Mikhail Nuayma

Nuayma, Mikhail


Born Oct. 17 or Nov. 22, 1889, in Biskinta. Lebanese Arab writer and critic.

Nuayma received his education at a teachers’ institute in Nazareth and at the Poltava Theological Seminary (1906–11). In 1916 he graduated from the law school at Washington State University. He belonged to a branch of the Pen Association (New York), which had been established by Arab emigrants in 1920. Since 1932 he has lived in Lebanon. Of greatest interest are his drama Fathers and Sons (1918), the collection of articles The Sieve (1929), a monograph on G. K. Gibran (1934), and the collection of short stories Once Upon a Time (1937). Among his most recent works is the autobiographical trilogy Seventy Years Old (1960). Nuayma is well acquainted with Russian literature.


In Russian translation:
“Ee pervyi god.” In Rasskazy pisatelei Vostoka. Leningrad, 1958.
“Besplodnaia.” In Rasskazy pisatelei Livana. Moscow, 1958.
“Silach” and “Almaznaia svad’ba.” In Sovremennaia arabskaia novella. Moscow, 1963.


Krachkovskii, I. Iu. “Avtobiografiia Mikhaila Nu’aime.” Izbr. soch., vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Mulahhas Surayya. Mikha’il Nu’aymah. Beirut, 1964.
Naimy, N. N. Mikhail Naimy: An Introduction. Beirut, 1967. (Dissertation.)


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For example, from the standpoint of Western influences on developments in modern Arab narrative, he is able to argue convincingly the importance of the often neglected influence of Russian literature on early writers from Ottoman Syria, like Mikhail Nuayma and Abd al-Masih Haddad - who in turn had an impact on later Egyptian authors - alongside the much better documented French influence so prevalent in Egypt as well as Syria beginning in the mid-nineteenth century.

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