which they have been added to, plagiarized and imitated. Above all, it uses the stories as a guide to the social history and the counter-culture of the medieval Near East. The author also wrote "The Limits of Vision", "The Arabian Nightmare", "The Mysteries of Algiers" and "The Middle East in the Middle Ages".
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'A generous and erudite book...We're in the company of someone who loves 'The Arabian Nights', and who has generously shared that love with us through this companion.' --Michele Roberts, Independent on Sunday
'Superlative...just the sort of relaxed, informative book that Edmund Wilson might have written had he grown interested in the Middle East and its early literature.' --Michael Dirda, Washington Post
'Irwin organizes his material like a good storyteller...he gives us the crystallized sum of The Nights: ancedote, history, moral fable, aphorism, story after story, wonder upon wonder. This monumental, infinitely faceted gem should be every writer's bedtime sampler.' --Michael Moorcock, New Statesman & Society
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Book Description Allen Lane, London, 1994. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition, First Printing. This is a new hardcover first London edition, first printing copy in a new mylar protected DJ, cream spine. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 086270
Book Description Allen Lane, London, U.K, 1994. Cloth. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Hardback. Seller Inventory # 023452
Book Description Viking. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # think0713991054
Book Description Viking, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0713991054
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0713991054
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # EX-0713991054