Arabian Nights week 9
- Random fisherman pulls up chest containing a murdered woman
- Caliph gives Jafar three days to find culprit, but spends first two in a funk
- At the last minute, two men confess to the murder
- Young man tells of his faultless wife, her illness, and craving for an apple
- He travels to Basra, gets apples, but she doesn't want them
- Then young man meets his wife's lover with one of the apples
- He then murdered his wife.
- Then his son reveals that the slave stole the apple from the boy
- Caliph orders the slave executed instead
- Jafar waits, then finds apple was stolen by one of his daughter's slaves
- Caliph laughs at the tale, no executions
Dalila the crafty
- Sets out to prove her equal to the men
- Assembles strange collection of items: pitcher with coins, beads, flag
- Hassan Road-Hazard is angry because he has no son, blames his wife Khatun
- Dalila targets Khatun
- Cons her way to Khatun
- Gets her clothes, the merchant's purse, the contents of the dyer's shop, the donkey
- The victims fight
Notes and comments
- Is this the inspiration behind the modern detective novel?
- Is this a mirror for princes, a comment on Shahriyah's murder spree
- Trope of caliph in disguise
- Caliph responsible for the actions of his people. True in other Arabian Nights tales? True in European tales?
- If this is a detective story, Jafar doesn't do much detecting
- Story ends with laughter: do you think this a fitting end?
Dalila the crafty
- Lovable rogue character: heists, capers, cons
- Cairo setting
- Translation avoids assumption of deceitful women, clever men
- Commonplace magic, visions, etc allow Dalila to run her con
- Who deserves to be a victim of the crimes? Khatun maybe, but the others?
- We've got to an actual mid-story cliffhanger. Does this break-point work make you keen for next week?