Oriental Tales and Their Influence

Prof. Warner and Prof. Ballaster begin their conversation with Antoine Galland's translation into French from Arabic of the 'Alf Layla wa-Layla' as the first two volumes of 'Les Mille et Une Nuit' in the first decade of eighteenth century.

The twelve-volume text that became known in the English-speaking world as 'The Arabian Nights Entertainments' was woven together from manuscript and verbal sources as well as added to with apparently invented tales by Antoine Galland himself. Warner and Ballaster open their discussion by considering whether Galland's tales provide a better window on the French salon culture of the early eighteenth century than Islamic empire medieval or modern.