Naguib Mahfuz

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mahfuz, Naguib


Born Dec. 11, 1911, in Cairo. Arab Egyptian writer.

Mahfuz was the son of petit bourgeois parents. In 1934 he graduated from the department of literature of the University of Cairo. In 1938 he published his collection of short stories The Whisper of Madness, about the contrasts between wealth and poverty in bourgeois society. After the romantic historical novels The Game of Fates (1939), Radobis (1943), and Struggle of Thebes, (1944), he returned to social themes. In the realistic novel New Cairo (1945), which deals with the disintegration of a petit bourgeois family, Mahfuz showed the different paths chosen by Egyptian youth in the prewar years.

Mahfuz portrayed the life of different strata in Egyptian society during the period from the anti-British uprising of 1919 through the end of World War II, in the novels Khan al-Khalili (1946), The Alley of al-Midaqq (1947), and The Beginning and the End (1949). Especially well-known is his 1956-57 trilogy, consisting of novels named after neighborhoods in old Cairo: Bayna al-Qasrayn, Qasr al-Shouq (State Prize of the UAR, 1957), and Al-Sukkariyya, concerning the life of an Egyptian family during the first half of the 20th century.

In 1966, Mahfuz published the novels Small Talk on the Nile and Pension Miramar, reflecting events of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 and the problems that followed it. Mahfuz has also written the collections of short stories God’s Peace (1963), House of III Fame (1965), The Black Cat Tavern (1968), and Under the Canopy (1969). Many of Mahfuz’ works have been adapted for the screen and stage.


Awlad kharatina. Cairo, 1959.
Al-Tariq. Cairo, 1964.
Al-Shahhadh. Cairo, 1965.
In Russian translation:
Deti nashego kvartala. Moscow, 1959.
Vor i sobaki. Moscow, 1965.
Osennie perepela. Moscow, 1965.


Roshchin, Iu. E. Trilogiia egipetskogo pisatelia Nagiba Makhfuza “Bain al-Kasrainkak proizvedenie kriticheskogo realizma. Moscow, 1967.
Nad’, O. G. Problema geroia v romanakh Nagiba Makhfuza. Moscow, 1969.
Tashmukhamedova, G. A. Rannie sotsial’no-bytovye romany Nagiba Makhfuza. Tashkent, 1970.
Shukri Ghali. Dirasat fi adab Najib Mahfuz. Cairo, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But although the Arab world is home to internationally acclaimed writers such as Egypt's Naguib Mahfuz and Sudan's Al-Tayeb Salih, author of the 1966 hit "Season of Migration to the North," reading has lost popularity.
grounds that his writing violated Islamic law, and how Naguib Mahfuz was
Ajami attempts to convey this point by drawing on the life of national icon Naguib Mahfuz, a standard bearer of liberal and secular ideas who in October 1994 narrowly escaped an attempt on his life by a religious extremist.