Reading

The Arabian Nights


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I’ve been reading Sir Richard F. Burton’s translation of The Arabian Nights for the past couple of months. It’s been interesting trying to determine which tales in the Nights takes its inspiration from other cultures’ mythology, and vice versa. The similarities between Sindbad and Odysseus are many and obvious, but more interesting for me is trying to determine which tales influenced Poe and Lovecraft, both of whom developed an interest in the Nights during their youths.

I’m currently working my way through The Sleeper And The Waker, and following that I’ll get to the most famous story from the Nights, Alaeddin (The Wonderful Lamp). As a big fan of the Disney movie when I was a young lad, I’m interested to learn what liberties were taken with the plot — I imagine many.