(Maḥfūẓ and the Pharaonic Egypt)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. II, n. 3, giugno 2012, pp. 47-56.
The era of the Pharaohs is widely represented in Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ’s œuvre, but some of his novels belong to what has been precisely identified as the Pharaonic period of his carrier.
This paper offers an overview of these works, aiming at determining the reasons behind the author’s interest in this part of ancient Egyptian history in the light of the cultural and political context in which he was writing. One of Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ’s Pharaonic novels, Kifāḥ Ṭībah (Thebes at War, 1944), refers to a rather well documented phase, thus allowing the investigation of the writer’s sources of inspiration as well as the implementation of a comparative analysis between the facts he depicts in this fictional text and acknowledged historical events. This essay suitably describes developments witnessed under the rule of two dynasties of pharaohs – i.e. the Seventeenth and the Eighteenth – highlighting related correspondences and differences detected in the novel, trying to understand the reasons for such discrepancies in order to grasp the writer’s vision.
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