Naguib Mahfouz

Literary Birthday – 11 December – Naguib Mahfouz


Naguib Mahfouz was born 11 December 1911 and died 30 August 2006

Naguib Mahfouz Quotes

  1. Home is not where you were born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease.
  2. You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
  3. It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a sceptical mind.
  4. Literature should be more revolutionary than revolutions themselves; writers must find the means to continue to be critical of the negative elements in the sociopolitical reality.
  5. Excessive concern with religion seems to me a last resort for people who have been exhausted by life.
  6. There are no heroes in most of my stories. I look at our society with a critical eye and find nothing extraordinary in the people I see.
  7. Without literature my life would be miserable.
  8. The writer interweaves a story with his own doubts, questions, and values. That is art.
  9. An allegory is not meant to be taken literally. There is a great lack of comprehension on the part of some readers.
  10. Writing is for men who can think and feel, not mindless sensation seekers out of nightclubs and bars. But these are bad times. We are condemned to work with upstarts, clowns who no doubt got their training in a circus and then turned to journalism as the appropriate place to display their tricks.
  11. If the urge to write should ever leave me, I want that day to be my last.
  12. Art is a criticism of society and life, and I believe that if life became perfect, art would be meaningless and cease to exist.

Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer. He was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature – the first Arabic author to receive the prize. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature. He published 34 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays. He is the author of The Cairo Trilogy.

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 by Amanda Patterson

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