Sunday, December 25, 2005

Arabic Nobel

It was really nice to find some (a pretty limited number) Arabic books in Tompkins County Public Library. Yesterday I have finished a novel I borrowed for the Egyptian Nobel laureat Naguib Mahfouz, one of the greatest novelists of all times and languages. As with most Mahfouz work I have read, the novel has two levels: the story and all its events, extremely realist, and parallely the philosophical insights behind the story as a whole and behind various apparantly "innocent" phrases throughout the book. If you don't read Arabic, try one of Mahfouz translated novels, and let me know what you find in and out of the experience.

8 comments:

Brenda said...

This is funny. I spent all weekend reading "The Cairo Trilogy" (I'm on The Palace Walk now) and then I saw you commented on my blog, came here, and saw you were also reading Naguib Mafouz :) Thanks for your comment :)

Brenda said...

Oh I just realized you wrote this post back in December :)

Mohamed Shedou محمد شدو said...

Thanks for stopping by Brenda :)

I am glad you are reading Naguib Mahfouz, how do you find the Cairo Trilogy? and How is the English translation?

Brenda said...

I'm really enjoying the book. I think the English translation is very well-done. I recently also read "The Yacoubian Building" and in that one, I felt the English translation was not so great--kind of choppy.

Mohamed Shedou محمد شدو said...

Wow, nice to know that you are into Egyptian literature. I'd love to know what brought these Egyptian works to your knowledge and then to your hands? :)

Brenda said...

I applied for a grant to study in Egypt. So I guess my interest has never changed, really. I'm interested in poetry too--any suggestions on Egyptian poets to read? :)

Mohamed Shedou محمد شدو said...

Well, I am not really into poetry.
But I suggest you find something for Tawfiq al-Hakim, if you haven't already. Many believed that he deserved Nobel, even Naguib Mahfouz said so when he got his Nobel prize. Another intellectual giant is Abbas Mahmoud el-Akkad, but I don't know if you'll find translations for him. :)

brenda said...

Hey thanks Mohamed :) I will see what I can find. BTW--I like the updated photo. Much clearer :)