"Perils of Pauline", 1914 -- cliff-hanger or not?

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Feb 9 19:59:17 UTC 2014

Going back to the Arabian Nights, I just finished the reading of the 1990
Haddawy translation, which is based on the oldest extant manuscript from the
fourteenth century. (There are various versions, containing different tales,
and, presumably, different versions of the frame narrative.)

I haven't looked at them systematically, but the story breaks seemingly come
at random moments. Sometimes there is a some pending suspenseful action, at
other times the break will happen at moments of no import, as in the middle
of a conversation. And sometimes Shahrazad completes a tale just as dawn

Haddawy's rendition of the repeated break is "But morning overtook
Shahrazad, and she lapsed into silence" and she promises to continue the
next night "if I stay alive." While she is deliberately trying to stave off
her death sentence, ultimately Shahrazad has no control over the pace of the
tales as the dawn, like any event in one's life, "overtakes" her.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Joel S. Berson
Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2014 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: "Perils of Pauline", 1914 -- cliff-hanger or not?

Thanks, Christopher.

The first two links below provide conflicting opinions about the answer to
my question.  For example, one author's mother recalls one episode ending
with Pauline tied to railroad tracks, another with her dangling by her
fingernails from a cliff ledge.  Another posting, with alleged synopses of
the original 20 episodes, does not have either.  (It does describe two
episodes, 6 and 7, as ending with Pauline in peril, although the major
crisis of those episodes has been resolved.)

The issue is compounded by the loss of the original negative and all
35 mm prints.


At 2/8/2014 02:57 PM, Christopher Philippo wrote:
>On Feb 8, 2014, at 2:17 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> > Where might I find information (some movie email list?)
> documenting whether the 1914 "Perils of Pauline" film serial was or
> was not a
> > "cliff-hanger" -- that is, ended episodes with Pauline in peril,
> or resolved the peril before the end of the episode?
>Try http://www.serialsquadron.com/forums/ and
>http://www.nitrateville.com and
>Christopher K. Philippo
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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