Between 1991 and 1995, I spent a good deal of time studying and collating all the different texts of the 1001 Nights I could get hold of. The idea was to compile a complete list of all the stories included in all the various editions. I never really succeeded in finishing this task (it's since been done rather more satisfactorily by Ulrich Marzolph and Richard van Leeuwen in their 2004 Arabian Nights Encyclopedia).
In the process, I produced a number of papers and essays on the Nights, which I planned eventually to collate and rewrite into a comprehensive work on the Arabian Nights seen from the perspective of comparative literature. I never managed to complete this either, but rather than leaving it as unfinished (possibly unfinishable) business, I thought I'd put as much of it as I did get done up online.
I suppose I think of it as a sort of unofficial Post-Doctoral thesis, to be regarded as a companion to my MA and PhD dissertations, both of which I'm also (gradually) transferring online.
I'll continue to update it from time to time, but not (I fear) with the same fervour I brought to the subject two decades ago.
- Dr Jack Ross, Mairangi Bay (26 July, 2009)
The 1001 Nights & Comparative Literature
- Introduction: Redu ‘92
- Chapter 1: Malory and Scheherazade
- Chapter 2: Europe, Christianity and the Crusades
- Chapter 3: Voyage en Orient
- Chapter 4: Parodies of the Arabian Nights
- Chapter 5: The Poetics of Stasis