"Le Livre Des Mille Nuits Et Une Nuit" 1955 VAN DONGEN, Kees [illustree]

Beautiful marbled binding signed by Paul Bonnet

MARDRUS, Joseph-Charles (Translator).

Illustrated by Kees van Dongen.

Edition illustree de quatre-vingts aquarelles par Van Dongen

Fasquelle NRF Gallimard


9" x 7.25"

Volume I: [832] pp.

Volume II: [859] pp.

Volume III: [825] pp.


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The Thousand and One Nights was first introduced to Europe by the translation of the French Orientalist Antoine Galland (1646-1715) between 1704 and 1717. Joseph Charles Mardrus, otherwise known as "Jean-Charles Mardrus" (1868-1949), was a French physician, poet, and a noted translator. Today he is best known for his translation of the Thousand and One Nights from Arabic into French, which was published from 1898 to 1904, and was in turn rendered into English by Edward Powys Mathers. A newer edition, Le livre des mille nuits et une nuit, was published in 1926?1932. Mardrus's version of the Arabian Nights is mentioned explicitly in the pages of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Mardrus was an Orientalist and inserted a lot of material of his own, and his translation is therefore not wholly authentic. Much of the homosexual material for example, is an absolute invention of Mardrus himself, and so confuses the issue of actual homosexuality in the Nights, of which there is a substantial amount. Mardrus claimed that his translation was based on a previously unknown "Tunisian text", but this fictional manuscript was never seen by anyone else. Mardrus was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1868 to a Catholic family of Armenian-descent, and studied in Lebanon before settling in Paris, France. As a doctor for the French government, he worked throughout Morocco and the Far East. He produced other translations, some illustrated by the Swiss engraver François-Louis Schmied

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