Arabian Nights

Among the classics of literature there are some works which have no author. One of those famous work is The Tales of 1001 Nights. This work is actually a collection of Arabian stories ranging from the early ninth century until the 18th century. There has never been a definite collection. Various texts have been attributed to be part of this great telling and obviously many have been added or lost. Thus anyone who wants to buy The Tales of 1001 Nights is presented with the problem of deciding which collection is the best.  In the edition I bought the translator also addressed this problem. One of the requirements, so he decided, was that the collection actually contained 1001 stories. The second was that there did exist an original Arabic written version of the stories. This lead him to pick as a choice the so-called Calcutta II collection of 1842. Even so, the edition I got still has two bonus stories: the tales of Aladdin and Ali Baba. Both obviously famous, but without an original Arabic text. Those stories are classics as well, so it is nice to have them as well. For those who wonder which edition I got: it is the three volume Penguin edition. Overall it’s almost 3000 pages so that would provide plenty of reading pleasure.

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