August 26, 1990 |
Although Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz is regarded as the premier novelist of the Arab world, little of his work is known in the West. Originally published in 1965, this newly translated novel focuses on the moral failure of the Egypt intelligentsia after the overthrow of King Farouk. The central character, Omar al-Hamzawi, has lost all commitment to the ideals he espoused as a young man.
November 12, 1989 |
Conventional critical wisdom usually divides the works of Naguib Mahfouz into four more or less distinct phases. The first of these, the historical phase, borrows its designation from the subject matter (ancient Egyptian history) of the historical trilogy that Mahfouz published between 1938-1945. The second spans the period 1945-1957 and is often defined in terms of the dominant literary technique in which Mahfouz then wrote; namely, social realism. The realistic novels of this period established Mahfouz as a major novelist in the Arab world.
May 4, 1989
Egyptian Nobel literary laureate Naguib Mahfouz said Islamic extremists have vowed to kill him for blasphemy in a threat similar to that made by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie. "Police have offered me protection after Muslim extremists announced their intention to kill me," Mahfouz told reporters. "I refused because police protection could disturb my life and disrupt my day-to-day habits." Mahfouz, 77, sharply criticized Khomeini, Iran's leader, when he urged Muslims to kill Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses."
December 9, 1988 |
Naguib Mahfouz, the Nobel literature laureate, has pledged to give a quarter of his $390,000 prize to charity. Mahfouz, 76, said at a news conference Thursday that he would divide the cash equally between his wife, his two daughters and himself. He said his wife and daughters would bank their shares, and added: "As for me, God willing, I will donate it to charities."
November 27, 1988 |
Naguib Mahfouz, this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, is by far the best known and most prolific writer in the Arab world. He has been writing novels, short stories, plays and film scripts for more than 40 years now. To suggest the extent of his contribution to modern Arabic literature, it may suffice to remember that the novel was barely a fledgling genre in Arabic when Mahfouz began writing fiction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 1988
Hurray to the Nobel committee for finally recognizing Arab literature and for choosing Naguib Mahfouz for this year's prize. It's about time the West pays attention to the Arab literature. The committee could not have picked anyone better. KHADER KHALIL HASSAN Hemet
October 21, 1988
In the article by Garry Abrams, "Nobel for Arab a Reminder of a Wider Literary World" (Oct. 14), he mentions a number of bookshops that did not carry the works of this year's literature winner, Naguib Mahfouz. I use each year's Nobel winner as a new reading list, and each year make a search-and-destroy attack on the Los Angeles bookstores. When Wole Soyinka won I found most of his books at the Aquarian Bookshop; last year when Joseph Brodsky won I found two of his books at B. Dalton and Book Soup; this year, after an extensive search of L.A. bookstores I found two of Mahfouz's books at the Bodhi Tree, and a whole selection of them in Santa Monica at the Midnight Special Bookstore.
October 14, 1988 |
When the world's most prestigious literary prize went to an Egyptian Thursday, it lifted hopes that Arab literature--considered a vital social force in the Middle East--will gain a broader audience in the West. But it also served as a reminder that the Nobel Prize for Literature often goes to writers who for various reasons are unknown in America.