Thursday, April 21, 2011

Richard E. Grant and the Arabian Nights

This looks like a worthwhile endeavor:
The Arabian Nights introduced readers the world over to a bewitching world of magic, genies, evil spirits and iconic heroes. Actor Richard E Grant investigates their origins and examines their enduring appeal.
Prudes might recoil in horror, but the idea that stands out is that the idea of transformative magic--flying, shape-changing, and having the all-encompassing power to grant fantastic wishes--comes from this literature.

It's worth noting that, without this influence, a great deal of Western culture probably wouldn't look or sound the same. How did the Arabian Nights influence Dali, Picasso, Fellini, or any of a host of influential artists?

Wait, that didn't sound right.

How did this introduction of magic and fantastic powers become a standard of Western lore and myths? Would we have a Superman without first being introduced to the idea of people having incredible powers?

This series looks eminently watchable and could bridge the gap of prudishness and ignorance that seems to separate Western culture from the cultures found in the Middle East.

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