'Ala' addin

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Alad.jpg
Aladdin finds the wonderful lamp inside the cave.
Folk tale
NameAladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Data
Aarne-Thompson groupingATU 561 (Aladdin)
RegionArabia
Published inThe One Thousand and One Nights, translated by Antoine Galland

Aladdin (/əˈlædɪn/ ə-LAD-in; Arabic: علاء الدين‎, ʻAlāʼ ud-Dīn/ ʻAlāʼ ad-Dīn, IPA: [ʕalaːʔ adˈdiːn], ATU 561, ‘Aladdin') is a folk tale most probably of Middle-Eastern origin. Despite not being part of the original Arabic text of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights), it is one of the best known tales associated with that collection. It was actually added by the Frenchman Antoine Galland, who acquired the tale from Maronite storyteller Hanna Diyab.[1]

Sources[]

Known along with Ali Baba as one of the "orphan tales", the story was not part of the original Nights collection and has no authentic Arabic textual source, but was incorporated into the book Les mille et une nuits by its French translator, Antoine Galland.[2]

John Payne quotes passages from Galland's unpublished diary: recording Galland's encounter with a Maronite storyteller from Aleppo, Hanna Diyab.[1] According to Galland's diary, he met with Hanna, who had travelled from Aleppo to Paris with celebrated French traveller Paul Lucas, on March 25, 1709. Galland's diary further reports that his transcription of "Aladdin" for publication occurred in the winter of 1709–10. It was included in his volumes ix and x of the Nights, published in 1710, without any mention or published acknowledgment of Hanna's contribution. Paulo Lemos Horta, in the introduction to his translation of Aladdin, speculates that Diyab might even be the original author of at least some of the "orphan" tales, including Aladdin.[3]

To return to Payne, he also records the discovery in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris of two Arabic manuscripts containing Aladdin (with two more of the "interpolated" tales). One was written by a Syrian Christian priest living in Paris, named Dionysios Shawish, alias Dom Denis Chavis. The other is supposed to be a copy Mikhail Sabbagh made of a manuscript written in Baghdad in 1703. It was purchased by the Bibliothèque Nationale at the end of the nineteenth century.[4] As part of his work on the first critical ion of the Nights, Iraq's Muhsin Mahdi has shown[5] that both these manuscripts are "back-translations" of Galland's text into Arabic.[6][7]

Plot summary[]

The Sorcerer traps Aladdin in the magic cave.

The story is often retold with variations. The following is a précis of the Burton translation of 1885.[8]

Aladdin is an impoverished young ne'er-do-well, dwelling in "one of the cities of China". He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father, Mustapha the tailor, convincing Aladdin and his mother of his good will by pretending to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. The sorcerer's real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave. After the sorcerer attempts to double-cross him, Aladdin finds himself trapped in the cave. Aladdin is still wearing a magic ring the sorcerer has lent him. When he rubs his hands in despair, he inadvertently rubs the ring and a jinnī (or "genie") appears and releases him from the cave, allowing him to return to his mother while in possession of the lamp. When his mother tries to clean the lamp, so they can sell it to buy food for their supper, a second far more powerful genie appears who is bound to do the bidding of the person holding the lamp.

With the aid of the genie of the lamp, Aladdin becomes rich and powerful and marries Princess Badroulbadour, the sultan's daughter (after magically foiling her marriage to the vizier's son). The genie builds Aladdin and his bride a wonderful palace, far more magnificent than the sultan's.

The sorcerer hears of Aladdin's good fortune, and returns; he gets his hands on the lamp by tricking Aladdin's wife (who is unaware of the lamp's importance) by offering to exchange "new lamps for old". He orders the genie of the lamp to take the palace, along with all its contents, to his home in the Maghreb. Aladdin still has the magic ring and is able to summon the lesser genie. The genie of the ring cannot directly undo any of the magic of the genie of the lamp, but he is able to transport Aladdin to the Maghreb where, with the help of the "woman's wiles" of the princess, he recovers the lamp and slays the sorcerer, returning the palace to its proper place.

The sorcerer's more powerful and evil brother plots to destroy Aladdin for killing his brother by disguising himself as an old woman known for her healing powers. Badroulbadour falls for his disguise and commands the "woman" to stay in her palace in case of any illnesses. Aladdin is warned of this danger by the genie of the lamp and slays the impostor.

Aladdin eventually succeeds to his father-in-law's throne.

Setting[]

The opening sentences of the story, in both the Galland and the Burton versions, set it in "one of the cities of China".[9] On the other hand, there is practically nothing in the rest of the story that is inconsistent with a Middle Eastern setting. For instance, the ruler is referred to as "Sultan" rather than being called the "Emperor", as in some re-tellings, and the people in the story are Muslims and their conversation is larded with devout Muslim platitudes. A Jewish merchant buys Aladdin's wares (and incidentally cheats him), but there is no mention of Buddhists or Confucians (or other distinctively Chinese people).

Notably, ethnic groups in Chinese history have long included Muslim groups, including large populations of Uighurs, and the Hui people whose origins go back to Silk Road travelers. Islamic communities have been known to exist in the region since the Tang Dynasty. Some have suggested that the intended setting may be Turkestan (encompassing Central Asia and the modern Chinese province of Xinjiang in Western China).[10]

For all this, speculation about a "real" Chinese setting depends on a knowledge of China that the teller of a folk tale (as opposed to a geographic expert) might well not possess.[11] In early Arabic usage, China is known to have been used in an abstract sense to designate an exotic, faraway land.[12][13]

Motifs and variants[]

The story of Aladdin is classified in the Aarne-Thompson-Uther index as tale type ATU 561, "Aladdin", after the character. In the Index, the Aladdin story is situated next to two similar tale types: ATU 560, The Magic Ring, and ATU 562, The Spirit in the Blue Light. All stories deal with a down-on-his-luck and impoverished boy or soldier, who finds a magical item (ring, lamp, tinderbox) that grants his wishes. The magical item is stolen, but eventually recovered thanks to the use of another magical object.[14]

A South Asian variant has been attested, titled The Magic Lamp and collected among the Santal people.[15][16]

Western variants of the Aladdin tale replace the lamp with a tinderbox.

Adaptations[]

Adaptations vary in their faithfulness to the original story. In particular, difficulties with the Chinese setting are sometimes resolved by giving the story a more typical Arabian Nights background.

Books[]

Pantomimes[]

An 1886 theatre poster advertising a production of the pantomime Aladdin.

In the United Kingdom, the story of Aladdin was dramatised in 1788 by John O'Keefe for the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.[17] It has been a popular subject for pantomime for over 200 years.[18]

The traditional Aladdin pantomime is the source of the well-known pantomime character Widow Twankey (Aladdin's mother). In pantomime versions, changes in the setting and story are often made to fit it better into "China" (albeit a China situated in the East End of London rather than Medieval Baghdad), and elements of other Arabian Nights tales (in particular Ali Baba) are often introduced into the plot. One version of the "pantomime Aladdin" is Sandy Wilson's musical Aladdin, from 1979.

Since the early 1990s, Aladdin pantomimes have tended to be influenced by the Disney animation. For instance, the 2007/8 production at the Birmingham Hippodrome starring John Barrowman featured songs from the Disney movies Aladdin and Mulan.

Other musical theatre[]

New Crowns for Old, a 19th-century British cartoon based on the Aladdin story (Disraeli as Abanazer from the pantomime version of Aladdin offering Queen Victoria an Imperial crown (of India) in exchange for a Royal one)

Films[]

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (1917)

Animated[]

Live action[]

Television[]

Comics[]

Manga and anime[]

Video games[]

Pachinko[]

Sega Sammy have released a line of pachinko machines based on Aladdin since 1989. Sega Sammy have sold over 570,000 Aladdin pachinko machines in Japan, as of 2017.[32] At an average price of about $5,000,[33] this is equivalent to approximately $2.85 billion in pachinko sales revenue.

Gallery[]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ a b Razzaque (2017)
  2. ^ Allen (2005) pp.280–
  3. ^ Horta (2018) pp. 8-10
  4. ^ Payne (1901) pp. 13-15
  5. ^ Irwin (1994) pp. 57-58
  6. ^ Mahdi (1994) pp. 51-71
  7. ^ Dobie (2008) p.36
  8. ^ Burton (2009) pp. 1 ff
  9. ^ Plotz (2001) p. 148–149
  10. ^ Moon (2005) p. 23
  11. ^ Honour (1973) - Section I "The Imaginary Continent"
  12. ^ Arafat A. Razzaque. "Who was the "real" Aladdin? From Chinese to Arab in 300 Years". Ajam Media Collective.
  13. ^ Olivia B. Waxman (2019-05-23). "Was Aladdin Based on a Real Person? Here's Why Scholars Are Starting to Think So". Time. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  14. ^ Thompson, Stith. The Folktale. University of California Press. 1977. pp. 70-73. ISBN 0-520-03537-2
  15. ^ Campbell, A., of the Santal mission. Santal Folk-Tales. Pokhuria, India : Santal Mission Press. 1891. pp. 1-5.
  16. ^ Brown, W. Norman. "The Pañcatantra in Modern Indian Folklore." Journal of the American Oriental Society 39 (1919): 1-54. Accessed May 9, 2020. doi:10.2307/592712.
  17. ^ Witchard (2017)
  18. ^ "Aladdin". www.its-behind-you.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  19. ^ "Cole Porter / Aladdin (London Stage Production)". Sondheim Guide. Archived from the original on 23 October 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  20. ^ Slater, Shawn (9 September 2015). "All New 'Frozen'-Inspired Stage Musical Coming to Disney California Adventure Park in 2016". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  21. ^ "MTIshows.com Music Theatre International". Archived from the original on 2015-05-15. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  22. ^ "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp". Letterboxd. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  23. ^ "The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp". Archived from the original on 2017-09-09. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  24. ^ "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Dhananjaya became Aladin". Sarasaviya. Archived from the original on 2018-10-02. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  26. ^ News, VICE (2019-05-24). "What It Takes to Make a Hollywood Mockbuster, the "Slightly Shittier" Blockbuster". Vice News. Archived from the original on 2019-05-29. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  27. ^ Adventures of Aladdin (2019), retrieved 2019-05-29
  28. ^ "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp - Rabbit Ears". www.rabbitears.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  29. ^ "Profile of Paperino e la grotta di Aladino". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  30. ^ Adam Robert, The History of Science Fiction, Palgrave Histories of Literature, ISBN 9781137569592, 2016, p. 224
  31. ^ "Aladin et la Lampe Merveilleuse PC, Mac | 2010". Planete Jeu (in French). Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  32. ^ Beyond Expectations: Integrated Report (PDF). Sega Sammy Holdings. 2017. p. 73. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  33. ^ Graser, Marc (2 August 2013). "'Dark Knight' Producer Plays Pachinko to Launch Next Franchise (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on 29 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.

Bibliography[]

Further reading[]

External links[]