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Now when it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty Ninth Night

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I am reading "Alf Layla Wa Layla" -- The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night -- translated from the original Arabic into English by Sir Richard Burton.

The volume I am on is Number Nine and was published in the year 1885. Each volume has been more than 350 pages, so I have easily read through over 3,000 pages to get this far.

The book is "uncut" which means that sometimes I come upon a page that is mated to its neighbor. To read on, and not miss anything, I must needs cut the two pages apart with a knife. This also means that no one has read this particular book, although it is over a hundred years old and sat on more than one someone's shelf for that long.

There is a legend amongst the Arabs that no one can ever actually finish The Nights. The Arabs mutter to each other that no Arab can complete the reading of all 1,001 Nights, let alone a "Blue Eye."

It has taken me over a year to get this far, and I feel now a strange admixture of dread and elation as I come closer and closer to that final night. Will I make it to the final night? If I do, will something dreadful happen to me that will make me live to regret it?

Is there some spell cast upon the book that dooms all who finish it? I could not help but notice that there is an odd mandala at the front of each volume that strangely resembles something out of an Aleister Crowley First Edition of the Goetia.

The dread continues to build as I get closer and closer to the end.

Stay tuned...
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On November 24th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC), thorn_garden commented:
You mean "unopened" - uncut means the volume was not trimmed by the binder. In the case of the set in question, you have an 'unopened' copy - meaning the pages had not been separated yet as was the tradition with the old world publishers. The volumes in question were never intended to 'meet the knife'.

But I digress for the OUTRAGEOUS fact that ye hath made it thus far in the most esteemed collections of arabic lore which our Brother Richard [blessings upon him] has brought to us.
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On November 29th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC), shtnstar commented:
Ah yes... But according to Magee's "A course in Correct Cataloguing" uncut means "anything with a ragged edge." And an unopened book must first be uncut -- the unopened necessarily being a subset of the uncut.

So, yes it is true, without error, and most certain that the book is "unopened." Though it might be true that it was opened, but not cut by the opener.

And, of course, we must remember that in order to cut one must first open. So, in some sense. we may conclude:

A cut one must needs be opened first.
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