Aladdin: A New Translation


Product Details

Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.6 X 0.9 X 8.3 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Paulo Lemos Horta is an associate professor of literature at New York University Abu Dhabi, and the author of Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights. He lives in Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.
Yasmine Seale is a British-Syrian writer and translator. Her essays on literature, art and film have been published in Harper's, Paris Review, the Nation, and elsewhere. Her poetry, visual art and translations from Arabic and French have appeared widely. She is the author, with Robin Moger, of Agitated Air: Poems after Ibn Arabi, published by Tenement Press. Her translations include Aladdin: A New Translation and The Annotated Arabian Nights, both out with W. W. Norton. She has received a PEN American Literary Grant and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Poetry. She lives in Paris, where she is currently a fellow at the Columbia Institute of Ideas and Imagination.


Seale's splendid translation introduces readers to the surprising depth of Aladdin's adventures while maintaining a classical feel.... This exhilarating translation will thrill fans of darker, more complex fairy tales and upend readers' preconceived image of Aladdin.
Yasmine Seale's new translation of the classic tale reveals its surprising depth.--Wendy Smith, Publishers Weekly
Yasmine Seale has brought Aladdin back to life: she captures the grace and the strangeness of the version collected and written down by Antoine Galland in the eighteenth century, and has found unexpected riches of fine, sly, parodic humor in a story which has suffered in its long, twisting history from manhandling, truncation, and an excess of pomp and ceremony. This is a fresh, witty, and vigorous retelling.--Marina Warner, Kirkus Reviews
Yasmine Seale's vivacious prose resurrects a classic folktale that we thought we knew, and animates it with deeper meanings. This book is a superb example of translation as an art form.--Pankaj Mishra, Windham Campell Prize-winning author of Age of Anger: A History of the Present
Sparkling.... Seale's elegant new translation of Aladdin restores the tale to its roots. Tapping into her own Syrian-French background, Seale has worked from both Arabic and French sources to produce her captivating translation.... steeped in magic and stripped of some of the phony adornments that have diluted its essence over the centuries, [this] is a delightful retelling of the dreams and adventures of the wily young peasant boy who matures to become a beloved ruler.--Robert Weibezahl, BookPage
Elegant... Seale is careful to frame her translation with an account of Shahrazad herself, which not only gives it a sense of urgency, but also reminds us that the narrative voice is a female one--a fact that other adaptations and translations often miss. This world is one in which a woman can use the gift of story-telling to navigate the power of men. And this framing breathes new life into the female cast of Aladdin's story.--Hetta Howes, Times Literary Supplement
This new translation of the classic tale is, like the lamp at its center, darker, grubbier, and more twisted than its Disneyfied iteration, emphasizing its transgressive qualities.... Seale's text has a fluidity and an elegance that give even this diet of "dreams, smoke, and visions" a satisfying heft.