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The Story of Abū al-Ḥasan the Wag in the Tübingen Manuscript of the Romance of ʿUmar ibn al-Nuʿmān and Related Texts

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First published in the ninth volume (1712) of Antoine Galland’s French translation as “Le dormeur éveillé,” the Story of Abū al-Ḥasan the Wag—better known in English as “The Sleeper Awakened” (Lane) or “The Sleeper and the Waker” (Burton)—is one of the somewhat spurious tales in the repertoire of the Thousand and One Nights. The present essay discusses the tale’s textual history. Combining the results of a variety of previous studies with new findings, the questions guiding my considerations are the following: (1) In which sources is the story of Abū al-Ḥasan the Wag attested?; (2) How can the various attestations of the tale be analyzed in relation to each other?; and (3) To what extent do the results of this study contribute to the dating of the Tübingen manuscript of the romance of ʿUmar ibn al-Nuʿmān, where we find one of the tale’s oldest attestations known to date?

Affiliations: 1: Georg-August-Universität Gö


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