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stories within stories

rmeyers's picture

For our reading of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights I used the Lang interpretations on the "ELF Presents The Arabian Nights" website. I read the Prelude (1), the Story of the Three Calenders, Sons of Kings, & Five Ladies of Bagdad (10), the Story of the First Calender, Son of a King (11), the Story of the Second Calender, Son of a King (12), the Story of the Envious Man and of Him Who Was Envied (13), and the Story of a Third Calender, Song of a King (14) ... all of repeated to some degree the lesson that you shouldn't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.

Common threads: Stories within stories, and maybe some layer of memoir... Or at least the idea of a pseudo-memoir. Each of the stories seems to consist of a personal history, although all fall under the umbrella of fiction, and the memoirists are not, as such, real. But they tell their personal stories, along with the personal stories of those they have met, creating a web that is all stories connected by their telling. Also intriguing - how often these stories are told to save lives. Is it just curiosity? Or more than that, we are satisfied to amend our actions toward a person (or not) by how well they tell a story?


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