(8/7/01 10:47:14 pm)
| Arabian Nights|
Greg's Arabian Nights article is now up on the Endicott site (www.endicott-studio.com),
as well as poetry on the subject by Cory-Ellen, and other things.
We're having server problems this week, however, so if you have
any trouble connecting, please wait an hour or so and then try again.
I apologize for that, and hope the server will get itself sorted
out in the next couple of days.
(8/10/01 11:15:26 am)
| The original fairy tale|
I just read Greg's article and was very impressed with the history behind the tales. I knew the "1001 nights" were old, but I didn't know they were that old. I found it a very captivating history. So, thank you very much Greg and Terri for giving us a glimpse into the history of fairy tales!
Greg mentioned how the originals were embellished, added to, taken from with every new "translation". Still, I began to think about that: Isn't it "normal" for a fairy tale? Once it is written down, it is changed with every writer who takes it in hand: This happened with the European fairy tales, too, after all. Perault, the Grimm's, the Victorian writers: they all edited the traditional tales to fit what they deemed right for their audience.
But then I thought further: Doesn't this happen with the "original", i.e. oral version of the tale, too? The narrator will adjust it according to the response of his audience, add or subtract and change the story.
So, is there anything as a original version of a fairy tale (or tales, as in this case)? I'm not sure anymore. If I read his article correctly, Greg argues this point, too, I think.
Another thing I found intriguing was that I always loved the language used for Arabian Nights and the like, until I found some books with a closer translation of the originals. I was very surprised that the language was very prosaic and no-nonsense as opposed to the "flowery" language of the ones I used to know. I found a certain charm and "truth" in the translations keeping to the originals, but liked the other ones better.
I suppose this means I am as susceptible to the fashion of "everything oriental" as my brothers and sisters of some hundred years earlier... And I suppose Hollywood has to answer for this, too. As Disney changes the first impression of a fairy tale for many kids, so do the "Arabian" films of the fifties for a lot of us, I guess. I admit to liking them still - while feeling a little guilty.
Anyone else feeling as ambivalent about this?
May your magic carpet never collect dust,