R S 358 • The Arabian Nights
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
This course introduces students to the Arabian Nights in translation. The Arabian Nights is a collection of stories framed by one story. 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 toward death, madness, and sexuality. We will supplement our study of the Arabian Nights with other medieval literature, such as court odes, legends and romances. We will also 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, including additional readings, a paper proposal and a term paper.
Response Papers (best 8 of 10) 40%
First Paper 20%
Second Paper 20%
Dawood, N. J., trans. Tales from a thousand and one nights. New York: Penguin Classics, 1973.