Catherine Shulman and Armen Zakharyan in Berlin

06 Jan 2024 Saturday 16:00
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At the already traditional New Year's Eve meeting in Berlin, on Saturday, January 6, political scientist Ekaterina Shulman and philologist Armen Zakharyan will come together to discuss the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights".

What are the origins of these stories, what countries did they come from, when and by whom were they put together? Where in this collection does the line between translation, composition, and forgery fall? Is there an "original version," or are we dealing with endless mirages of variants? Why is the story of Sinbad the Sailor so surprisingly similar to the adventures of Odysseus?

Armen Zakharyan will talk about the texts of "One Thousand and One Nights": their composition, content, style, and possible sources.

Everyone whose childhood included a record with Ali Baba, an eight-volume book of "One Thousand and One Nights" translated by Michael Salleh, or Disney's Aladdin, who heard about the lucky king who got something and the cessation of permissible speech, guesses that the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights" are deeply integrated into our culture. How did this happen? When and by what means did Europe perceive and borrow, reinterpret and reimagine these stories from the Arab world? What is the Turkery style and what does Eastern influence look like in Gothic literature? How have the Arabian Nights been reflected in world literature, from Voltaire and Pushkin to Borges and Proust?

Ekaterina Shulman will talk about the reception of the texts and stylistics of the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights" in European culture: how and why did this collection become one of the most influential literary works in history?

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