Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scheherazade and a Quest

Illustration from "One Thousand and One N...Image via WikipediaI couldn't keep to my M-W-F posting plan because I came up with another idea (and I can't shut up when that happens).

So Tuesdays this month will be a series. Notable Eastern Women. Each week I'm going to post a few facts about a woman (real or immortalized) who inspires my writing. Since I can't possibly include every fact, I'm asking followers to please add what they know in the comments. (The more obscure, the better!)

Today I'm working on Scheherazade.  She's in lots of places. Yet when I referred to her in my query, some people looked at me like I had three heads.

Scheherazade is the narrator of the 1001 Arabian Nights. We begin with the sultan of the story, who takes a different wife each night and kills her in the morning.  However, when Scheherazade is chosen, things change. She tells him a different story each night, cleverly falling asleep and failing to finish it, leaving him with a cliffhanger. Of course, the sultan can't kill her because he must know the ending.

Some quick facts for you:

  • Aladdin is one of Scheherazade's most famous stories.
  • Scheherazade is a ballet and symphonic suite, written in 1888 by Rimsky-Korsakov. (Love this!)
  • Binbir Gece, also with a Shehrazat, is a 2006 Turkish soap opera.  A modern 1001 Arabian Nights á la Indecent Proposal, it's currently running rampant all over eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Here's the quest:  I want you to Guess The Author of the following quote. (It's not me, despite the parentheses.)

The night having arrived, the lady Scheherazade not only put the finishing stroke to the black cat and the rat (the rat was blue)but before she well knew what she was about, found herself deep in the intricacies of narration, having reference (if I am not altogether mistaken) to a pink horse (with green wings) that went, in a violent manner, by clockwork, and was wound up with an indigo key.

Your clue is: Tellmenow Isitsoörnot

This is Rimsky-Korsakov's haunting(and famous) piece, performed by the Moscow Symphony.


Old Kitty said...

And what a story teller she was too!! But it's awful to think she did so to save her life!!

Take care

LTM said...

that's a tough one... is it JK Rowling? ;p no...

I've been trying to channel my inner Scheherazade in my writing--esp at the ends of chapters. Make them unable to put book down... ;p

LOVE it~

Jules said...

I have never read Aladdin :( So I have no clue of who spoke the quote. But I love this idea of inspiring women and I'll be looking forward to future installments :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Matthew MacNish said...

Well I am familiar with 1001 nights, and Scheherazade and I love them both, but I have no idea who wrote that. I'm going to try to go look it up now ... and probably be embarrassed.

Matthew MacNish said...

Yep. I looked it up and I should have known that. I even remember hearing about that story years ago. I won't give it away here, but I will give another clue ... +1.

Natalie said...

Hey cut me some slack! I read it over 30 years ago. (And I won't say how much over.) Great post - looking forward to some interesting articles.

N. R. Williams said...

If ever there was a reason to murder a man that sultan was it. Good for our lady to keep his mind off her death plot. I guess he didn't have many kids.

On a lighter note. My 3 year old grandson had to sit on my lap and watch/listen to the orchestra the entire time. He said, "I like that."
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Christopher said...

So its her fault that I had to watch the disney movie version of Aladdin everyday during my childhood because my sister was obsessed with it.

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't know the author of the quote, but the music is wonderful. I love that piece.


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