This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals.
In this paper I will attend to the shaping of time and the emergence of oral micronarratives in One Thousand and One Nights
In this author’s opinion, time in One Thousand and One Nights is not set in a linear fashion: Rather, time is limitless (infinite). The inclusion of oral Iranian micronarratives in this book deceives one into thinking that the treatment of time is systematic, that it has a beginning and an end, and that the book starts and ends in a classical manner. The succession of nights in the story is misleading on the same basis.
In my view, the Iranian oral narratives in this book form an expanding network of intertwined and parallel times. These narratives-- joining together, branching from one another, penetrating each other, and parting ways throughout epochs and centuries--encompass all the existing and undiscovered possibilities.
Works with specific time frames seem to be homogeneous, and One Thousand and One Nights appears to be so at the first glance. However, the emergence and appearance of oral Iranian micronarratives—each of which acts like an independent island, superficially attached to a totality—in fact denies the superficial homogeneity or totality of time. These micronarratives with their exotic ethnic-ritualistic and at times religious themes will be discussed with respect to their relation to the limitlessness of time in One Thousand and One Nights.
One distinctive characteristic of these micronarratives is their cultural and ritualistic undertow. This means that each one of these miconarratives can be considered illustrative of a particular Iranian view of concepts such as life and death, and also of theological and religious beliefs before and after the domination of Islam in Iran.
I will scrutinize in particular the role of multiplicity and lack of centrality based on the emergence of these oral Iranian micronarratives.