The article studies the adaptation of the popular tale of “Ḥāsib Karīm al-Dīn and the Queen of Serpents” from The Thousand and One Nights as a hypotext in the work of the contemporary Egyptian novelist and poet Badr al-Dīb (1926–2005). In folklore and religion, the serpent as a complex mythical symbol is perceived as a primordial being and is linked with wisdom and cosmic power. The snake-woman is the embodiment of the world-generating, life-giving principle and lunar wisdom. Whenever the serpent appears in folktales, epics, and religion, one can expect a spectacle of ongoing metamorphosis. Al-Dīb’s endeavor reveals the unrestrained options of the imagination of a contemporary writer whose “renarrating” amounts to a diegetic transposition of the cycle. Al-Dīb remains faithful to the text and offers a novel reading opting for an experience of constant impermanence. The crossing of spaces and the shifting of physical and imagined borders form a central dynamic in the structure of the tale.
"The Serpent Queen: A Case Study in “Travel” and Appropriation,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol5/iss2/3