The Roc’s egg as vanishing mediator in Aladdin and the Magic Lamp from text to film

British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 50 (2022)
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In this paper, I trace the absent narrative of the Roc’s Egg in Aladdin and the Magic Lamp to the film adaptation. Disney, in particular, omits the narrative and by omitting, changes the inner logic of the text. The 1992 animated film and the 2019 live adaptation introduce a power relationship that shifts from the text’s structural power into agential power through its genre ideology of Americanisation. In this shift, there is a vanishing element that allows the change and that is the Roc’s egg whose meaning is power limitation. I argue that the roc’s egg in the text functions, in Jameson and Žižek’s lens, as a vanishing mediator that though is absent in the films still finds its meaning subsumed in them. In this way, the crux of the argument is to diagnose such Americanisation through limitation.



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Jan Gresil Kahambing
University of Macau

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