Enchanted storytelling: Muḥammad Khuḍayyir between Borges and Shahrazad

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The early short stories of Muḥammad Khuḍayyir (born in Basra in 1942), one of the most original Iraqi writers to have emerged in the late 1960s, have been praised as a fresh departure within the modern history of Iraqi and Arabic fiction as they merged what is real (wāqiʿī) with what is magic (siḥrī) in the life of ordinary people. In this study, through a close textual analysis of three key short stories, we will discuss how the dialogue Khuḍayyir has established with traditional storytelling and One Thousand and One Nights has developed in unexpected ways. Thanks to his fruitful conversation with a traditional form of storytelling, Khuḍayyir has become the author of original modern ʿajāʾib tales (tales of the fantastic), and also a theoriser and a promulgator of this new kind of Arabic fiction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEndless inspiration
Subtitle of host publicationone thousand and one nights in comparative perspectives
EditorsOrhan Elmaz
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherGorgias Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781463241872
ISBN (Print)9781463207205
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameGorgias handbooks
ISSN (Print)1935-6838


  • Muhammad Khudayyir
  • One Thousand and One Noghts
  • Borges
  • Innovation
  • Iraqi fiction
  • Story-telling


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