Joseph Sadan


Jacques Cazotte was a distinguished eighteenth-century French writer who, about three years before the guillotine put an end to his life (1792), published the Continuation of the Mille et une Nuits. A number of the stories transmitted to him by his “informant” Denis Chavis are contained in an Arabic manuscript dated 1772 that is preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The origin of Cazotte’s novel Histoire de Xaïloun, included in the Continuation, until now was unknown. The comparison between the short Arabic story Hamîda the Kaslân (or The Story of Lazy Hamîda), recently discovered in another Arabic manuscript, and Cazotte’s long novel demonstrates the writer’s creativity.