(Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ as a reader of the Thousand and One Nights)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. II, n. 3, giugno 2012, pp. 95-99.
An author sometimes has an unexplainable preferential relationship with one of his works. The novel Layālī alf laylah seems to occupy a privileged position within Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ’s vast literary production. This brief article tries to offer an explanation for the Egyptian writer’s predilection for a text which apparently seems to be a minor work. In fact, by choosing the “ancient”, Maḥfūẓ actually gives himself the possibility to express his political views more freely. By pretending to be the continuator of One Thousand and One Nights, he can actually tell the truth about power through metaphor.
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