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Traces of Scheherazade in Margaret Drabble’s The Red Queen: A Transcultural Intertextual Reading
بشرى جوحي جاني
Authors : Dr Bushra Juhi Jani
This paper examines the transcultural intertextual influence of Scheherazade, the legendary queen and the storyteller of The Thousand and One Nights, on Drabble's The Red Queen (2004), which has a subtitle, “A Transcultural Tragicomedy.” It discusses how an appropriation of Scheherazade was utilized by Margaret Drabble in writing, The Red Queen. "But appropriation is what novelists do,” Drabble writes in the “Prologue” of her novel, adding, “whatever we write is, knowingly or unknowingly, a borrowing. Nothing comes from nowhere.” This paper is a syncretic reading of The Red Queen to show the universality of womanhood and cross-cultural parallels. In this novel, which is based on the memoirs of an eighteenth-century Korean crown princess known as Lady Hong or Lady Hyegyŏng, the protagonist comes from the history of the East, just like Scheherazade, “to retell [her] story.” Also like Scheherazade who narrates stories in order to live, the Korean Princess uses storytelling as a strategy for survival. Moreover, the intentions of the novel can be seen in a feminist tradition of historiographic metafictional re-workings of the Orient and the Arabian Nights.

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November 21, 2021