Friday, September 01, 2006

Naguib Mahfouz Dies

Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfouz passed away on August 30th, aged 94, following a fall. The Egyptian author was exceptionally prolific wrote and wrote 40 novels and short story collections, as well as screenplays and plays. He was the first writer from the Arab world to win the Nobel, and it propelled him to international fame in 1988, although many of his works are still banned in many Middle Eastern countries.

The Guardian pays tribute to the man here and here, and John Ezard remembers:
a modest man with a ready smile and that sense of humour for which Egyptians are famous
Postscript:

I liked Greenbottle's post about discovering Mahfouz.

A feature about Mahfouz from the New York Times.

10 comments:

sympozium said...

I think I saw Andre Brink walking from Concorde Hotel to KLCC at 8.30 this morning!

Greenbottle said...

ooo sharon..same blog posting...strange sometimes people think alike ...recently noticed that moorishgirl blog has a post on bush reading camus and my recent posting was on the same topic too...i first read Mr Mahfouz children of gebelawi and began to detest him for it but then i turned 180 degrees and began to respect him ...in case you're wondering how that came about, you can read my latest blog entry...

bibliobibuli said...

i was so excited i called the concorde but he is not staying there
(wanted a scoop of an interview)

bibliobibuli said...

i will go vist, greenbottle
i'm ashamed to say that i haven't read mafouz yet but have a couple of his books

Ted Mahsun said...

Only the other day I read he wasn't doing so well in hospital, and I hoped he'd make it out okay... I promised myself I'd read the only copy of his book I have (Respected Sir, Wedding Song, The Search) before he passes on... but alas, it was not to be :(

sympozium said...

Oh, I didn't think of that - calling Concorde. But not sure if he's staying there because he was on the road walking to KLCC when I saw him (or someone who looks incredibly like him!). I really liked his books at first but then they became very repetitive and as one of my friends in SA said, he's never matured (as compared to Coetzee) and is still female-genitalia obssessed. This I can attest to, after having read Before I Forget. He runs a creative writing program at Uni of Cape Town but there have been complaints about him, which I won't go into here...

Argus Lou said...

Naguib Mahfouz, life completed! Death is a part of life, a gift from the Almighty/cosmos. A reason for celebration.

His Palace Walk and Sugar Street opened my eyes to life in old Egypt (well, not so old, but anything that went on before I was born seems a bit old). He described the decadent lives of rich men who jealously kept their women at home away from the eyes of the public. The details were riveting.

wjfljql said...

i've been very stubborn in reading mahfouz. went through 4 novels already. but i still don't 'get' him.

wjfljql said...

wait, except for 'echoes of an autobiography.' but that might not be a typical mahfouz work, i think.

bibliobibuli said...

sympozium - wonder what brings brinke to town? ear to the ground, haven't heard anything, so it must be personal

(aren't we just the gossipiest!)

if you see him again tap him on the shoulder and say sharon wants to talk to you

(but then again i haven't read him either *blush* so maybe you should interview him)

argus lou - i fancy beginning with that trilogy

ted - i guess his death will make a lot of people start to read him

burhan - you're doing better than me! maybe greenbottle is the guy to talk to ...