Reference : ZER Manucsripts of the Thousand and One Nights: Codicological features
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Classical & oriental studies
ZER Manucsripts of the Thousand and One Nights: Codicological features
[fr] Les manuscrits ZER des Mille et une Nuits : caractéristiques codicologiques
Franssen, Elise mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences de l'antiquité > Langue arabe et études islamiques - Histoire art musulman >]
Middle-East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Conference
18-21 novembre 2010
Middle-East Studies Association (MESA)
San Diego
[en] Codicology of Arabic Manuscripts ; Arabic Literature - Thousand and one Nights ; Codicologie des manuscrits arabes ; Littérature arabe - Mille et une nuits
[en] In the end of the nineteenth century, the French orientalist Herman Zotenberg
defined the « Egyptian Recension » of the text of the Arabian Nights; this group
of manuscripts is now known as ZER (for « Zotenberg’s Egyptian Recension »).
This classification is based on the tales, their succession, and the chronological
and geographical origin of the manuscripts.
This recension of the text is actually the best known version of the Nights, since
most of the printed editions of the Thousand and One Nights are based on a
manuscript being part of this group. Thus, this text seems to be well known
but amazingly its manuscripts are not. No critical edition or deep study of any
of them exists. Furthermore, some of the ZER manuscripts actually present
similar codicological characteristics, such as their distribution in four volumes,
or even the page setting and, sometimes, the handwriting.
A precise codicological study of the ZER manuscripts permits determining if
this group is as homogeneous as it appears on first sight or if, on the contrary,
it can be divided into other subgroups. It gives information about the birth
context of the group; where were the manuscripts copied? And for whom? Do
they all derive from a single copy, the model being respected as far as in the
physical aspect of the book? These are some of the questions I will try to
answer. The collected codicological information will be compared to the
conclusions of the narratological and philological study of each manuscript’s
Transitions (Département de recherches sur le Moyen Âge tardif & la première Modernité) - Transitions
Researchers ; Professionals

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