- 一般社団法人 日本オリエント学会
- オリエント (ISSN:00305219)
- vol.16, no.1, pp.97-126,206, 1973-10-20 (Released:2010-03-12)
The famous translation of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments by Sir Richard F. Burton (1821-96) was first published in 1885 in 10 volumes, and 6 volumes of the supplemental Nights were published from 1886 to 1888. It won a great success, and even in these days many people believe it as the most excellent and the most reliable translation of the 1001 Nights. Especially in Japan, it is so popular that at least three times it was retranslated into Japanese by various translators who were the admirers of R. Burton. But in many countries, Burton's translation has been criticized or defended by not a few scholars. Already in 1906, Thomas Wright demonstrated in his “Life of R. Burton, ” that his translation of the 1001 Nights is whole appropriation of that of John Payne. Payne's translation is the first complete English version of the Nights and no one denies its excellence But, his translation had been speedily forgotten by the public, and the swashbuckling plagiarist got the honor, wealth and popularity. Moreover, in the so-called Burton-Payne Controversy, the defenders of R. Burton seem more numerous than those of J. Payne. It was to my heart's content that Mia 1. Gerhardt developped a very sharp defense for the part of the latter in 1963 in her “The Art of Story-Telling.” However the author argued that the poems in the 1001 Nights were almost all translated by R. Burton independently and these are in general better than the renderings of J. Payne. I would not agree with this opinion, because I think that the translation of the poems by R. Burton also seem to be the appropriation of those of Payne and sometimes of Henry Torrens. In this essay, I would like to prove it. Next, why the painstaking work of J. Payne was soon forgotten, and survived the quite contrary one? The final aim of this essay is to find out some answer to this guestion.