The tales of “The Thousand and One Nights”: History and translations


This article discusses the issues of the origin of an oriental “literary monument”, the popular collection of medieval fairy-tales entitled “The Thousand and One Nights”, and its penetration into the folklore of European countries, particularly into Russia through its translations.

According to researchers, this work is a joint creation of the peoples from the Middle East, Central and South Asia, which is proved by the Iranian, Arabic and Indian color found in the collection.

The article analyzes different opinions expressed in the East and West with regard to Scheherazade’s fairy tales. It studies various references to the stories of “The Nights” from ancient times to the present day and provides information about numerous translations made in Europe, from Galland’s translation in France to Salye’s in Russia.

The purpose of the research is to study the history of creation of “The Nights” and how it spread across countries owing to its translations. We also consider the features of perception of this collection in the West and East in terms of various cultural aspects, prove the significance of this work for world literature and demonstrate the importance of translations, which played a significant role in spreading this literary monument throughout the world.

The novelty of the research lies in the fact that for the first time an attempt has been made to trace how “The Thousand and One Nights”, translated into different languages, spread in Western countries, as well as in Russia.

Key words: 

“The Thousand and One Nights”, Scheherazade, Eastern literature, Iranian, Arabic and Indian folk tales, translation.

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