What is Rasheed el Enany Pessimistic About?

Translator-critic Rasheed el Enany gave the annual Naguib Mahfouz Prize lecture at the AUC on Dec. 11. While in Egypt, he spoke with the newspaper Al Masry Al Youm.

A few highlights:

“And no, I’m not pessimistic about the cultural scene. But I am pessimistic about how this talent goes unnoticed because there’s no readership–Arabs don’t read. We have 300 million people and every writer could potentially have a significant readership across a wide geographical area. But this doesn’t happen.”

Also, an interesting point about censorship:

“I wish that government censorship would come back and social censorship would go away. The latter is much more ferocious, much more unpredictable and potentially much more violent then the measured censorship of the state.”

Don’t worry, he adds:  “Of course, I don’t want any censorship.”

The full interview in Al Masry Al Youm.