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The Story[ies] of my Choosing

nk0825's picture

For Thursday's assignment I chose to read The Story of the Envious Wezir and the Prince and the Ghuleh, The Story of the Husband and the Parrot, and the Story of the Porter and the Ladies of Baghdad, and the of Three Royal Mendicants, Etc. All of these were from the Harvard Online Collection.

I found all three stories very interesting. The only problem I encountered were a few references to events discussed in previous stories that I couldn't understand because I hadn't read those other stories. Since I read these stories on my computer it felt oddly similar to my experiences when we were reading blogs for class. It was strange not needing to flip the pages of a physical book, but I found concentrating while reading off the screen was easier than it used to be. This was surprising to me and assured me that maybe old dogs can learn new tricks, meaning maybe as students we can still be retrained to accept different formats of the same literary kind...


Shayna S's picture

Another Harvard Classics Reader

I read the first two Sinbad (though spelled differently on the site) stories as well as "The Story of Jullanar of the Sea." 

I'm not sure if I see any immediate connections with Persepolis from the stories I read. The style of the translation is very different than that of the graphic novel. When reading the stories, I felt different from when I am reading a Western book. It felt almost like I was reading a script or a transcript. The stories stayed stories and didn't engross me into believing in the stories themselves. Instead, I felt like I was being told a story, like I was listening to the text. Perhaps it was just the selections I read. Either way, I was more drawn into living Persepolis than any of the selections I made. 

jrf's picture

also confused

I too tried to read stories out of order, which didn't work so well for me. I ended up reading "The Story of the Porter and the Ladies of Baghdad, and the of Three Royal Mendicants, Etc.," "The Story of the Merchant and the Jinni," and "The Story of the First Sheykh and the Gazelle," as well as the introduction, all on the Harvard Classics site. I agree that the experience was very like reading a blog. I'm looking forward to exploring the connections between these stories and Persepolis, because to me the styles seemed very different.

sgb90's picture

also from the Harvard Classics online

 I also read from the Harvard classics online. I read the introduction, "The Story of the Merchant and the Jinni," "The Story of the Fisherman," and "The Story of the Humpback."

It interests me how this collection of stories plays upon the idea of narrative by the simple fact that within every story there is a portal into yet another story, so that the tales operate in infinite succession. Not only do the stories go on infinitely and somewhat circularly, but we as readers in our interpretations create new stories from these stories, and so the process never ends. This endless generation of narrative is both absurd and, as in the framework of The Thousand and One Nights, the primary mechanism by which we simultaneously face and attempt to ward off our mortality.

Shayna S's picture

The Stories Within Stories

 I decided to read the stories that you have posted about. I, too, was interested in how each story lead into another. This story-within-a-story reminds me of the Sandman graphic narratives as a series. For many of the books, individual characters that might have been side or supporting characters are expanded upon. The book we read gave Barbie a background and personality while in one of the previous books in which she was introduced, she was merely a side character who barely interacted with the main character. 

When Barbie says that she believes there are many worlds within worlds within just a single person, do you think this is what she means? It's interesting to contemplate the reality of each character in the 1001 Nights stories, as each one seems eager to tell a story...

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