Sotheby’s to Auction Mahfouz Archives, Including Unpublished Material

From the archives.

Sotheby’s in London is scheduled to auction off what it’s calling “a major cache of manuscripts by Naguib Mahfouz.”

The archive, being estimated at £50,000 – £70,000, is set to be sold on Dec. 15, four days after the great Egyptian novelist’s centenary. The group of manuscripts reportedly spans seven decades of the author’s career, from the 1930s to his death in 2006.

Art Daily noted that “A volume of philosophical notes are also significant, as they are evidence of Mahfouz’s early ambitions to write a philosophical work.”

Dr. Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s Senior Manuscripts Specialist, said in a prepared release:

It is an immense honour to be offering what is to the best of our knowledge, the first manuscript material by Naguib Mahfouz to appear at public auction – much of it previously unpublished. Throughout his life, Mahfouz constantly revisited his great subject, the city of Cairo and what is perhaps most fascinating about these manuscripts, which include material from the very beginning and the end of his career, is how we can observe the style of this great writer continually evolving.


  1. It’s reassuring to know that Mahfouz’s Arabic handwriting is as atrocious as mine.

    1. Good thing the education system is taking care of that these days… This must be why they give the kids endless copying/handwriting homework.

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