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The Thousand and One Nights: Fictional Literary Work


the amphorae of Solomon

قماقم سيدنا سليمان


There is therefore comparatively little prose fiction in Arabic literature, although many non-fiction works contain short stories. A large proportion of these were probably fabricated or embellished.


The tales of the Arabian Nights, which are among the best known in Arabic literature and which still have a significant impact on the ideas that non-Arabs have of Arab culture, constitute a notable exception to the absence of fiction. . Although considered to be of Arab origin, they were in fact developed from Persian works, and the stories themselves may have roots in India. The stories of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp and Ali Baba are good examples of the lack of popular fictional prose in Arabic. Usually considered to be Thousand and One Nights episodes, they are not actually part of the original tales. They were included for the first time in the French translation of the tales by Antoine Galland, who had heard them from the mouth of a traditional storyteller.



Previously they only existed in incomplete Arabic manuscripts. The other colorful character in fictional Arabic literature, Sinbad, comes from the Arabian Nights. The Thousand and One Nights are generally included in the genre of epic Arabic literature, alongside many other works. These are usually collections of short stories or episodes strung together in a single long tale. The extended versions were written down, mostly quite late, after the fourteenth century, although many of them were undoubtedly collected earlier and many of the original stories probably date back to pre-Islamic times. In these collections we can find many different types of stories such as: animal fables, proverbs, stories about Jihad and the spread of the faith, humorous tales, moral tales, and even tales dealing with characters. characteristics like the cunning crook Ali Zaybaq or the prankster Juha.

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