Thursday, September 4, 2014

From the Complete Works of Anonymous (1)

The Djinni


   The djinni spoke thus to the fisherman who had released him from the yellow copper jar:

   “I am one of those heretical djinni who rose against Suleiman ibn Daud (peace be on both of them!). I was vanquished. Suleiman ibn Daud bade me embrace the faith of God and obey his behests. But I refused. So the king imprisoned me in this copper jar, and stamped on its surface the Name of the Most High; and he ordered the subserviated djinni to cast me into the bottom of the ocean. I said in my heart: ‘Whosoever shall release me, him shall I make rich forever.’ But an entire century passed, and no one set me free. Then I said in my heart: ‘Whosoever shall release me, to him shall I reveal all the magic arts of the earth.’ But four hundred years passed, and I remained at the bottom of the sea. Then I said in my heart: ‘Whosoever shall release me, him shall I give three wishes.’ But nine hundred years passed. Then, in desperation, I swore by the Name of the Most High: ‘Whosoever shall release me, him shall I slay.’ Prepare to die, O my saviour.


 I have absolutely nothing to say about this piece, nor do I believe that a response in words is always necessary. I would, however, like to note that this seems to be a most surprisingly Jewish djinni! And that, unless I have badly misunderstood the text, he is himself the “subserviated djinni”, and therefore, perversely, throws himself into the ocean.

On the other hand, a Complete Works of Anonymous might make for an interesting, if rather large volume….I shall offer a few more excerpts in this blog.

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