Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 August 2021
Chapter 3 discusses other sides of narrative properties, taking as examples and models a number of writers from Bethlehem to Havana, to demonstrate two sides of engagement with the Nights: its role in consolidating predispositions to the art of narrative, as in the case of the Palestinian-Iraqi novelist, critic, poet, and painter Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, and also its generous loans to writers across the globe. A narrative globe-trotter of a sort, Scheherazade of the Nights is an ever welcome guest and host in almost every culture. If she gives the French novelist Michel Butor a second mendicant of multiple adventures and transformations that converse with his experimentation in new fiction, it is Proust’s self-reference for an unfinished narrative journey. Barth reads its frame tale as a dialectic between sex and narrative. The Egyptian Nobel Prize winner Najīb Maḥfūẓ presents the cosmopolitan female narrator as an adept who cannot dispense, however, with her Sufi master’s guidance to see behind the thick material barriers of arrogance, passion, vicissitudes, wide challenges, and the need to combat evil. Scheherazade is the trope for the confabulator nocturni.