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Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights

Author Marina Warner
Translator Abla Owdat
Publish Year
ISBN 9789948135937
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"In her encyclopedic book, Marina Warner travels lightly between time and space. In this book she observes and documents the history of legends, myths and magic. She starts with ancient civilisations, such as the Greek, Persians and Indian civilisations, pausing at Arab Islamic civilisation and concluding with European civilisation. Warner then connects all these dots with the fascination of the imaginary and through a delightful narration of the ""One Thousand and One Nights."" She also explains the impacts those tales had on the literature of myth, especially in 18th century Europe, through what she referred to as the ""One Thousand and One Night"" phenomenon.

Through the journey of these extended tales, the author sees a bright image of cross-culture and dialogue between civilisations. This connection is far-removed from the political and military conflicts, which characterized the relationship between East and West since the early Crusades until the era of European colonization.

Ever since they reached Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, the stories of ""One Thousand and One Nights"" became an integral part of literary and popular cultures. They influenced prominent authors and intellectuals after reading the stories in various languages. Examples of those influenced by the tales include Voltaire, Goethe and Beckford, along with other writers that were affected by the magic of these stories. Therefore, the ""Nights"" became the first seed to flourish. As many critics agree, down the line, the latter resulted in the emergence of a type of literature known as Magic Realism.

There is no doubt this translation will constitute a qualitative addition to the Arab library and an irreplaceable reference for researchers in the fields of mythical tales, anthropology, and comparative literature. This translation also provides readers with great entertainment."