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The Arabian Nights

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

Every month I attempt to snag a Phat Fiber mystery box (a box filled with either yarn, fiber, or yarn and fiber samples that provides indie dyers a way of getting samples of their products into the hands of crafters) and usually I’m not fast enough – but my roommate has lightning fast, ninja clicking skills and succeeds at getting one. This month’s theme was Arabian Nights, which meant that as the dyers shared their photos or the stories that inspired them, I was getting inspired to re-read the Arabian Nights. We read parts of it in World Literature, but I really wanted to dig in deep and read more than just those excerpts, so I went looking for a good site that would let me do that. Here’s what I found!

What is The Arabian Nights? Well, it’s a collection of folktales passed down over the centuries from Persian, Arabian, and Indian origins. I really liked this collection of stories put together by the Electronic Literature Foundation. You’ll find navigation on the left side of the page. There are two ways to navigate the stories: 

You can use the navigation form beneath the menu and set it to the type of content you are looking for (View Tale for the stories), the edition you want to read, which tale you want to start with by number, where you’d like to start or end, and the pagination.    

…or you can click on the Contents page and view the entire listing for the translation you selected in the navigation form. To get the Burton translations, I set the navigation form edition slot to Burton, and then clicked Go – then I clicked Contents at the bottom of the page that loaded and found myself whisked over to the Burton Contents page. 

Each translation is divided up into 34 chapters, with illustrations by Earle Goodenow. You can turn the illustrations off on the navigation form by selecting none under the preferences drop down menu. The menu is set by default to Goodenow, though. 

I loved reading the folktales in The Arabian Nights and hope you will too!


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