Aladdin translated by Yasmine Seale

Monday June 17, 2019

The history of the story of Aladdin, given in some detail in the introduction, is interesting. In the story itself, I was hoping for something really different from Disney's Aladdin, and I was somewhat disappointed there. There are differences, but they're not so huge.

The front flap of the cover promises "a newfound appreciation for the ingenuity of the heroine, Princess Badr al-Budur, who outwits an evil magician to ultimately save Aladdin's life." I was looking forward to that, but Aladdin makes the plan to have the princess poison the magician. The princess does successfully poison the magician's drink (exactly as Aladdin directed her) but I was hoping for a little more agency for the princess.

The translator and editor point out that the story has a feel consistent with being told by someone telling stories for their life, and I think that's true: pushing the action foward, and-then'ing the next chapter and the next, with no time to go back and edit. It's probably a good thing that most stories aren't produced that way.

Aladdin cover

Thanks Lenny for the recommendation!