Greetings and Aloha--
Aloha since I live in Hawaii...
I joined this list about a month ago and must admit at the outset that I have no business being here, as I know next to nothing about Celtic languages or literatures yet. The reason I am on the list, though, is related to the topic of this thread, so I felt compelled to introduce myself and offer what little I could about the topic. Afterwards I'll surely shrink into the background again, at least for the time being.
I have spent several years reading through the classics of Persian literature, in Persian, along with a good friend. We both lived awhile with our respective wives in different parts of the Persian-speaking world many years ago. I learned far less than I could have and should have about Persian language and literature, but my interest was finally ignited after watching some amazing performances here in Honolulu about five years ago by a great group of Persian classical musicians headed by Mohammed Reza Shajarian. My friend and I dusted off our dictionaries and grammars, started buying up volumes of Hafez, Rumi, Khayyam, Ferdowsi, Sa'adi, Nezami, and more. We have read much since then. Having gained some facility with Persian, we added Arabic to our routine almost a year ago. We just started in reading 1001 Nights in Arabic. At first we only made our way through a few sentences a day. Now we're up to a page every couple of days.
Unfortunately, I don't know where the story in question about the nougats and the numbers might be. We haven't seen it yet, but we're only up to the Tale of the Second Woman of Baghdad. I cannot add much to the information that you all can find in Wikipedia about the various versions that can be found. Our Arabic version probably corresponds pretty closely to the "Egyptian" version. We use Lane to check our understanding after we've read our passages and, so far, there have been very few differences. In fact, we're astounded at how close Lane is to our text. True, he bowdlerizes a little, but not as much as one might think. He had trouble with the interactions between the porter and the three ladies, but that was the first truly racy section we've come to. (And it is very racy, by the way.) My understanding is that earlier European versions might have included any and all tales that their authors might have wanted to insert, some that might even have been original with them and not even Oriental.
Finally, I'm on this list because I recently gained some awareness about Celtic literature--mostly Old and Middle Irish and Welsh--which seems not only very interesting on its own terms, but also in relation to the things we read in Persian. I'd never really looked at Celtic literature, but I was amazed at how much there is and how fascinating it seems. And, while it won't be a simple matter to learn enough of the languages to appreciate the literature, it certainly seems doable after making our way through Persian and Arabic. My goals are not academic, but simply to read these marvellous books for my own pleasure and enlightenment. We are constantly fascinated, too, by the contrasts between Europe of those days and the Eastern lands. We tend to look at Europe from the East, while most Westerners surely have the opposite viewpoint. We have just finished Gorgani's Vis and Ramin, for example, a long romance in verse that many believe was the source of the Tristan and Isolde legends in Europe. The likely transmission point was the 12c. Seljuk court of Syria, according to Dick Davis. I have no special insight about the truth of that thesis, but in thinking about it I investigated Celtic literature and...here I am.
So, many thanks to you all. And, though it may be a long time from now, if we ever come across the tale of the nougats, I'll let you know where it can be found in Alf Leila wa Leila (aka 1001 Nights).
> Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 19:32:51 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: an Islamic Mac Con Glinne
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Richard Marsh wrote:
> >> knows their way around in that sea of stories.
> > However almost all the tales can be traced back
> > to India, including the Jataka and especially the
> > Katha Sarit Sagara - the Ocean of Stories. What
> > were you saying about the sea of stories?
> Is leor nod don eolach. ;-) Yep, I was tipping my hat in that
> Thanks for the lead to Antoine Galland. Chasing this down ought to be
> fun, if I can access the necessary sources.
The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail.