23 May 2010

Short stories 121-125

“The sailor and the pearl merchant”. A Persian fairy tale. A splendid example of classical storytelling that would not have felt out of place in The Thousand Nights and One Night. Recommended.

“Khaled and Djaida” by Al-Asma'i. Originally from The Romance of Antar. An entertaining Arabian tale of pride, love and heroism, with a surprisingly feminist heroine.

“Esyllt and Sabrina” by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Originally from The Chronice of Geoffrey of Monmouth. A sad legend that seems mostly to have been composed to give an etymology to some English place names.

Here begins the part of the book that contains stories by English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh authors.

“The Humbling of Jovinian” by Anonymous. Originally from the Gesta Romanorum. A particularly loathful Christian parable clearly meant to be inserted into sermons. Definitely not recommended.

“Lludd and Llevelys” by Anonymous. Originally from The Mabinogion. A Welsh folktale with magical elements. Made me want to read the rest of The Mabinogion.

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