This volume discusses The Thousand and One Nights' themes of space and travel showing how they are used not only as a setting in which the story unfolds, but also as the dynamic force which propels the heroes and the story to the final dénouement.
These events often symbolize a process of transformation, in which the hero has to search for his destined role or strive to attain the object of his desire. In this way, themes of travel are the narrative backbone of stories of various genres including love, religion, magic and adventure.
This book not only gives a fresh approach to many stories of the collection, but also proposes new insights in the nature of The Thousand and one Nights as a self-reflexive narrative and is essential reading for scholars of Arabic literature.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Travelling, Boundaries and Narratives 2. Roads to Power 3. Night and Day: The Two Faces of Man 4. Marginality, Individuality and the Traveller 5. The Spirit of Place 6. The Domains of Love 7. Magic and the Logic of Narrative Space 8. Some Conclusions
Richard van Leeuwen is currently affiliated to the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on the Thousand and one nights, modern Arabic literature, Middle Eastern history and Islam. He has also worked as a translator of Arabic literature and he is currently doing research on Middle Eastern travel and Rashîd Ridâ