1001 Nights:
About this project:

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Chris Gursky (csg19@pitt.edu)


The goal of this project is to provide users with a relatively interactive edition of 1001 Nights, also known as Arabian Nights. The main interest I have is comparing different translations of the text and to specifically compare two translations that were published years apart from each other. I intend to provide a means for the user to be able to look up selected words and also see their Arabic form and definition. Included are translations by Richard Burton, and Malcom C. Lyons/Urusla Lyons. From an academic standpoint, this site should work a sort of gateway for those with an interest in the 1001 Nights stories. Ideally, the user will be able to do as I did with this site during its production and use it as a tool for increasing knowledge of Arabic, the stories themselves and hopefully even the Middle Eastern and Islamic culture.

The target audience for this sort of site is any user with any sort of interest similar to that of its creator. I have always had an interest in the Middle East and the Arabic language, and I hope that those who wish to use this site have a similar passion. I hope that those who access this site will find it as useful and education as I did while creating it. I would advise those who are familiar with the Arabic language, depending on your comfort level, to start by trying to recognize a few words in the Arabic text. Once you are able to do that, see if you can translate whole sentences at a time, feel free to use the Burton and Lyons versions as a sort of road map.

The words that I have selected serve multiple functions. First of all they are there to provide the user with some contextual information and definitions regarding each word and its various translations. I have done my best to select words that might provide some interesting information. The purpose of this is to provide users with the ability to identify with the text and engage to a certain degree with something that is both familiar and foreign.

A major inspiration for this site can be found here. This site provides a much more extensive look at various translations of 1001 Nights. It also includes a wealth of contextual and cultural information that anyone would be hard-pressed to find in any other single place.