Slave of Desire: Sex, Love, and Death in The 1001 Nights

TitleSlave of Desire: Sex, Love, and Death in The 1001 Nights
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsBeaumont D
PublisherFairleigh Dickinson University Press; Associated University Presses
CityMadison, NJ; London and Cranbury, NJ
ISBN Number0838638740

Slave of Desire explores the medieval Arabic work The Thousand and One Nights, drawing on the ideas of Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Slavoj Zizek for its literary criticism. While psychoanalytic thought provides an important theoretical frame, the analyses also make reference to the ideas of such thinkers as Hegel, Kant, and Descartes to reveal the sophistication and complexity of narrative fiction in The Thousand and One Nights. Through its analysis of well-known stories such as the frame tale of Shahrazad and King Shahriyar, "The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad, " "The Hunchback, " and "Qamar az-Zaman, " and many others, Slave of Desire demonstrates how this medieval Arabic fiction still speaks to us today about perennial concerns—power and violence, love and betrayal, sex and death.