Three Novels of Ancient Egypt Khufu’s Wisdom, Rhadopis of Nubia, Thebes at War

Hardcover $26.95

Mar 27, 2007 | 648 Pages

Ebook $14.99

Nov 26, 2008 | 648 Pages

  • Hardcover $26.95

    Mar 27, 2007 | 648 Pages

  • Ebook $14.99

    Nov 26, 2008 | 648 Pages

Praise

“Mahfouz’s characters blaze with intensity, his Egypt pulsates with unresolved tensions.”
—THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION

“Mahfouz’s understanding of human psychology and history is profound.”
—THE BOSTON GLOBE

“He is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, a Mann, a Zola, and a Jules Romains.”
—Edward Said, LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Mahfouz is the single most important writer in modern Arabic literature.”
—NEWSDAY

“A storyteller of the first order in any idiom.”
—VANITY FAIR

“Through works rich in nuance—now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous—Mahfouz has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.”
—The Swedish Academy, upon awarding Mahfouz the Nobel Prize in Literature

Author Essay

INTRODUCTION
by Nadine Gordimer

‘What matters in the historical novel is not the telling of great historical events, but the poet’s awakening of people who figure in those events. What matters is that we should re-experience the social and human motives which led men to think, feel and act just as they did in historical realities.’*

Naguib Mahfouz adds another dimension to what matters. Reading back through his work written over seventy-six years and coming to this trilogy of earliest published novels brings the relevance of re-experience of Pharaonic times to our own. The historical novel is not a mummy brought to light; in Mahfouz’s hands it is alive in ourselves, our twentieth and twentyfirst centuries, in the complex motivations with which we tackle the undreamt-of transformation of means and accompanying aleatory forces let loose upon us. Although these three fictions were written before the Second World War, before the atom bomb, there is a prescience–in the characters, not authorial statement–of what was to come. A prescience that the writer was going to explore in relation to the historical periods he himself would live through, in the forty novels which followed.

*Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel, trans. Hannah and Stanley Mitchell, Merlin Press, 1962.

Product Details

Also by Naguib Mahfouz

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