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Mendiant (le): LA BIBLIOTHEQUE ARABE, COLLECTION LITTERATURES CONTEMPORAINES (Sindbad) (French Edition) (vuoden 1999 painos)

Tekijä: Naguib Mahfouz (Tekijä), Mohamed Chairet (Kääntäjä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1587166,815 (3.5)8
A complex tale of alienation and despair. Unable  to achieve psychological renewal in the aftermath  of Nasser's revolution, a man sacrifices his work  and family to a series of illicit love affairs  that intensify his feelings of estrangement. A  passionate outcry against irrelevance.
Kirjailijat:Naguib Mahfouz (Tekijä)
Muut tekijät:Mohamed Chairet (Kääntäjä)
Info:ACTES SUD (1999), 160 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):


The Beggar (tekijä: Naguib Mahfouz)


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» Katso myös 8 mainintaa

englanti (4)  katalaani (2)  ranska (1)  Kaikki kielet (7)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Guía de lectura
  sllorens | Dec 1, 2021 |
hi ha guia lectura separata
  sllorens | Nov 30, 2021 |
The Beggar has revealed itself to be a necessary book for me. Especially for the week I just experienced. There was much more doubt and despair on tap than any ennui. The protagonist of this novella suffers from an “illness “. He no longer finds anything to have meaning, nothing elicits feeling. He is a wealthy Cairo attorney and he is simply indifferent. There is a jagged stream of consciousness throughout this disturbing narrative. The protagonist’s condition is a stand-in for the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. The perceived failure of its utopian promise.

Much of the novel occurs from sunset until dawn, the clamor of a smoky, lurid nocturnal reality becomes a welcome refuge for our addled barrister. He abandons most of his respectable trappings and yet he clings to his eldest daughter: herself a poet.

The narrative takes a turn when a close friend is released from prison, a revolutionary who never betrayed the protagonist despite torture and 25 years of confinement.

The pacing of The Beggar is astonishing as are the images. A whiff of orange blossoms here and an odd query there: do you believe in god? One aspirant for his devotion tells him I speak from the heart. His curt reply: the heart is only a pump.

I loved this work and find myself hungering for more Mahfouz. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Mental health issues in 1960s Egypt.

So, my initial thoughts prior to the discussion in two days time:
This book is about a guy who is having some sort of a break-down. If it happened in this day and age he would be considering going to a shrink rather than a GP, he certainly had the money to do so.
Apparently there are a lot of political allegories and this is what I hope will be clarified at the book group as I don't know a lot about Egyptian politics at the time.
I really felt for his friend Othoman who has been in jail for 20 years and is horrified to see how complacent his friends have become while he was away. I also felt for his wife, Zeinab, who had been rejected by her Christian family when she decided to marry a Muslim.....and his daughter.....in fact everyone except Omar, the protagonist. He needed help, true, but he just couldn't appreciate the destruction he was leaving in his wake.

Edit: (8th Jan) - I just found a review in Amazon US by 'Gio', who proposes that "Omar.... is a stand-in for the author in asking those questions: what is worthwhile? does God exist? if so, what is He? what do I do now, having done nothing of worth so far? what would it be like to be truly happy? why do I care so much about happiness?"
This makes a lot of sense to me, so many books are in some way semi-autobiographical, why shouldn't Naguib Mahfouz do the same thing?

Book group discussion tomorrow.....
Well, firstly, I didn't get much clarification regarding the political allusions. There was suggestion that his friends represented aspects of Egyptian life - Mustafa as the reasonably contented TV journalist, Othoman as the zealous objector, Omar himself as the dissatisfied well-to-do lawyer who would have preferred to follow his artistic talents.
Secondly, for such a thin volume there seemed to be an awful lot of differing opinions about the book.

*possible spoilers ahead*
Omar in his desperation turns to promiscuity but his improvement is short-lived. Then he feels brief happiness in a startling sunrise; finally he abandons his old life completely to live a hermit-style existence.

A rather strange novel that definitely benefited from being able to discuss it with others. ( )
  DubaiReader | Jan 21, 2017 |
I have not read enough of French literature to say for sure, but I suspect that the over-brooding, angst-ridden, search-for-meaning (or identity) novel has its roots in French literature. Mahfouz wrote his novel in Arabic, but his literary influences were largely French ones.

Omar, a successful, wealthy, well-respected lawyer in Cairo, has reached a psychological crisis point in his middle-age. His despair and search for meaning turns him from his work, his family and eventually his friends. Once a young idealist in the 1930s trying to bring about socialist change, he now seems to fear irrelevancy more than anything ("irrelevancy" is the word used in the foreward). Of his other friends from his youth, one is a successful journalist and the other has spent almost 20 years in prison (they drew lots as to who would carry the bomb that day).

There is a fair amount of philosophy (Mahfouz is fond of philosophy) in Omar's conversations with his friends and in his questioning thoughts - bits about art, science, religion, the meaning of life...etc. In his prose, Mahfouz moves oddly about, and one has to stay sharp. I'm sure Omar's midlife crisis is also meant to be an allegory for Egypt's midlife crisis also.

But my emotional reaction to this book is to earnestly wish that Omar would get his head out of his posterior and get on with it. I found the whole crisis thing to be incredibly selfish, self-indulgent, and narcissistic (is that redundant?) - while he's out racing his car and banging whores and contemplating the meaning of life, he has left his children fatherless and his wife unexpectedly pregnant and alone. Did Mahfouz intend this reaction in his readers, I think not and I do not think women in general were his intended audience.

Still, I enjoyed Midaq Alley though was tepid about The Day the Leader was Killed, but this will not put me off The Cairo Trilogy when I get around to it.

First posted 3/2012 elsewhere on LT
  avaland | Dec 7, 2012 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (9 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Naguib Mahfouzensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Chairet, MohamedKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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A complex tale of alienation and despair. Unable  to achieve psychological renewal in the aftermath  of Nasser's revolution, a man sacrifices his work  and family to a series of illicit love affairs  that intensify his feelings of estrangement. A  passionate outcry against irrelevance.

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