PLEDGE NOW
The Arabian Nights

A new twist on the old magic in the tales of the Arabian Nights.

Scheherazade by Léon Samoilovitch Bakst 1896.

Scheherazade by Léon Samoilovitch Bakst 1896.

The Tales of a Thousand and One Nights – the Arabian Nights – start with a terrible premise.  The great sultan has decided to marry a new virgin every night, and cut off her head in the morning.  Candidates are running out.

Young Scheherazade volunteers for the job.  And tells the sultan a story so compelling, every night, that when she leaves him hanging in the morning he can’t bear to kill her.  Until finally, he falls in love.  After a thousand and one stories of magic and genies, enchantment, pleasure and sin.

This hour, On Point:  a new take, twist, on the old magic in the tales of the Arabian Nights.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Marina Warner, author of the new book Stranger Magic: Charmed States and The Arabian Nights.  You can read and excerpt of the book here.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Daily Beast “One of the world’s greatest story collections, ‘Arabian Nights,’ gets a fresh appreciation from fairy-tales scholar Marina Warner. Brad Gooch on how the ghost of Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’ haunts the work.”

The New York Times “At 65, the British scholar Marina Warner is a veteran magus, and an adept mythographer of the vast global traditions of magic, metaphor and myth. Also an accomplished novelist, she augments her learning with her narrative skills. As a fan of her prolific enterprise for the last ­quarter-century, I regret that I have never met her, so delightful is her verve.”

The Independent “The Nights became, for successive European generations from the Enlightenment on, a prism through which writers and artists could form and then articulate their own fantasies and prejudices about the Orient. Edward Lane’s 1840 translation expurgated sex and violence from the tales, while in 1882 the explorer Richard Burton, infuriated by what he saw as Lane’s prudery, put the sex back in, plus some extra obsessions of his own in the footnotes.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 5, 2016
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Spread the word — we FINALLY have both a new website (in beta) and a new newsletter. Sign up, visit and see what’s happening in the On Point digital universe.

More »
Comment