During the COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve finally got around to a project I have mean meaning to do for a while, which I hope will prove an ongoing diversion while normal social life is on pause.
It’s called A Thousand And One Recaps.
The idea is very simple: I’m reading The Arabian Nights, or The Thousand and One Nights, the famously rich collection of stories that originate in Asia and the Middle East.
Each week I’ll be reading a few dozen Nights, and posting reviews/recaps to the blog at 1001recaps.org. I’ve already posted something short about the Prelude, and two recaps: Nights 1-18 and Nights 19-33. Another will be coming on 9th April, and twice-weekly thereafter.
I’ve also written an introduction about why I’m doing the project:
I want to get a feel for its style and structure, in the hope of learning a thing or two about storytelling. I want a sense of the tropes and archetypes. I want to see where it is dated and where it is still relevant. I want them to influence me.
I have created some social media accounts to support the project. There is a 1001 Recaps Facebook Page which I hope you will ‘like’ and a twitter account @1001recaps which I implore you to follow.
Why not read along with me? I’d love some company on this epic journey, and some comments on my recaps! I’m reading the three-volume Penguin Classics translation by Malcolm Lyons (2010), but there are versions of the 1885 translation by Sir Richard Burton (not that Richard Burton, obviously) available for free online.