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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

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Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2012, Issue 189


The seventh signification of Sindbad: The “Greeking” of Sindbad from the Arabian nights to Disney

James Iveniuk,
Published Online: 2012-03-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2011.082


The Western world, especially America, has had a longstanding interest in re-interpreting the character of Sindbad. After providing a historical context for Sindbad's entry into Western consciousness, this paper will describe and analyze the way in which Sindbad has been transformed by his reinterpreters. The first half will describe the circumstances surrounding the translation of the Nights, revealing the loss of cultural context and cultural content that left Sindbad's character as a role that needed to be filled. The character of the Mediterranean corsair, based in history, the paintings of Racim, and most of all the model set forth by Byron, would fill this role, so that in movies there was an increasing tendency to imagine him as Greek. Behind this reinterpretation of Sindbad is a narcissistic love, which will be shown as the force behind centuries of trying to adopt the character of Sindbad as an inheritor of Greekness, and therefore a part of the West's Greek inheritance.

Keywords:: Sindbad; cultural appropriation; naturalization; Orientalism; literature; film

About the article

Published Online: 2012-03-29

Published in Print: 2012-04-17

Citation Information: , Volume 2012, Issue 189, Pages 1–21, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2011.082.

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©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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