reads The Arabian Nights

Music by: Aidan Zammit

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A new version of The Arabian Nights promises to recapture the authentic voice with which Scheherazade spins the tales that saved her life and won her the love of her sovereign. Published by Donzelli and based on the Arabic text critically revised by philologist Muhsin Mahdi from Harvard University, the new text has an introduction by Vincenzo Cerami. The first and highly popular western translation appeared in 1704, the work of French orientalist Antoine Galland, who cast the narrator in an exotic and libertine light. The Mahdi text removes these distortions and restores the comic tone, the exemplary cases, the moralising glosses, the interplay of trickery and its upshots. Above all what emerges as the tales unfold one by one is the way that destiny, the driving force behind the collection, asserts its mysterious will. What we are left with are sheikhs and vizirs, scimitars and caravans, genies in bottles, alcove scenes, flying carpets and, above all, the teeming crowds of Baghdad, Cairo and Samarkand.
Restored to the oral tradition from which they came and accompanied by live music by  Aidan Zammit, Scheherazade's tales never fail to seduce the audience, transporting us to fabulous new orients of the imagination.