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FALL 2003 CATALOG

Moroccan Folktales

 
 
Collected and Translated by Jilali El Koudia

Cloth $24.95    |    0-8156-0789-X    |   2003


Folktales collected from Teuan, Al-Huceima, Taza, Fes, Marrakesh, and Tahanout.

Reviews
"El Koudia gathered the narratives in this "literary anthology of retold tales" from the women in his family, primarily his mother. He has rewritten and translated the oral narratives, casting them in a literary form by selecting versions, eliminating pauses and repetitions, filling in the gaps, and reconstructing plots (he does not include literary tales, such as those from the Arabian Nights). The result is a charming variety of folktales from various regions of Morocco. The book's value is greatly increased by the technical analysis of the tales by El-Shamy, a professional folklorist. In his afterword, El-Shamy provides an introduction to folktales from the Arab world, particularly from Morocco; an analysis by Aarne-Thompson of tale types and Thompson's Motif-Index; registers of tales types and of motifs; and a bibliography of folktale collections from Morocco in Arabic and European languages. One shortcoming is the lack of contextual data: the actual narrators of the tales and the circumstances of their collection are not reported. This collection compares favorably with Aisha Ahmad and Roger Boase's Pashtun Tales from the Pakistan-Afghan Border (CH, May '03). Summing Up: Recommended. Middle East and folklore collections serving readers at all levels."
dashW. L. Hanaway, emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

"El Koudia gathered the narratives in this 'literary anthology of retold tales' from the women in his family, primarily his mother. He has rewritten and translated the oral narratives, casting them in a literary form by selecting versions, eliminating pauses and repetitions, filling in gaps, and reconstructing plots (he does not include literary tales, such as those from the Arabian Nights). The result is a charming variety of folktales from various regions of Morocco. The book's value is greatly increased by the technical analysis of the tales by El-Shamy, a professional folklorist. In his afterword, El-Shamy provides an introduction to folktales from the Arab world, particularly from Morocco. . . . Recommended."
dash Choice

Description
Drawing on stories he heard as a boy from female relatives, Jilali El Koudia presents a cross section of utterly bewitching narratives. Filled with ghouls and fools, kind magic and wicked, eternal bonds and earthly wishes, these are mesmerizing stories to be savored, studied, or simply treasured. Varied genres include anecdotes, legends, and animal fables, and some tales bear strong resemblance to European counterparts, for example Aamar and his Sister (Hansel and Gretel) and Nunja and the White Dove (Cinderella). All capture the heart of Morroco and the soul of its people.

In an enlightening introduction, El Koudia mourns the loss of the teller of tales in the marketplace, and he makes it clear that storytelling, born of memory and oral tradition, could vanish in the face of mass and electronic media.

Author
Jilali El Koudia is an acclaimed Moroccan literary critic, writer, and translator. He is the author of Moroccan Short Stories and the translator of many Moroccan literary works.

Edited by Roger Allen
Roger Allen is professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include The Arabic Novel: An Historical and Critical Introduction, and a co-translation of In Search of Walid Masoud by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, both published by Syracuse University Press.

Introduction by Hasan El-Shamy
Hasan El-Shamy is professor of folklore in the department of African Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University. He is the editor and translator of Folktales of Egypt and editor of Popular Stories of Ancient Egypt.

51/2 x 81/2, 176 pages, appendix, glossary

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