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 famous egyptians(part3)

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عدد الرسائل : 114
العمر : 25
رقم العضوية : 45
تاريخ التسجيل : 26/01/2009

مُساهمةموضوع: famous egyptians(part3)   الثلاثاء فبراير 17, 2009 6:34 pm

Views, Writing Style and Themes
Most of Mahfouz's early works were set in el-Gamaleyya. Abath Al-Aqdar (Mockery of the Fates) (1939), Radubis (1943), and Kifah Tibah (The Struggle of Tyba) (1944), were historical novels, written as part of a larger unfulfilled project of 30 novels. Inspired by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Mahfouz planned to cover the whole history of Egypt in a series of books. However, following the third volume, Mahfouz shifted his interest to the present, the psychological impact of the social change on ordinary people.

Mahfouz's central work in the 1950s was the Cairo Trilogy, an immense monumental work of 1,500 pages, which the author completed before the July Revolution. The novels were titled with the street names Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Street. Mahfouz set the story in the parts of Cairo where he grew up. They depict the life of the patriarch el-Sayyed Ahmed Abdel Gawad and his family over three generations in Cairo from World War I to the 1950s, when King Farouk I was overthrown. With its rich variety of characters and psychological understanding, the work connected Mahfouz to such authors as Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, and Galsworthy. Mahfouz ceased to write for some years after finishing the trilogy. Disappointed in the Nasser régime, which had overthrown the monarchy in 1952, he started publishing again in 1959, now prolifically pouring out novels, short stories, journalism, memoirs, essays, and screenplays.

Chitchat on the Nile (1966) is one of his most popular novels. It was later made into a film featuring a cast of top actors during the time of president Anwar al-Sadat. The film/story criticizes the decadence of Egyptian society during the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was banned by Sadat to prevent provocation of Egyptians who still loved former president Nasser. Copies were hard to find prior to the late 1990s. Mahfouz's prose is characterised by the blunt expression of his ideas. He has written works covering a broad range of topics, including socialism, homosexuality, and God. Writing about some of the subjects was prohibited in Egypt.

The Children of Gebelawi (1959) [also known as "Children of our Alley"] one of Mahfouz's best known works, has been banned in Egypt for alleged blasphemy over its allegorical portrayal of God and the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It portrayed the patriarch Gebelaawi and his children, average Egyptians living the lives of Cain and Abel, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. Gebelaawi has built a mansion in an oasis in the middle of a barren desert; his estate becomes the scene of a family feud which continues for generations. "Whenever someone is depressed, suffering or humiliated, he points to the mansion at the top of the alley at the end opening out to the desert, and says sadly, 'That is our ancestor's house, we are all his children, and we have a right to his property. Why are we starving? What have we done?'" The book was banned throughout the Arab world, except in the Lebanon. In the 1960s, Mahfouz further developed its theme that humanity is moving further away from God in his existentialist novels. In The Thief and the Dogs (1961) he depicted the fate of a Marxist thief, who has been released from prison and plans revenge.

In the 1960s and 1970s Mahfouz began to construct his novels more freely and to use interior monologues. In Miramar (1967) he developed a form of multiple first-person narration. Four narrators, among them a Socialist and a Nasserite opportunist, represent different political views. In the center of the story is an attractive servant girl. In Arabian Nights and Days (1981) and in The Journey of Ibn Fatouma (1983) Mahfouz drew on traditional Arabic narratives as subtexts. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth (1985) is about conflict between old and new religious truths, a theme with which Mika Waltari dealt in Finland in his historical novel Sinuhe (1945, trans. The Egyptian).

Many of his novels were first published in serialized form, including Children of Gebelawi and Midaq Alley which was adapted into a Mexican film starring Salma Hayek (El callejón de los milagros).

Mahfouz described the development of his country in the 20th-century. He combined intellectual and cultural influences from East and West - his own exposure to the literarature of non-Egyptian culture began in his youth with the enthusiastic consumption of Western detective stories, Russian classics, and such modernist writers as Proust, Kafka and Joyce. Mahfouz's stories, written in the florid classical Arabic, are almost always set in the heavily populated urban quarters of Cairo, where his characters, mostly ordinary people, try cope with the modernization of society and the temptations of Western values.

Most of Mahfouz's writings mainly dealt with politics, a fact which he himself once emphasized: "In all my writings, you will find politics. You may find a story which ignores love or any other subect, but not politics; it is the very axis of our thinking".[7] He greatly espoused Egyptian nationalism in many of his works, and expressed sympathies for the post-World war era Wafd Party. He was also attracted to socialist and democratic ideals early on in his youth. The influence of Socialist ideals is strongly reflected in his first two novels, Al-Khalili and New Cairo, and also in many of his latter works. However, in spite of his firm belief in socialism, Mahfouz was never a Marxist in any sense of the word.

Parallel to his sympathy for socialism and democracy was his antipathy towards Islamic extremism as expressed by the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt. He strongly criticized Radical Islam in his works and contrasted between the merits of Socialism and the demerits of Islamic Extremism in his first two novels. He perceived Islamism as critically delineated and rejected it as unsuitable for all times. In his memoirs, he stated that out of all the forces active in Egyptian politics during his youth, he always despised the Muslim brotherhood.

Mahfouz had personally known Sayyid Qutb in his youth, then showing a greater interest in literary criticism than in Islamic fundamentalism; Qutb later became a significant influence on the Muslim brotherhood. In fact, Qutb was one of the first critics to recognize Mahfouz's talent in the mid-1940s. Mahfouz even visited Qutb when the later was in the hospital, during the 60s, near the end of his life. In his semi-autobiographical novel, Mirrors, he drew a very negative portrait of Sayyid Qutb.

He was greatly disillusioned with the 1952 revolution and by Egypt's humiliating defeat in the 1967 Six day war. He opposed the 1957 revolution not because of its principles, but because he felt that the practises failed to live up to its principles
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famous egyptians(part3)
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