Author: Naguib Mahfouz
Original language: Arabic
Naguib Mahfouz is Egypt’s most famous novelist and his leading role in Arabic literature remains assured. He is now the author of no fewer than thirty novels and more than a hundred short stories; in Egypt each new publication is regarded as a major cultural event and his name is inevitably among the first mentioned in any literary discussion from Gibraltar to the Gulf. If only because of his impact on the Arab world, Mahfouz must be considered an author of international importance.
“This is a psychological novel, impressionist rather than realist; it moves with the speed and economy of a detective story. Here Mahfouz uses the “stream of consciousness” technique for the first time to show the mental anguish of the central figure consumed by bitterness and a desire for revenge against the individuals and the society who have corrupted and betrayed him and brought about his inevitable damnation. It is a masterly work, swiftly giving the reader a keenly accurate vision of the workings of a sick and embittered mind doomed to self-destruction.”
From the Introduction by Trevor Le Gassick