Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Man In The City

This statue to Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz stands in Midan Sphinx in Mohendessin. He seems to be walking down the road against the skyline in his characteristic glasses carrying his cane. I first met Mahfouz (only in print unfortunately) on my first trip to Egypt when I found a copy of Midaq Alley in a hotel bookshop and was utterly blown away by the man's writing skill. Every trip after that one included searches in the (then scarce) bookshops to find his work in English so that I could take them back to Canada where I would press them on unsuspecting friends saying, "You HAVE to read this man. He is one of the finest writers I've ever read." When he got his Nobel Prize in the 80's I wrote to my friends in Canada on postcards with just one word: "See!!!" One of my most prized possessions is an autographed set of the Palace Walk trilogy.


Susan said...

The trilogy is one of my all-time just paints this picture of a Cairo I've never seen...fantastic.

Stefan Jansson said...

Impressive statue. I remember when he won the Nobel prize, unfortunately I still haven't read any of his books.

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

Hello: click on my name and see my comments about "Miramar" and let me know if you agree. I was just in Cairo and will be back again in November, (insha'Allah).

Anonymous said...

I hope to read him in English, to see how it feels like. Seems his writings arent as Egyptian as I interpret them as an Egyptian myself.

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