Sunday, October 28, 2007

Travel: Discovering Cairo through the eyes of Naguib Mahfouz

The Hindu - Magazine (Sadhana Rao)

An article that describes a trip to Cairo, looking at it through the eyes of the novelist Naguib Mahfouz:

Through his prose, Naguib Mahfouz (a confirmed Cairo loyalist) has given us a myriorama of his homeland. He opened anecdotal windows and gave a compelling narrative of Egypt and particularly Cairo’s timeline. Tiptoeing tentatively on the litera ry trail Mahfouz’s novels soon gained strong footholds because of the resonance of his tales (the attentive spotlight shone on him once he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1988).

Years before he won literary accolades, Mahfouz, with simple lucidity articulated his thoughts on his writerly life: “Fiction is an art for the industrial age. It represents a synthesis of man’s passion for fact and his age old love affair with imagination”. Straddling the realms of fact and imagination, Mahfouz wrote about his city Cairo with the insight of a family retainer who is aware of all the deep secrets. Yet he laced and spiked his treatise with the detachment of a factual observer. His narrative at times thus reads like an atmospheric travelogue.

See the above page for the full story.

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