Sinbad the Sailor and Other Stories from the Arabian Nights
by Edmund Dulac

Sinbad the Sailor • Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp • The Story of the Three Calendars

Of the ancient oriental folk tales that were gathered together over many hundreds of years into what we now know as the Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights, the most popular are undoubtedly 'Aladdin and the Magic Lamp', 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves', and 'The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor'. If when we think of 'Aladdin' we see the cave and the genie, of 'Ali Baba' the great jars and the boiling oil, then 'Sindbad' brings to mind the story of the Whale, of the great Snake, and perhaps most of all of the giant Rhok, the enormous bird which feeds its young on elephants, lays eggs fifty paces in circumference, and which carries Sindbad from the desert island to the Valley of the Serpents. All these images also inspired one of the most famous of that great flowering of illustrators who came into prominence around the turn of the century. Edmund Dulac had first made his name, in fact, with his work for an earlier selection from the tales, published as Arabian Nights in 1907, followed closely by The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in 1909. His particular love and inspiration was the art of the Persian miniaturists of the 15th century, and the detail, the richness and sensuality of his illustrations has its roots in those small masterpieces. To these splendours, Dulac added his own vitality of line and rhythm, and an endearing sense of humour. Look here, for instance, at the second illustration in this book, 'The Episode of the Whale', at the small, plump and pathetic figures utterly overwhelmed by the great billowing curves of the sea, and by the disappearing whale itself. A lesser artist might have made this dark and melodramatic, but Dulac echoes joyfully the playful fantasy of the tale. 'Sindbad the Sailor' was first published in 1914, being a sequel to the 1907 selection, and here, as well as 'Sindbad', are 'Aladdin', 'The Story of the Three Calendars', and 'The Sleeper Awakened'. Stories of golden palaces and magic black horses, of Baghdad, and Abu-l-Hasan – and, of course, beautiful princesses, and wicked magicians are the essentials of folktales all over the world it would seem! And all are, certainly, exotic inspiration for the genius of Edmund Dulac, whose glorious illustrations appear within these pages.









Amazon Ads

Edmund Dulac