Catchy title, no? A spin taken from Sheherezade’s stories of 1001 Arabian Nights, more accurately called The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. This is where we get the tales of Aladdin, Abu the thief of Baghdad, and Alibaba and the 40 Thieves.
Who was Sheherezade?
Scheherazade was the daughter of the vizier, the king’s high-ranking political adviser. She grew up in the palace a free woman and a well educated one at that. With access to the books and writings, she immersed herself in poetry, philosophy, the sciences, and the arts, and knew the history and legends of all the kings of many lands. Of the last, she was said to have collected a thousand books on the topic. Wise, witty, and well read, Scheherazade was also known to be pleasant, sweet, and polite.
Because the faithless wife whom he had loved deeply had betrayed him, Shahryār, the Persian king, vowed he would not be betrayed again. But the law of the land said he must have a wife. To get around that sticky fact, he married, spent the night with, and then beheaded the next wife. And the one after her. And the next. Story has it that 1000 wives met a similar fate.
Now, Scheherazade knew the boy the king had been and had loved him the whole of her life. It troubled her that he was so unhappy. She was certain that whatever it was that led him to marry and behead 1000 wives must be a deep and unrelenting pain in his heart. So against her father’s wishes, Scheherazade volunteered to become Shahryār’s new wife. However, as intelligent a woman as she was, Scheherazade did not come to this union without a plan.
That night after their wedding, she started telling a story, a farewell story she had written for her sister. And the king was captivated by it. As the sun was rising on the day she was to be beheaded, she ended the storytelling at a suspenseful spot. Needing to know how it ended, the king allowed her to live another day. That night she continued the tale, and come morning she once more left him hanging. This went on for 1001 nights and over the course of that time, Scheherazade’s sweetness and the lessons in her stories encouraged Shahryār’s heart to heal. In fact, he’d fallen in love with Scheherazade and she became a true queen of Persia.
Lost in translation
Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 – 1890) the famous English geographer and orientalist was known for translating some eastern texts into English. He translated 1001 Arabian Nights and the famous Kama Sutra. With the Kama Sutra he lost the point entirely and made it all about sex. A little known fact: The Kama Sutra has a single chapter on sex and a rather thin one at that. The book was about finding pleasure in the smallest things like creature comforts, perfumed scents, textures of fabrics, and sumptuous foods. But Sir Richard, captivated as he was by the erotic elements of one chapter, introduced the Kama Sutra to the Victorian world — a work taken out of context, thus making it something it never was.
A side note: The Obscene Publications Act of 1857 (Lord Campbell’s Act) was an obscenity law in Great Britain. Seeking to get around all that, in 1882, Sir Richard and his partner, Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot, created The Kama Shastra Society –a secretive “educational” society. They claimed their purpose was to “remove the scales from the eyes of Englishmen who are interested in Oriental literature.” While outwardly appearing scholarly, the Kama Shastra Society was about having access to erotica from the Orient. But they only read them for the articles. lol
Just so you know The Thief of Bad Gags was a name given to that joke-stealing comedian and one-time vaudevillian, Milton Berle. Today is Milton Berle Day. And this was my roundabout way of saying it. 😀
Tomorrow ~ Fun Day Sunday!
Saturday & Sunday Happenings
Sexy Snippets & My Sexy Saturday
Seductive Studs and Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors
A Saturday Teaser
Sneak Peek Sunday
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My musings are still up on
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My Family’s Living History
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 73 entries to come.
Here’s a cliché for today:
To make a long story short
Today is Author Gemma Juliana’s blog day.
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