258 documented in the main part of the book, where Corrao presents 71 narratives in Italian translation, 19 taken from Sicilian, 32 from Arabic, and 20 from Turkish narrative tradition. While the author's historical preface is most laudable, the presentation of the texts neither mentions the sources nor contains commentaries. Considering the fact that the largest collection of Juhawiana/Nasreddiniana so far published, M.S. Kharitonov's Dvattsat' chetyre Nasreddina (2nd edition Moscow 1986) con- tains more than 1,200 items, while anecdotes on Juha/Nasreddin Hoca are known to be part of oral tradition in more than fifty distinctive language areas in the Muslim Near East (cf. U. Marzolph, "Zur Uberlieferung der Nasreddin Hoca-Schwanke auf3erhalb des tfrkischcn Sprachraumes", in Turkische Sprachen und Literaturen, edd. I. Baldauf, K. Kreiser, S. Tezcan, Wiesbaden 1991, 275- 285), a comparative annotation on the sources, analogues and variations of the tales would appear imperative in a scholarly edition. This is a general criticism, rather applying to prospective future enterprises, since Corrao's booklet is clearly intended for a popular readership which might even find it hard to appreciate the detailed information contained in the introduction. On a different level, I wonder whether it is advisable to argue for
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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