WGS 340 • The Arabian Nights
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course introduces students to the Aravbian Nights in translation. The Arabian Nights is a collection of stories framed by one story. The frame story begins as a nightmare about a misogynist who wants to kill his wife. Through the wife's skill as a storyteller, however, it develops into a tale of love and redemption. The narrative brings fear, madness, and love under the same roof, giving the frame story--and every story--an exquisite dramatic intensity. This course will examine closely the Arabian Nights in translation as part of an effort to understand medieval attitudes towar death, madness, and sexuality. We will supplement our study of the Arabian Nights with other medieval literature, such as famous court odes, legends and romances. We will focus on its reception by authors such as Boccaccio, E. A. Poe, Irwin, and Barth. There will be special emphasis on the French Introduction of the Nights to the west by Antoine Galland. No background in Arabo-Islamic culture is required. Graduate students will fulfill course requirements appropriate to their standing.