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What Is Up With These Fish? || Reading Notes: The Voyages of Sindbad Part A

Seriously, there are some weird fish in this story...

  • I like the way that he just casually mentions some really strange things:
    • Fish that were "two hundred cubits long"
    • Fish that had the heads of owls
    • Huge snakes that could swallow an elephant
    • A valley full of diamonds.
    • Camphor trees big enough to shade a hundred men.
    • Fish that looked like a camel
    • Fish that was "like a cow" with skin thick enough to make shields out of
    • The cavern he was trapped in just happened to have diamonds and rubies and emeralds strewn about the floor
  • Lots of bird riding.
The Roc

  • Honestly, Sindbad is incredibly lucky. Or he's making a lot of things up. Either way, it's a good story.
  • Tells a story of how rhinoceros fight elephants, transfix them on their horns, get elephant blood in their eyes, and then get carried away by a roc. He then suggests that if the listener doesn't believe this story they should "go to Rohat and see for yourself." 
    • I feel like this is either him bluffing about a lie or a subtle dig at people who criticize without experience. 
  • He always seems to make it home a rich man.
  • There is a great sense of hospitality among all the people he meets after some unfortunate accident. This is reminiscent of the Greek idea of xenia.
  • Despite his fortune in always returning home with great wealth, he is never satisfied with a quiet life.
Unit: The Voyages of Sindbad
From: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments
By: Andrew Lang
Illustrator: H.J. Ford
Photo Credits:


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