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Partendo da una breve analisi critica del film fantasy Aladdin di Guy Ritchie, la giornalista di origini pakistane Iman Sultan ripercorre su Longreads la storia della tradizione del racconto orale nei paesi asiatici e nordafricani, accompagnandoci, attraverso una ricerca storico-documentale su Le mille e una notte, in un viaggio alla scoperta delle origini della fiaba di Aladino.

When I was a child, I would curl close to my grandmother in her apartment in Karachi and listen to her tell me tales of magic and monsters, heroes and adventure, mighty kingdoms and the brave women who brought them down.

She told me of a girl who fell in love with a man who could transform into a snake and who returned to his world after she’d accidentally betrayed him. She told me about a hidden princess who rode her horse on an enchanted path to find her long-lost brothers. If she looked back, she would turn into stone.

Tazeen Ehtesham Faridi migrated from North India to Pakistan as an 8-year-old child. With her stories, she evoked the folklore of the land she came from and a tradition alive in her village and throughout the subcontinent. Storytellers spun their craft in gardens, bazaars, and inns teeming with travelers, who would then recite stories to their children and grandchildren, passing down lore across generations. My grandmother had learned the stories she told me from her mother and paternal grandfather. “A qissa goh could be a man or a woman,” she said. “They didn’t write, they didn’t study or memorize, they just told their stories with the burn of their heart.”

Immagine da Flickr.


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