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Naguib Mahfouz is today perhaps the most distinguished novelist in the Arab world, the result of winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1988. His output includes more than thirty novels, along with a number of short story anthologies and plays (Lalami 2006, p.1)…
Considerable recognition will also be given to his contribution to the world of literature through his many successful works which will certainly never fade away even though he has passed.
The story of Naguib Mahfouz is similar to the story of modern Egypt itself (Lalami 2006, p.1). Born in 1911 in the Gamaliya district of Cairo, Mahfouz observed the very last days of British colonial rule and Ottoman influence, the nationalist struggle of Saad Zaghloul, the supremacy of King Fuad and King Farouq, the military revolution of 1952, the establishment of the republic, Gamal Abdel Nasser's takeover in 1954, the Suez Canal disaster, the rule of Anwar al-Sadat, the Camp David accords of 1978 and finally the brutal dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak together with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (Lalami 2006, p.1). A devoted reader, Mahfouz had a lifelong infatuation for the history of ancient Egypt, predominantly its pharaohs: Akhenaten, who rejected pantheism in favor of monotheism; Menenre II, who ruled briefly at the end of the sixth dynasty; Khufu, who built the great pyramid at Giza and Nefertiti, Akhenaten's wife and mother-in-law to Tutankhamen (Breasted 1912, p.56).
Mahfouz published his earliest novel in 1939 (The Games of Fate), and since then has written thirty-two novels and thirteen collections of short stories (Allen 1982, p.17). ...
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