Wild morals and debauchery: what the Thousand and One Nights really tells us

What do you know about the tales of a thousand and one nights? This is not a rhetorical question because the majority is content with a well-known stereotype: this is a well-known Arabian tale about the beautiful Scheherazade who became hostage to the cruel king of Shahriyar, who brought himself a new wife every night and chopped off her head the next morning. The eloquent girl, who so vividly narrates fairy tales, befuddled the king and thus bought herself freedom. And of course, among her stories were stories about Aladdin, Sinbad the Sailor and other brave brave men, but it turned out that all this is complete nonsense.

Fairy tales have come down to us after many centuries of censorship and translations, so there is not much left of the original. In fact, the heroes of the Scheherazade tales were not as sweet, kind and morally stable as the Disney cartoon characters.Therefore, if you want to keep a good memory of your favorite childhood characters, stop reading immediately. And all the rest - welcome to the world, about which you may not even suspect.

Source: Disgusting Men

The first documented information describing the story of Scheherazade as a well-known work is written by the 10th century historian Al-Masoudi. In the future, the collection more than once corresponded and altered depending on the time of life and the language of the translator, but the backbone remained the same, so we were reached, if not the original story, then very close to the original.

It begins, oddly enough, not from the tears of a young beauty who gathered to say goodbye to life, but from the history of two brothers, each of whom ran his own country. After twenty years of separate rule, the elder brother, whose name was Shakhriyar, invited Shakhzeman, the younger brother, to his possession. He agreed without thinking twice, but as soon as he left the capital, he “remembered one thing” that he had forgotten in the city. Upon his return, he found his wife in the arms of a slave Negro.

Angry, the king cut them both down, and then with a clear conscience went to his brother.Away he felt sad because his wife was no longer alive, and he stopped eating. The elder brother, although he tried to cheer him up, but to no avail. Then Shakhriyar offered to go hunting, but Shahzeman refused, continuing to dive into depression. So, sitting at the window and indulging in black melancholy, the unfortunate king saw his absent brother's wife arrange a group sex with slaves at the fountain. The king immediately cheered up and thought: "Wow, my brother will have problems more seriously."

Shahriyar returned from the hunt, finding his brother with a smile on his face. I did not have to try for a long time, he immediately told everything to be honest. The reaction was unusual. Instead of acting like a younger brother, the elder offered to go on a trip and see: did their husbands cheat on other husbands?

They were not lucky, and the wanderings dragged on: they could not find the unfaithful wives until they came upon an oasis spread out on the seashore. From the depths of the sea appeared gin with a chest under his arm. From the chest he pulled out a woman (real) and said: “I want to sleep on you,” and he fell asleep. This woman, seeing the kings hiding on a palm tree, ordered them to descend and take possession of her right there on the sand. Otherwise, she would wake up the gin, and he would kill them.

The kings agreed and fulfilled her desire.After the act of love, the woman asked for rings from each of them. They gave, and she added the jewels to the other five hundred and seventy, which were kept in her chest. To the brothers did not languish in conjectures, the seducer explained that all the rings once belonged to men who seized it secretly from gin. The brothers looked at each other and said: “Wow, this gin will have problems more seriously than we do” - and returned to their countries. After that, Shahriyar cut off the head of his wife and all those who participated in the orgy, and he himself decided to take one girl for the night.

In our time, this story may seem sexist, but much more it resembles a scenario for porn. Think for yourself: whatever the heroes do, wherever they go, they have to either look at the act of intercourse or participate in it. Similar scenes are repeated more than once throughout the book. Yes, there, the younger sister of Scheherazade personally observed the wedding night of her relative: “Then the king sent Duniazada, and she came to her sister, hugged her and sat on the floor near the bed. And then Shahriyar seized Shahrazade, and then they began to talk. ”

Another distinctive feature of the tales of a thousand and one nights lies in the fact that their heroes act absolutely groundlessly, and often the events themselves look extremely ridiculous.Here's how, for example, begins the tale of the first night. Once a merchant went to some country to collect debts. He felt hot, and he crouched under a tree to eat dates and bread. “Having eaten a date, he threw a bone — and suddenly he sees: if he is tall, and in his hands is a drawn sword. Ifrit approached the merchant and said to him: “Get up, I will kill you, how you killed my son!” - “How did I kill your son?” Asked the merchant. And ifrit answered: “When you ate a date and threw a bone, it hit my son’s chest, and he died that very minute.” Just think: a merchant killed a gin with a bone from a date. If only the enemies of Disney Aladdin knew about this secret weapon.

In our folk tale too many absurdities like: “The mouse ran, tail waved, the pot fell, the testicles broke,” but there you will not see such crazy characters as in the fifth night story. He tells of the king al-Sinbad, who for many years trained the falcon to help him in the hunt. Then one day the king, along with his retinue, caught a gazelle, and then the devil pulled him to say: "Anyone over whose head the gazelle leaps will be killed." Gazelle, of course, jumped over the king's head.Then the subjects began to whisper: they say, what is the owner promised to kill everyone, over whose head the gazelle will jump, and he has not yet laid hands on himself. Instead of fulfilling the promise, the king chased after the gazelle, killed it and hung the carcass on the rump of his horse.

Going to rest after the chase, the king came across a source of life-giving moisture, dripping from the tree. Three times he gathered the bowl, and three times the falcon knocked it over. Then the king got angry and chopped off the falcon's wings, and he pointed to the top with his beak, where on the branches of the tree the echidna cub was sitting, emitting poison. What is the moral of this story is difficult to say, but the character who told her in the book said that this is a parable about envy.

Of course, it is silly to demand from a book, which is at least 11 centuries old, a slender dramatic line. That is why the purpose of the above described perception was not to ridicule it rudely, but to show that it can become an excellent reading material for the night, which will precisely make any modern person laugh. Tales of a thousand and one nights are a product of time, which, after passing through centuries, unwittingly turned into a comedy, and there is nothing wrong in it.

Despite the wide popularity of this monument of history, his screen versions are incredibly small, and those that exist usually show the famous Aladdin or Sinbad the Sailor.However, the French film of the same name became the brightest film version of the tales. It does not retell all the plots of the book, but serves a bright and absurd story that is worthy of the Monty Python films and at the same time corresponds to the insane spirit of fairy tales.

For example, Shakhriyar in the film is a king who dreams of growing roses at the same time, composing poetry and touring in a traveling circus. The vizier is an old pervert, so worried about the king's absent-mindedness, that he himself goes to bed with his wife, so that he can understand how windy the women are. And Scheherazade is an extravagant girl who offers every comer to seal her child. She, by the way, is played by a young and beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones, who does not appear nude before the audience more than once. We have listed at least four reasons why this movie is worth watching. Surely after this, you will want to read the "Book of a Thousand and One Nights" even more.

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