Nine years have passed since Egypt’s literary Nobel laureate died:
A commemoration of the Naguib Mahfouz’s August 30 death, nine years ago, began last week with the launch of Mohamed Salmawy’s Naguib Mahfouz Dialogues (Hiwarat Naguib Mahfouz), revelations of more archival material and texts, and an announcement that a Naguib Mahfouz Museum should finally open this year on December 11, the author’s birthday and the day when the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature is traditionally announced.
This is not the first time a Mahfouz museum has been announced — in the runup to Mahfouz’s centenary, Egypt’s culture ministry said they would establish a Mahfouz Museum and Tourist Center in the house where the author was born, but it never came to be. Plans are now, instead, to establish the museum in the Bashtak Palace, an interior from which is pictured right.
Mohamed Salmawy, who was a friend of Mahfouz’s and president of the Egyptian Writers Union, said at a book launch that he had “more than 500 hours of audio cassettes” recording his talks with Mahfouz he said, which included the author’s “opinions on the existence of God, religion, the political situation in Egypt, and many political leaders like Nasser, Lenin, Gandhi, in addition to many things that Salmawy did not publish then or until now.”
From a report on Ahram Online:
Most of what the tapes include has not been published, according to Salmawy. “What the book (Naguib Mahfouz Dialogues) includes is only five percent of the audio tapes, but I have the ambition to transcribe all of it and publish it.”
The audience asked Salmawy to make these tapes public, as they rightfully belong to humanity and not only him. He vowed to make the tapes public in the future, and to give them to any museum dedicated to Naguib Mahfouz, along with many items that belonged to the writer of The Cairo Trilogy.
This year will be the 104th anniversary of Mahfouz’s birth.
Mohamed Salmawy: Memories of Naguib Mahfouz and the Movies
From AUC Press: Faten Mahfouz speaks about her Nobel laureate father
His Nobel lecture, trans. Salmawy
Excerpt from The Thief and the Dogs, trans. Trevor Le Gassick, M. M. Badawi, and John Rodenbeck.
Naguib Mahfouz’s “The Father,” from Palace Walk, trans. by William M. Hutchins and Olive E. Kenny
Thanks to Harald Viersen for tapping me on the head.