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The Arabian Nights in Historical ContextBetween East and West$
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Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554157.001.0001

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Galland, Georgian Theatre, and the Creation of Popular Orientalism

Galland, Georgian Theatre, and the Creation of Popular Orientalism

(p.103) 4 Galland, Georgian Theatre, and the Creation of Popular Orientalism
The Arabian Nights in Historical Context

Bridget Orr

Oxford University Press

This chapter surveys the mostly “illegitimate” theatrical forms in which The Thousand and One Nights appeared on stage between 1707 and c.1830, arguing that these dramas of state, farces, burlettas, melodramas, romances, and pantomimes effectively created popular Georgian Orientalism. Throughout this period, episodes drawn from the Arabian Nights facilitated critiques of domestic high politics while also establishing a vision of the Orient as despotic, wealthy, luxurious, and sensual. In the early decades of the 19th century however, dramatizations of “Sinbad the Sailor,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “Aladdin” gradually supplanted tales and episodes that allegorized domestic politics, a change owing to the so-called orphan tales' ability to symbolically negotiate the tensions accompanying the sudden wealth creation and social dislocation associated with nascent industrial capitalism.

Keywords:   orphan tales, Alraschid, oriental melodrama, oriental pantomime, farce, Georgian Orientalism, Romantic Orientalism

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