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La version arabe la plus ancienne de l’« Histoire d’Ali Baba » : si Varsy n’avait pas traduit Galland ? Réhabiliter le doute raisonnable

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This article intends to reintroduce a reasonable doubt concerning the received idea – following Mohsen Mahdi’s research – according to which the Arabic version of the Ali Baba Tale as recorded by Jean Varsy is in fact a poor translation provided by the said Varsy from the French text of the same tale as found in Galland. To achieve this aim, intertextual data have been studied (such as Varsy’s signature in various recently discovered manuscripts, the use of formulae in the Arabic text, coranic and religious references . . .), as well as intratextual data (the structure and scansion of the tale, notably through the formulae) and the data linked to the linguistic ideology showing that the assessment of this text is completely different before and after the identification of Varsy as allophone transcriber. The conclusion opens the study on the vivid relevance of the tale in the islamic world and its transformation in connection with the development of the islamist strands.Cet article vise à réintroduire le doute raisonnable à propos de l’idée admise, en continuité avec les travaux de Mohsen Mahdi, selon laquelle la version arabe du Conte d’Ali Baba, consignée par Jean Varsy, serait en fait une traduction médiocre. Jean Varsy l’aurait réalisée à partir du texte français du même conte chez Galland. À cet effet, sont étudiés respectivement des données intertextuelles (les signatures de Varsy dans différents manuscrits récemment découverts, les formules utilisées dans le texte arabe; les références coraniques et religieuses), des données intratextuelles (la structure du conte et sa scansion, notamment par les formules) et des données liées à l’idéologie linguistique, montrant que l’évaluation de ce texte n’est pas du tout la même avant et après l’identification de Varsy en tant que son consignateur allophone. La conclusion ouvre l’étude sur la vivacité toujours actuelle du Conte dans le monde islamique et ses transformations en lien avec le développement des courants islamistes.This article is in French.

Affiliations: 1: Université Lumière Lyon 2 et CIHAM (UMR 5648)


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