Whatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

Whatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

Andrei Codrescu

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0691143374

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Whatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

Andrei Codrescu

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0691143374

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"I fear each passing night that I will not receive my maintenance dose of suspense, and then I will cease to exist."--Whatever Gets You through the Night

Whatever Gets You through the Night is an irreverent and deeply funny retelling of the Arabian Nights and a wildly inspired exploration of the timeless art of storytelling. Award-winning writer Andrei Codrescu reimagines how Sheherezade saved Baghdad's virgins and her own life through a heroic feat of storytelling--one that kept the Persian king Sharyar hanging in agonizing narrative and erotic suspense for 1001 nights. For Sheherezade, the end of either suspense or curiosity means death, but Codrescu keeps both alive in this entertaining tale of how she learned to hold a king in thrall, setting with her endless invention an unsurpassable example for all storytellers across the ages. Liberated and mischievous, Codrescu's Sheherezade is as charming as she is shrewd--and so is the story Codrescu tells.

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destined for. Her future had different ideas, of course, but even those present when the Fates had foretold her life had already forgotten the details. She steeled herself for her father’s rebuke: it wasn’t long in coming. the thing called yoke “Why?” shouted the Vizir. “By Allah, O my father, how long shall this slaughter of women endure? Shall I tell thee what is in my mind in order to save both sides from destruction … either I shall live or I shall be a ransom for the virgin daughters of

to the gaze of the astonished saint whose uncertain hand … [,] guided by Christ, explores the opening” (Jacques Gélis, in Histoire du corps, ed. Alain Corbin, Jean-Jacques Courtine, Georges Vigarello). The repertoire (or choreography) of gestures of the moment of conversion to one wound or another in Christian iconography proceeds from the “iconography of the moment” of conversion by Mary Magdalene, the Christian Sheherezade. The mystics’ goal of emptying themselves of the body is also the

adventure.” Sheherezade replied, “As you wish.” Dinarzad had played many delightful games during this night also, and was very sleepy, but she was just as interested as Sharyar in the outcome, and had not forgotten Sheherezade’s instruction to ask for a story an hour before dawn. “The envoys took the scroll back to the Sultan, riding with great haste to present their find, astonished at the beauty of what they held. The Sultan saw from his window the fast pace of his envoys and had a pleasant

impious thought will find time to cross a person’s mind, and all disobedience to Allah and his earthly representatives will be erased, the writer of the report noted, sure that such radical ideas would find an echo in its Exalted Reader. They did, sort of. Sharyar was too new to Allah to love his mullahs, but he sure enjoyed his secret police. No story, holy or naughty, advised his secret policeman, had an end for this crowd of spoiled youths led by Sheherezade, and tongues tattled. You have no

resembled them, a half-conscious humanity fighting god-wars that raged all about. The desert teemed with leathery monks in rags or naked, seeking visions of new gods, or at least some signs that the old ones were still in business. One dusk they met the Circumnavigator, a man who rolled rather than walked, having made himself round by some trick. This seeker cared not a fig about God, the object of his search being proof for the theory that the world was round. He was launched upon the road away

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