Arabian Nights, authors, cultures, Danielle Steele, Douglas J. Penick, Harry Potter, human nature, humans, James Patterson, Lord of the Rings, love, news cycles, Nora Roberts, Only Love Twice by Kat Canfield, politics, religions, romance, Scheherazade, scheherazade complex, sex, story tellers, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Vince Flynn
While making a comment on another blog, I was accused by another commenter of having a “Scheherazade Complex”. I knew who Scheherazade was but was curious as to a ‘complex’ associated with her so I Googled the phrase to research.
For those who are not familiar with Scheherazade let me give you a brief history. She is the story teller in the literary classic Tales of the Arabian Nights. She told her stories to escape a certain death at the hands of her new husband, the Sultan of Persia. The Sultan’s first wife had been unfaithful so he took out his fury on all women by marrying them, then killing them in the morning after the wedding. Scheherazade spun a series of short stories that were never completed by the morning and they so enthralled the Sultan he kept her alive so he could hear the next part of the story for one thousand and one nights. By then he realized the folly of his ways and Scheherazade remained his wife for the rest of their lives.
My research into the ‘complex’ was enlightening. I especially enjoyed an article written by Douglas J. Penick. In his article Mr. Penick stated, “For Scheherazade knew a great truth: the telling and the hearing of stories, the exchange of tales and sagas is the deep breath of human life. Listening and telling are the inhalation and exhalation of human experience.” Mr. Penick shows us that stories are the life breath of being a human.
Scheherazade understood that all stories are born from stories heard before and they give birth to new stories. How curious is the human mind that it loves to be entwined in a good story? Is not our 24/7 news cycle a form of this complex? We hear a story and want to know what came before and what will now unfold after. Scheherazade weaves her stories together linking them to past stories yet making them reach into the future.
Upon reflection of this, I see what the complex really is. Whether fiction or non-fiction we read and it makes us want to read and learn more. Like a great teacher it inspires us to reach for more. It is a continuing process. How many of you wait breathlessly for the next installment of a story by your favorite author? James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Vince Flynn, Danielle Steele, are all inflicted with the Scheherazade Complex. Even those of us lesser writers have the complex as we have a story to tell and want to continue telling. Humans all over the world are like the Sultan as they want to hear the next part of the story or even a new story spun from an earlier story; hello, Harry Potter in the modern age and Lord of the Rings from a previous age.
So being told I have a Scheherazade Complex is a wonderful thing. I have started spinning a story with Only Love Twice and it is continuing into a saga. It is a saga of humans learning to live and love in a world gone mad by intolerance and misunderstandings of our cultures and religions. Like all stories, it is about humanness.
For no matter how hard politicians and religious scholars try, humans will remain human, and they will do human things like love, romance, sex, and the darker aspects, murder, rape and plunder. Oh, how human we all are.
Yes, I gladly admit, I have a Scheherazade Complex.