Fall 2012 Course: 1001 Nights in the World Literary Imagination

CAS XL441 / LY441     TR 2-3:30           

Prof. Margaret Litvin (mlitvin@bu.edu), Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature

What is the book we call The Thousand and One Nights, and why do readers find it so endlessly fascinating?  How did a medieval Arabic cultural grab-bag become one of the seminal texts in modern and postmodern European literature?

Readings will include: several Nights versions in French and English (Galland, Lane, Burton, Haddawy, Lyons); Nights-inspired texts by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jorge Luis Borges, Naguib Mahfouz, Saadallah Wannus, Assia Djebar, Salman Rushdie, and Rabih Alameddine.  Also films by Walsh, Korda, and Disney; music by Rimsky-Korsakov, lithographs by Marc Chagall, and more.

All readings are in English. This course will be of special interest to students majoring or minoring in English or Comparative Literature and/or minoring in Arabic.