aka: The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
Author: Richard Francis Burton (Editor/Translator)
Translator: Ha-kyong Kim
Publisher: Shidae-eui Chang
5-volume set | a total of 1762 pages | 223*152mm
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|>>>This book is
written in Korean.
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About This Book
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, One Thousand and One Nights, 1001 Arabian Nights, Arabian Nights, The Nightly Entertainments or simply The Nights) is a medieval Middle-Eastern literary epic which tells the story of Scheherazade, a Sassanid Queen, who must relate a series of stories to her malevolent husband, King Shahryar, to delay her execution. The stories are told over a period of one thousand and one nights, and every night she ends the story with a suspenseful situation, forcing the King to keep her alive for another day. The individual stories were created over many centuries, by many people and in many styles, and they have become famous in their own right. Notable examples include Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.
The story takes place in the Sassanid era and begins with the Persian king Shahryar. The king rules an unnamed island "between India and China" (in modern editions based on Arab transcripts he is king of India and China). When Shahryar discovers his wife plotting with a lover to kill him, he has the pair executed. Believing all women to be likewise unfaithful, he gives his vizier an order to get him a new wife every night (in some versions, every third night). After spending one night with his bride, the king has her executed at dawn. This practice continues for some time, until the vizier's clever daughter Sheherazade ("Scheherazade" in English, or "Shahrastini", a Persian name) forms a plan and volunteers to become Shahrayar's next wife. With the help of her sister Dunyazad, every night after their marriage she spends hours telling him stories, each time stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger, so the king will postpone the execution out of a desire to hear the rest of the tale. In the end, she has given birth to three sons, and the king has been convinced of her faithfulness and revoked his decree.
The tales vary widely; they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and Muslim religious legends. Some of the famous stories Shahrazad spins in many western translations are Aladdin's Lamp, the Persian Sindbad the Sailor, and the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; however Aladdin and Ali Baba were in fact inserted only in the 18th century by Antoine Galland, a French orientalist, who claimed to have heard them in oral form from a Maronite story-teller from Aleppo in Syria. Numerous stories depict djinn, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography; the historical caliph Harun al-Rashid is a common protagonist, as are his alleged court poet Abu Nuwas and his vizier, Ja'far al-Barmaki. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture.
On the final (one thousand and first) night Sheherazade presents the King with their three sons and she asks him for a complete pardon. He grants her this and they live in relative satisfaction.
The best-known translation to English speakers is that by Sir Richard Francis Burton, entitled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885). Unlike previous editions, his translation was not bowdlerized. Though printed in the Victorian era, it contained all the erotic nuances of the source material, replete with sexual imagery and pederastic allusions added as appendices to the main stories by Burton. Burton circumvented strict Victorian laws on obscene material by printing an edition for subscribers only rather than formally publishing the book. The original ten volumes were followed by a further six entitled The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night which were printed between 1886 and 1888.
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