Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

At least the good news is with 1001 Arabian Nights is you don't have to buy it. Project Gutenberg has at least one good version.

This is a complicated issue.

Modern translations (written in the last 30 years, say) are way way better than the public domain editions, not least because they don't have puritanical Victorians editing out all the "scandalous" bits.

See, for example, the troubles the noted explorer and translator Sir Richard Burton had. His translations of the Kama Sutra and 1001 Arabian Nights were considered scandalous in Victorian England.

He was an undaunted explorer and traveled widely and spoke 29 languages. He wrote extensively, but sadly his widow considered some of his papers too explicit to be published after his death and instead destroyed them.

His search for the headwaters of the Nile are the basis for the film Mountains of the Moon . See [1].

[1] Historical Badass: Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton

What were the scandalous bits?

Sex (especially homosexulatity), drug use were major things

Those parts were definitely not in any version I read, so I should consider finding a modern translation myself.

Were Victorians Puritan?

Historically speaking, the puritanical have never really been all that hindered by a lack of Puritanism.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact