Eternal Tales: The Infinite Lives of One Thousand and One Nights
a Book Presentation by Mahdi Ganjavi
Public Free Talk / Presentation
Saturday, July 22, 2023 – 5:00 pm
Dr. Mahdi Ganjavi is an emerging historian and writer specializing in Middle Eastern literature, print, and translation. He is also widely regarded as an esteemed editor of Persian manuscripts. Between 2016 and 2019, he dedicated his efforts to editing and overseeing the publication of six lesser-known Persian novels from the 1920s-1940s. These novels provide valuable insights into the origins of historical and utopian fiction, science fiction, and detective fiction in the Persian language. Ganjavi’s book, “Education and the Cultural Cold War in the Middle East: The Franklin Book Programs in Iran”, is published by I.B. Tauris.
Recently, Dr. Ganjavi has accomplished a significant milestone by completing the first critical edition of the Persian translation of “One Thousand and One Nights” called “Henriyah Translation” (tarjumah hinrīyah). This translation is considered the earliest known Persian rendition of the famous collection. Ganjavi based his edition on two manuscripts of the translation. One of the manuscripts is part of the Sir Edward Henry Whinfield Collection, which was entrusted to the Indian Institute at Oxford in 1922 and later transferred to the Bodleian Library. The second copy of the Henriyah Translation is housed at Houghton Library, Harvard University. It was formerly owned by Mary Pratt, who gifted it to Harvard College along with 59 other manuscripts from her brother, Herbert J. Pratt, in 1915, shortly after Herbert’s passing.