(Time and change in some short stories from Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ’s collection al-Faǧr al-kāḏib)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. II, n. 3, giugno 2012, pp. 11-22.
Maḥfūẓ published al-Faǧr al-kāḏib (The False Dawn) in 1989. In this short story collection strongly marked by symbolism and experimentalism, the Egyptian Nobel Laureate focuses on the relationship between time and change as well as on the duration of human life. On the other hand, he also deals with major social drawbacks produced by neoliberalism in Egypt, i.e. the impoverishment of the middle class and growing emigration of educated youth. The tales considered in this essay are set in modern districts of Cairo; some take place in the 1980s; whereas others cover a larger portion of the Twentieth century, since they depict the life experience of elders, thoroughly connecting individual change to key historical events. This article analyzes these texts at various levels, mostly aiming at highlighting techniques deployed by Maḥfūẓ in order to represent time perceptions.
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