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The novel “The Thief and the Dogs” is considered a new and different stage in Naguib Mahfouz’s fictional and fictional art. The first phase – as we have already mentioned – is the stage of historical novels, which is specifically the Pharaonic novels, and we referred in this matter until Naguib Mahfouz did not intend to write Historical novels, that is, they adhere to the Pharaonic history, but he used to write novels whose events take place in the Pharaonic era, and these events may be valid in any era, and therefore we do not hold him accountable as history, or in other words that Naguib Mahfouz is not a historian and he does not talk to us about the special But about the year and this is the law of art. Indeed, we can say that it approached in this period what Georgy Zidan used to write in his novels about the history of Islam, and what was written by Farid Abu Hadid and Saeed Al-Erian, and these two in their production were the predominant art of history, and we can add To them on Ahmed Bakathir.
Naguib Mahfouz continued to stop creativity after his novel “Al Sukkariyya”, and no one knew the reason for that, and he did not disclose the reason. Rather, he said many times that even he did not know the reason for this stopping until his death. Naguib Mahfouz stated that he used that time to read. And that he read Marcel Proust’s famous novel “In Search of Lost Time”, and of course he read the works of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and William Falkes, and I do not think that he read Dorothy Richardson’s novel “The Pilgrimage”, as it used to take twelve volumes, but it was not famous for Marcel Proust’s novel. Although Naguib Mahfouz, according to the realist doctrine that he espoused, was good at writing huge novels and part novels, but he decided to write a medium-sized novel, and that if the queen of creativity returned to him, as is the size of the novels written by Virginia Woolf and William Volks, especially as he will He writes a kind of novel, like the novels he read to during that period of his creative stoppage, which are of the type of “stream of consciousness.”
A criminal had appeared in Alexandria at that time, which people called the “thug”, and this man was called Mahmoud Suleiman, and it is said that this serial killer killed two innocent people by mistake, and on his way to kill those who had sinned against him and put him in prison after they had conspired against him.
Naguib Mahfouz decided to write about that incident that occupied people, as if he had found his way back into the field of creativity, and he preferred that this novel be technically different from his previous novels, and he decided that this novel should be attached to the development that has followed the novel since the early twentieth century.
From what happened we can realize why Naguib Mahfouz stopped writing for the five years, or perhaps the six, after his novel “Al Sukkariyya” which he published in 1957, meaning that the cessation began almost since the coup d’etat of those who called themselves the Free Officers took place on July 23, 1952. Naguib Mahfouz was not enthusiastic about what happened, and it seems that he was not one of the writers who are coping with the events in their time, as happens with many writers, especially the hypocrites of the press or disaffected men who support the monarchy, but he was waiting patiently and patiently until he understood the events well and rose By thinking carefully about the matter in all its aspects, he studied philosophy at the hands of senior French professors, and thinking became his preoccupation, and the evidence for that is his trilogy “Between Kasserine and the Palace of Longing and Sukkariyya”. Fouad and their love, which is unmatched by any love for the eternal leader Saad Zaghloul, so that Akkad wrote about the leader Saad Zaghloul a book that is the best that has been written about this leader.
It is clear that Akkad was not satisfied with the coup of the so-called Free Officers and the overthrow of the monarchy. Naguib Mahfouz is known for his caution, insight and reflection, so that, as we have seen, he stopped writing for nearly six years, and did not rush like other writers who competed in enthusiasm between honesty and falsehood in praising the officers of that coup, and the false and honest attack on King Farouk Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, Mustafa Amin, and other press men, and some opportunists, including film and theater directors and actors, were in the forefront.
And everyone gathered all the shameful things and affixed them to King Farouk, falsely speaking to the men of the coup. Newspapers and cinema films were ravaging King Farouk and his family, and they depicted him as a corrupt king who did not wake up from alcohol and did not leave the arms of women and his entourage corrupt and his family members flayed the bodies of Egyptians with their whips, as for the wealthy among the pashas. Feudal lords and vampires. This was how the Free Officers’ media was, so what was Naguib Mahfouz to write in the conscience of the writer who presented to his reader ten novels that, until this period, were considered among the best novels, if not the best in the history of the Arabic novel at that time? The rest of the hadith is …
- The situation in Egypt
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