An intellectual seminar on the role of Naguib Mahfouz in the founding of the Arabic novel


The Culture Committee organized at the Culture and Science Symposium, in cooperation with Al-Muntada Salon, an intellectual symposium entitled “Did the Arabic Novel Out of Naguib Mahfouz’s Coat?” With the participation of a group of writers and critic Ali Abu Al-Rish, Ihab Al-Mallah, and Dr. Khairy Doma, Muhammad Shaer, Reem Al-Kamali, Lotfi Chebbi and Zina Al-Shami, and a remarkable presence of intellectuals and interested people.

The symposium was moderated by writer Aisha Sultan, noting that the majority of the Arab cultural community commemorates the death of the writer Naguib Mahfouz during this period, who left a literary legacy that will remain readable, studied, criticized, and many questions and proposals, as a school of the Arabic novel.

Zeina Al-Shami sheds light on the biography of Naguib Mahfouz, the Arab novelist, the most famous Arab novelist, born in December 1911, and died on August 30, 2006. He studied philosophy and abandoned it in favor of literature and devoted his life to novel and story. He is the only Arab writer to win a Nobel Prize.

She emphasized that one of the features of the genius of Naguib Mahfouz is that his novels are read by everyone and everyone finds in them what he seeks. The simple person sees in them his neighborhood and himself, and the philosopher sees in them living ideas.

Dr. mentioned. Khairy Doma, the Egyptian critic, says that Naguib Mahfouz is considered the largest Arab writer on whom various forms of criticism have been written. Jaber Asfour that there are a large number of books and articles on Naguib Mahfouz, as well as a bibliography of Dr. Muhammad Fathi Abdel-Hadi on Naguib Mahfouz and what was written about him.

important sign

Doma confirmed that there are those who wrote in protest against Naguib Mahfouz, but he represents an important sign that covers a large area of ​​modern Arab thought. Naguib Mahfouz is a phenomenon of his imprint and critical interest in his work is a natural matter, and to distinguish his experience with perseverance and continuity.

He added that what distinguished Naguib Mahfouz’s entire project from others was that it was based on a basic philosophical idea that could not have been captured or expressed except by building the art of the novel. Mahfouz wanted to write the history of his country, the history of man, and the history of the universe, an idea that can only be realized by the logic of the art of the novel.

The critic Ihab Al-Mallah confirmed that we are facing about three waves of generations (in terms of age), the most recent of which he did not see or watch Mahfouz, but it is strange that Mahfouz is; His literature, biography, and the value of what he gave to the homeland and humanity is one of the concerns of this generation and its literary and knowledge aspirations. Shakespeare, the great icon of England.

Al-Mallah added, despite the deliberate absence and neglect, despite campaigns of distortion and lies, and the official fatal failure to care for its greatest literary symbol in modern and contemporary history, Mahfouz is still “alive”, “remaining”, “present”, accepting to read his creations by new generations and rediscovering it in Egypt And the Arab world tens of thousands.

Al-Mallah confirmed that when Mahfouz appeared on the literary scene in the forties of the last century, it was as if he was holding a Moses stick that ate what came before it. Not by the logic of exclusion, nor destruction, nor concealment. Start. But reading his works meant a radical change in the literary and aesthetic taste of the readers of this literature.

There is a consensus among segments, sectors and individuals of varying degrees of education, culture, awareness and age that reading Naguib Mahfouz has changed everything, and brought about what some call a shift in the hierarchy of their aesthetic awareness.

Critic Muhammad Badawi, who is one of the most close critics of Naguib Mahfouz’s world, says that the author of the triptych for him is “the shaper of identity from a pluralistic democratic perspective, who made his own calendar, and no one wrote like him.”

The Egyptian writer Ahmed Abdel Meguid confirmed that Naguib Mahfouz represents him and many of his generation a phenomenon and a model to follow, especially since he was the subject of controversy and criticism and most of what was written about him did not delve into the depths of what Naguib Mahfouz wrote, so Najib did not address the Egyptian neighborhood as some think, but it was It explains society and addresses social stages and sheds light on real societal problems and issues, especially since it came after many attempts to write the novel by Al-Akkad, Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Al-Rafei, Al-Mazini, Taha Hussein and others. Ahmed Bakathir, however, Naguib Mahfouz made a huge construction of the Arabic novel until today.

top of the creative pyramid

The writer Ali Abu Al-Rish mentioned that Egypt was the birth of Al-Akkad, Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Yahya Haqqi, Taha Hussein and others. However, Naguib Mahfouz reached the top of the creative pyramid in the Arab novel. The novel came from the core of myth, and the myth is the product of philosophy.

He added that if the novel came out of the core of myth, then the purpose of the myth is not to present an objective picture of the world as it is, but rather to express man’s understanding of himself in the world in which we live, and the human imagination is the first rule from which the myth industry turns into a story. or a novel.

And because the simple person’s need for the story is more than anyone else, Naguib Mahfouz was able, with sharp awareness, to approach this person and achieve its spread in the Egyptian and Arab conscience, and then the human being who won him the Nobel Prize.

Naguib Mahfouz is unique in his narratives because he is a priest in the temple of the novel. We answer is the recitation and hymns that we mention every day and every hour.

The journalist and writer Muhammad Shoair said that Naguib Mahfouz, in his early days, did not decide his position in philosophy or the novel, and he remained scattered between them, until 1934.

The Tunisian writer Lotfi Chebbi mentioned that Naguib Mahfouz is an important Arab stature and that Naguib Mahfouz’s literature is still taught within the Tunisian curricula despite the curricula having changed several times.

Writer and media person, Reem Al-Kamali, stated that the majority of readers and writers went through Naguib Mahfouz’s creative experience, and many were affected by it, and that they were affected by his narrative method and his simple and smooth creation of reality and personality, but behind him was a deep philosophical vision, and magic in the narration.

Dr. confirmed. Maryam Al-Hashemi said that the realism of Naguib Mahfouz’s works, in which we find intertwining, mixing, belonging, different ways of expression, and symbolism that respond to reality affected by the effects of sharp modern societies.

The attendees discussed the importance of including the Arabic school curricula for some Arabic literary works, especially for the prominent ones such as Naguib and Mahfouz and other writers whose experiences and narratives are an intellectual beacon for the younger generations and help them implement thought, development and the ability to research.



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