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The Arabian Nights and the Question of Authorship

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As an oral/redacted/written work with a complex textual history that includes the history of its translations, the Nights offers scholars an excellent opportunity to reflect on authorship as a practice that generates narrative and as a critical category at the same time. After exploring the possibility of considering the translator as author and discussing two scholars (Mahdi and Ghazoul) whose work bears on the question of authorship, the study proceeds to look at the effect of the Nights on the modern theory of authorship in Europe by showing its influence on Foucault's seminal essay, "What is an author?"


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