Horovitz J. The origins of the Arabian Nights. Islamic Culture, 1997, t.1, p.36-57
In this book the author explores the origin of Arabian Nights in the Islamic and Indian cultutre as he thinks the oral version of the tales spread in the Arab world by the merchants, who allowed these stories to break the monotony of traveling. In the eighth century, Arab storytellers have translated the Hezar Efsane and thus spread the tales of Thousand and One Nights in the Arab world, adapting them according to their language, culture, and religion.
However, he also explicate that within the tales there are evidences that may indicate an origin more distant and ancient. Thus, the many metamorphoses of animals and spirits are found in the tales of the elements typically Indian, and would reject the creation stories in the third century AD. Indeed, we find these books in India at that time as well.
Leipold L.Edmond. Folk tales of Arabia, illustred by Howard E.Lindberg. T.S Denison, Minneapolis, 1973, 130 pages. [University of California, Berkeley]
An abundance of iconic references From the outset, in the illustration of this work, mixing occurs between our culture and East convention: an engraving shows such Scheherazade, surrounded by her public, holding open the book on which the pen - topos of romantic illustration française3 - is ready to write. For the sake of argument East, the pen is here peacock feather, and each character properly turban. The fact remains that the connotations of the image are the Book of Hours from the Middle Ages to that of Jesus surrounded of his disciples, transposed into a female figure (Fig. 1). This type of engraving says a lot about interference between our own culture and "the East". But if the topic is interesting, it's another thing that keeps us here : The disparate references as implemented by the illustration. Without prejudice input "oriental", and within our cultural sphere, the figure uses the the most diverse universe, without ever a reference has the power to expel a another. Scheherazade is here both a female Jesus, a book in Léopoldine hours4, an oriental storyteller, everything coexists. One does not exclude the other, and the image does nothing. In the manner of a sponge, the image has a remarkable absorbency
Mac Donald D.B. The earlier history of the Arabian Nights. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, London, 1924, p.353-397. [University of Harvard]
Much research has been conducted to discover the exact origin of these stories and helped bring to light an ancient Arabic writing written in 987, the Kitab al-Fihrist, which mentions the existence of a volume Persian telling the story of Shahrazad (Scheherazade in French), which is called the Hezar Efsane (Thousand Tales). Unfortunately no trace of the Arabian Tales no longer exists. This information is corroborated by the fact that Shahrazad and Shahriyar are Persian names, and the Shah-prefix meaning "king."
Pinault. Story-telling techniques in the Arabian Nights. Leyde, Brill, 1992.
The Arabian Nights came, made a very profound impact on the imagination of the masses. The narrative technique of the narrative of framing tales - the history of betrayal of King Shahriar by his wife - which gradually give rise to other stories, has fascinated the authors of all time, so that one could consider Arabian Nights like a carpet, which recognizes a part of India, elements of Persian and Arab stories, and whose son does not cease to be braided differently by the literary tradition. The extraordinary success of the Arabian Nights is probably due to the themes addressed (destiny, magic, love, jealousy, infidelity) but also due to the figure of the storyteller who deploys them. Introductory part, told through third person narrative, is indeed directed to Scheherazade, who tells King Shahriyar fabulous stories that become the currency to redeem her life. If the name of the king seems to have faded, night after night from the memory of the readers, one of the "sultan of the blades" has become a contrasting symbol of the whole collection. Body-narrative is unique in its own respect as it represents the voice in a silent world, the one that saved her life as well as of her peers; it is the heroine who is triumphant in a world that was organized in principle around the figure of man. This power of speech, in which women are primarily stakeholders in the collection, is exercised primarily in the art of metamorphosis, Scheherazade is not only the teacher who will restore perfect royal power with her tales, the tales are also the embodiment of perfect art of storytelling that makes the tales unavoidable, insurmountable, since the desire for fiction is inoculated with human remains forever unfulfilled.