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She does not know, of course, that there need be only one thousand and one nights. She must go on the working assumption that the king has to be satisfied indefinitely, until one of them finally drops. Moreover, there is nothing to say that Scheherazade will be relieved of the burden of having to recite ever more dazzling stories once her husband has formally repealed his wife-killing policy. The whole point of his power is that it is capricious and that his word can always change.

The Character of Scheherazade” (February 2017).

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