Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos
Not so long ago, I read this question: What invention do you need the most right now? My answer came right away: A flying carpet!
And this is because ever since I have a memory, I’ve always recalled all those stories about flying carpets that were described in the One thousand and one nights book.
Ever since, as well, I’ve also frequently asked myself why an actual flying carpet hasn’t been invented yet?
I don’t quite have an answer yet, but my hopes are still high that one of these days there will be a real magic carpet. Until that day comes, I won’t get tired of searching for stories that talk about this charismatic object.
So far I’ve found that apart from the One thousand and one nights, some Russian stories talk about magic carpets, however the best reference I’ve found about this objects come not from the books, but from some XIX century paintings by the Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov, who depicted several images of people riding magic carpets.
The next reference I’ve found in books about these flying carpets come from a novel published in 1991, called King Solomon’s carpet, by Barbara Vine. The story describes a social drama in which the lives of the characters move around the London tube, which works as a metaphor of the carpet.
There are also two books under the title The flying carpet. The first one, was written in the middle of the previous century by the Russian author Lasar Lagin, and took the original title of the Old Khottabych. It tells the story of a boy who finds a genie in a vessel.
The second one, is a story by the American traveler and writer Richard Halliburton. In this case, the book is about Halliburton’s experiences while traveling around the world on his bi-plane.
In all cases, even though the magic carpet take different shapes or its spirit is incarnated in different objects, the authors keep the magical essense of the flying carpet that is able to transport people beyond the boundaries of the real world.