marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Arab Folktales

Arab Folktales by Inea Bushnaq

Some tales about simpletons or clever scoundrels, some animal tales, some Bedouin tales, some fairy tales. . . .

I was, of course, chiefly in the tales.  Not only do they pick up more local colors, you pretty much have to be familiar with many European tales.  (Greek and Italian ones in particular.  I wonder why. 0:)  Of the Top Twenty(ish), the only one in recognizable form is "The Little Red Fish and the Lost Clog", and that's one of the farther stretches of "Cinderella" .  ("The Princess in a Suit of Leather" is OTOH the other variant of the persecuted heroine, "All Kinds of Fur.")

But in a setting filled with Ghouls and Djinn, we have a bird with a golden feather instead of a golden bird, a bride having her place usurped by the a slave escorting her, a youngest daughter rejected by her father -- not for saying her love was like salt but that his wealth came from God -- and not going to three balls to win a prince, but marrying a mule driver on the grounds his poverty and her homelessness show that "the pot has found its lid" and bearing a marvelous daughter who spoke jasmines and lilies and when washed, dripped gold and is the main heroine, a prince cursed to love only the Full-Moon-Of-Night, and many more tales, some without parallel in Europe, most heavily local tales.
Tags: fairy tale reviews

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