Anonymous-- Arabian Nights informal buddy read starts October 10, · Moderators of Classic Group Read (February ) - The Arabian Nights: Tales From a Thousand and One Nights, by Anonymous · Faye, 29 Boxall's Bo. Cibele Andrade The original Nights (or the compilations of it) are not what I would call children fairy tales. 10 Malayalam Must read before you die book .. Of all of the world's story collections, surely The Arabian Nights has the best. Topics Arabian Nights, Nights, Thousand and One Nights, Richard Francis Burton, Kamashastra, A Thousand Nights and a Night, Alif, Alfi.
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The Arabian Nights. Selected and Edited by Andrew Lang. A FREE E-BOOK. For more stories, visit ruthenpress.info TABLE OF CONTENTS. A FREE. “The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-One Stories ture, namely The Arabian Nights, the Kama Sutra, and The Perfumed. Garden, at his. ruthenpress.info - arabian nights stories free download pdf. Burtonnights-- ruthenpress.info - The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night A Plain and Literal.
Narratives take on another guise, i. More often than not, a new text which is taken as a break from tradition is discovered upon scrutiny to be derivative, a 2 Introduction repetition with a difference, a variation of precursor narratives.
This is not surprising for, as the poet says, in our beginning is our end. Or, to put it differently, as T.
Eliot does, the end of all our exploring is to arrive at the place we start from. Narrative turns a full circle even as it purports to explore uncharted territories. One needs but to look around to see that narratives are found anywhere and everywhere.
The critic, Teresa Lauretis, feels that on no account can narratives be ignored—one has to work either with or against them. Roland Barthes is of the opinion that narratives of the world are numberless; they are present everywhere, at all times, and in different forms. Ursula Le Guin uses the rattle-snake analogy and is convinced that there is no escape from the narrative. Classic narratology believes in a dualistic model for the study of narratives, splitting the work into the fabula and the sujet, into histoire or discourse.
However, one may be more inclined to agree with Barbara Smith who questions this methodological doubling, suggesting that instead of illuminating a text it actually misguides and distracts, preventing the reader from fully exploring the connection between the narrative, language and culture.
Therefore, it may be advisable not to reduce narratives to a formula. For if a narrative is an attempt at ordering human experience, it may be prudent to remember that human experience is never simplistic; any attempt to reduce it to a defined body of words would not do sufficient justice.
A narrative has a beginning and an end Metz but life is a living, growing, changing phenomenon which does not have a ready-made structure.
If narrative is an attempt to capture some essence of this ceaselessly changing process it, too, must keep evolving, adapting itself to the needs of the times. Another point of view that needs to be taken seriously is that no narrative is absolutely pure or original.
Instead, a narrative is a response to infinite other narratives. Walter Benjamin sees the narrative as the art of repeating stories.
Memory plays an important role in story-telling, for every good raconteur must be familiar with stories of old, build upon them, repeat their successes and avoid their failures in order to hold the interest of his listeners.
Simultaneously, at work in the narrative process is a subtle power game. The narrative is a temporal sequence but the narrator has the liberty to disturb the time sequence, introducing anachronies, analepsis or prolepsis i.
What is said is important, no doubt, but equally important is what is not said. The selection depends on the focalization and is a comment on the underlying ideology.
As Henry Louis Gates, Jr. If the narrator is a puppeteer of sorts, deftly manipulating the events of his story, his characters, even his readers or listeners, the whole process is analogous to sexual activity. There is an erotic pleasure in the discursive process.
Roland Barthes, in The Pleasure of the Text celebrates the physicality of language, the jouissance, and its orgasmic pleasures.
She, too, is exerting the power of the word over her listener although temporal power lies with her husband at whose behest she may be beheaded at the break of day. The sexual politics interwoven into the 1 Henry Louis Gates Jr. What has been said so far would be equally applicable to texts across the genres, across man- made borderlines of nation, class or culture, reaching out to the high and the low through elite and popular forms.
This brings us to the formal aspects of a narrative. The beginning and the end have already been mentioned, but what about the mode of narration?
If we look back at the Panchtantra or the Kathasaritsagar or the Arabian Nights, it is easy to see a similarity in their structural framework. Each comprises a framed narrative with many stories held together by the overarching grand or master narrative.
Like Chinese boxes or Russian dolls that fit one inside the other, these stories are held together by the framing narrative. One may also cite at random a twentieth-century text translated from the Malayalam—O. Within this frame numerous other stories are told—each character of the village has his own history which is narrated along with the superstitions and beliefs prevalent in that region.
Thus, the framing device is very much in use even today. The metafictional technique, or the framed narrative, is thought to be an eastern concept. Framed texts that appear outside the Indian subcontinent the Arabian Nights, Decameron, Canterbury Tales, for instance are said to have their origins in the Kathasaritsagar. Keith believes that the frame narrative was a Middle-Eastern concept; he is of the opinion that the animal tales of the Panchatantra travelled to Persia and Arabia where they were framed in stories along with the local tales, and then travelled back to India.
This is how the stories as well as the technique spread across the world and were adopted by the novel in the Telling the Tale 5 form of rambling narrative patterns with several story-threads, the kind that are found in India and also elsewhere. How, one may ask, does this technique figure in poetry? Take a look at the best-known poetical work of the twentieth century—T. What is it if not a sequence of scenes and sketches from modern life, held together by a commentary, a statement of the theme that runs through the five movements of the poem?
What Tiresias sees, in fact, is the substance of the poem, Eliot tells us, and the substance that he sees comprises the many grim and sordid situations of a world which is a meaningless, barren, waste land.
The horror of this landscape informs the various sections of The Waste Land. In drama, the story-within-a-story, or rather play-within-a-play has various purposes but most of all it presents the world as a stage with us poor players, playing our parts.
The outermost frame is occupied by the writer who pens the story, but on the stage it is the Chorus which holds the scenes together. Closer to home, it is the sutradhar who performs a binding role. In the plays of Girish Karnad, for instance, the sutradhar connects the many levels at which the action takes place. The framed sequence may also be found in popular forms of mass entertainment. Take, for instance, the film Titanic and its salvage sequences, the backward and forward movement of time, the simultaneous narration of two different stories—one of the shipwreck and the other of the discovery of the wreck.
This dual narration is what Tzetvan Todorov sees in the unfolding of a story, a technique found in popular as well as canonical texts, in a cult film like Titanic and also in an established work—like Oedipus Rex, for instance, where the crime has been committed before the commencement of action, ante rem, and must now be revealed step by step.
There is, thus, in narratives, a repetition of narrative tools, of stories and underlying ideologies and mythologies. Archetypes, if you will, which keep recurring from time to time and have their origins in the primal instincts of man. These, when identified, enhance the pleasure of the text. Narratives and counter-narratives, visions and re-visions, each narrative challenges our complacencies and compels us to look at the world afresh.
Further, it develops the idea that to the mimetic and diegetic task of the writer a third element may be added, i. As the narrative progresses through the polytropic principle towards its closure, it contains within itself traditions of the past even as it forges ahead into new territories.
How original is their craft? These are some of the questions that need to be answered. At a deeper level, the attempt is to draw attention to three different yet related concepts in narratology—philosophy, ideology and the story— beginning with certain basic assumptions: the philosophy of a text is taken as that which includes the ideology, the meaning and the thoughts transmitted from one party whether individual or collective to another.
Philosophy and ideology in a narrative are embodied in the story that is told. The act of story-telling itself is a mode whereby knowledge is passed on from the teller to the recipient, possibly designed for the entertainment of the latter, and often involving the indoctrination of the other.
A teller of tales has some ideas to communicate to the listeners, a philosophy to propound, an ideology to promote, and a culture to preserve through the stories which are narrated. The stories of the Panchatantra, for instance, are a means of passing on ideas, for communicating wisdom, and for spreading knowledge, a pattern discernible in all literary texts.
Whose ideology? Whose philosophy? But, as Roland Barthes told us in , the author is dead. The voices we hear affect our reading of a text.
The present study focuses on how stories travel through time and through space. Doing so, they undergo changes with every age and every narrator. Sometimes the changes are drastic and the original tale is lost. The lessons conveyed by the stories also undergo variations with the passage of time and also with the teller. The meaning of the narrative or its many meanings , thus, depend on several factors which will be studied in the chapters that follow vis-a-vis texts drawn from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds.
Wherever an aerial root touches the earth it becomes a tree and starts giving joy to everyone by providing shelter, shade and fruits. Though the Panchatantra has travelled far and wide, its mother trunk is rooted in the soil of India and delights all those who read it.
As a starting point, it uses a familiar story: Once upon a time, perhaps it was around B. This king, whose name was Amarsakthi, ruled over the kingdom of Mahilaropya in southern India.
Truly, it seemed to be a golden age. But his glory notwithstanding, the king was very sad for he had three foolish, good-for-nothing sons, called Bahushakti, Ugrashakti and Anantshakti, who were averse to all learning. Their state of ignorance gave the king sleepless nights and he wondered what could possibly be done to awaken their intelligence.
Was there a teacher who could impart knowledge to them? One of them offered to take them under his tutelage for twelve years in the course of which he would teach them grammar, religion, diplomacy and the essentials of practical day-to-day living. However, the young princes being what they were, would not have the patience to complete such a lengthy educational training, so the offer was rejected.
Next, someone suggested the name of Vishnu Sharma, a much-respected learned Brahmin who would be able to educate the princes in a shorter span of time. Pandit Vishnu Sharma was called in and offered substantial material gains if he agreed to take on the 10 Chapter I onerous task of educating the princes.
So it was that Vishnu Sharma, the learned Brahman, was appointed the teacher of the errant princes. He took them under his tutelage and began to instruct them through fables, each fable carrying a moral lesson. Instead of administering homilies or sermons, he narrated stories to the young men. Each story carried a moral lesson which would be driven home effectively and painlessly. About two centuries after these stories were narrated by Vishnu Sharma, they were collected as the Panchatantra.
A discussion on narratives and how they travel across time and space should rightly begin with this seminal text. The stories that reformed the princes are collected in the Panchatantra which dates back to a period before AD. Divided into five chapters or tantras, they relate to the art of living wisely and well and form a nitishastra. This anthology of popular tales is a familiar one across the Indian subcontinent; we have heard the stories often in our growing years and as adults we have repeated them to younger generations.
In particular, it is essential to keep in mind that the tales of the Panchatantra relate to the practical aspects of day-to-day living, pointing to a just and upright path that human beings should aspire towards. They impart moral instructions administered in small doses and the lessons they convey are connected with the culture in which the text is located.
The Panchatantra comprises units that are linked together to form a whole, moving towards a telos, a conclusion; it follows the oral tradition, comprising talk-stories, tales from folk lore, myths and legends that travel down the generations by word of mouth, adapting themselves to the environment and situation, inevitably changing with every narrator and with every narration.
Immortal Classics 11 Travellers from the east to Persia carried these fabulous tales back home from India. King Khosraw I ordered his ministers to translate the fables into their literary language, Pahlavi.
Then, as time went by, the Persian version was in turn translated into Arabic. By the 11th century, the tales of the Panchatantra were read and enjoyed in many different languages in Europe. In recent decades, these stories have become popular through comic books such as the Amar Chitra Katha series a comic imprint with hundreds of titles easily available online. The comic book series is written by the leading Indian fantasy and comic book writer, Samit Basu, and illustrated by Ashish Padlekar.
In India, the importance of the Panchatantra tales may be assessed by the fact that the Government of India issued a set of four postage stamps in which depict four stories from the Panchatantra. The denomination of these stamps is Rs. The Panchatantra stories became part of the national postage not only in India, but in Lebanon too where two postal stamps were issued, based on the stories of the Panchatantra. Sculptures can be found of elephants, monkeys, lions, and other animals. Around the windows of the Jagmohana are monkeys engaged in a variety of humorous and lively scenes depicting popular stories from Panchatantra.
The moral or didactic purpose of the Panchatantra cannot be doubted. The stories were told with the specific purpose of imparting instruction to the doltish princes. The maxims relate to morality, religion and 1 For this section on the Panchatantra, I am indebted to my doctoral student, Dr Harpreet Dhiman, who made a critical study of the text in her Ph. Patil, Panchatantra in Karnataka Sculptures.
Their primary focus is practical day-to-day living and governance: How should one conduct oneself in routine matters? What makes a just and noble ruler? How should a king rule best and what should be his policy towards his people? The three texts overlap on various issues but there are striking differences, too. Scholars have also traced the influence of Arthashastra on the Panchatantra. It is suggested by Hertel that it was originally conceived as a work for teaching political wisdom but it must be admitted that its character as a political textbook is never glaring.
It is essentially a story book in which the story teller and the political teacher are unified in one personality. Nor does it veil its teachings on governance behind fables or folk tales. The Panchatantra differs from The Prince and Arthashastra in that it remains a moral treatise; it deals with ethics and polity but nowhere does it advocate the use of foul means to reach a desired goal.
It is dissimilar in another respect: its teachings are sugar-coated, couched in popular tales and thus easily understood even by those who are not gifted with mental alacrity. Because the private and the public areas of living are both parts of a whole, the two cannot be separated and compartmentalized.
Niti applies at all levels. Further, this work goes beyond the education of princes. It is meant for all men and women. Many of the tales are about ordinary people going about the normal business of living rightly or wrongly. Perhaps it would be safe to say that the two collections of stories are derived from similar sources. Lin Yutang is of the opinion that it was the Eastern tales that influenced the Greeks in Wisdom of India. These tales have travelled far, indeed, and have been translated into as many as two hundred languages in different countries, in the Eastern corners of the world as well as the west.
Looking at the structure of the Panchatantra, it may be noted that it comprises a collection of stories that are independent yet linked. They are like beads in a rosary, or like many compartments in a larger structure.
The framing device is obvious as is the multiple level of story-telling. The tales are interwoven with maxims and moral lessons. The outer frame, the Preamble as we know it, comprises the story of the ruler of Mahilaropya, King Amarshakti, his sons and the pandit appointed to educate the princes. Further, within each chapter or tantra, there are inlaid stories.
Thus, the metafictional technique is very much in evidence. These embedded stories are peopled by their own characters, some of whom become story-tellers.
Thus, there are multiple levels of story-telling, different narratorial voices that emerge for a while, are heard, and then disappear only to make way for other voices.
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