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The Sexual World of the Arabian Nights
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    The Sexual World of the Arabian Nights
    • Online ISBN: 9781108675277
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108675277
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Book description

From the stories of wives and their lovers to those of kings and their conquests, to the overarching story of Shahrazad and Shahryar, the tales of the Arabian Nights have offered countless audiences entertainment and enjoyment as well as serving as cautionary stories. An outstanding piece of world literature, the Arabian Nights provide a lively and interesting way of exploring aspects of sexuality, romance, gender, culture, wealth, and politics. Looking at a wide range of the tales, David Ghanim offers a rigorous exploration of their profound sexuality: looking at both the context in which they were written and organised, as well as their legacy. By including accounts of heterosexuality, homosexuality, cuckoldry, insatiable lust, promiscuity, rape, incest, bestiality, demonic sexuality, and erotica, Ghanim highlights the complexity and dynamism of medieval sexuality, the active role of women in sexual activities, and the prevailing positive outlook on sexual liaison and gender mixing.

Reviews

‘In this daring and insightful work, David Ghanim offers an intensive and perceptive analytical exploration and expounding of the sexual facets in the Nights, adding to his repertoire of serious and reflective studies of various aspects of gender in Middle Eastern cultures. He highlights and elucidates the still considered tabued issues of sexuality and erotica in a variety of contexts.'

Hasan el-Shamy - Indiana University

‘An interesting and comprehensive picture of the rich, lively, and in some ways astonishingly permissive variety of sexual relations in the medieval Middle East. By providing an illuminating portrayal of the vibrant intellectual life of the urban elites, and medieval classical Arabic literature and anecdotes, the book offers a historical context that would challenge many prevalent perceptions about life in the region.'

Haideh Moghissi - York University, Toronto

‘David Ghanim's book is an excellent exploration of perhaps the most central theme linking the various tales in One Thousand and One Nights, the varieties and vicissitudes of human sexuality, particularly how women assert their power.'

Daniel Beaumont - University of Rochester, New York

‘In its information so painstakingly gathered, this book is by any standards both revealing and gripping. The author clearly knows his subject.'

Abdul Sattar Jawad - Duke University, North Carolina

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