Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Naguib Mahfouz Dies

Naguib Mahfouz has died:
"Naguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian playwright and screenwriter who won the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature and was widely regarded as the Arab world’s foremost novelist, died today, Reuters and The Associated Press reported. He was 94.

"Mr. Mahfouz had been hospitalized and in declining health since suffering a head injury in a fall at his home in July, the agencies reported, citing Dr. Hossam Mowafi, who supervised Mr. Mahfouz’s treatment and who announced his death...

"While Arabic has a rich tradition in poetry, the novel was not a strong art form in that language until Mr. Mahfouz made it accessible. For English-language translators and readers, Arabic presents special difficulties: the dialogue sounds overwrought, the descriptions stilted. As Brad Kessler wrote in a 1990 article for The New York Times Magazine: 'Mahfouz writes in the florid classical Arabic, which is roughly the equivalent of Shakespearean English.'"


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