“The things I liked about this book, and which I hope would come across in the translation, would be the elusive and delicate nature of the prose and the often beautiful, uncertain, way sentences stopped or turned or gathered. It is a very brilliant and subtle and strange meditation on history and books and narratives of all kinds.”
Paulo has strong links to the vibrant and pro-revolutionary cultural scene in Cairo as well as to the Egyptian security apparatus before and during the time of the revolution.”
“As usual I sat at the front, close to the blackboard because I’m short-sighted, and to the left, so the teacher’s body wouldn’t hide what he wrote.”
“The Arabic novel, and Arabic poetry, are no less than any literary production anywhere in the world.”
Those up for the “best novel” slot, in addition to Mourad, were popular and award-winning novelists Ibrahim Eissa, Youssef Ziedan, Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq, and Ammar Ali Hassan.
According to Variety, the film — which opened in Egypt yesterday — is “certain to be one of the most discussed movies in the territory.”
“In my experience what tends to happen is — first you like someone’s work, then you meet them and it puts you off their existence!”
“My writer colleagues whether in Egypt or the Arab world are fighters and schemers and I’m happy to be part of this contradictory, vagabond, incongruous mosaic in the middle of the present ruins of the greater Middle East.”
The spark for the ten-play collection was Ibrahim El-Husseini′s Comedy of Sorrows, a work that Maggor helped translate and stage in 2012. Comedy of Sorrows, part of the first wave of post-2011 plays, was brought into English not for a general audience, but for an academic conference at Harvard University entitled “Women Making Democracy”.
He’s an architect who lost his faith in art and himself after the 1992 earthquake, which sparked a crisis on both personal and professional levels. This may explain the novel’s loose and fragile structure, parallel to the loose and fragile buildings destroyed by the quake.
“It was a late realization, actually. Yes, I was a bookworm since I was just a kid, but the idea of being a writer never came to my mind.”
Among the six shortlisted novels, Rabie’s Otared (2014) is already available in English (2016), translated by Robin Moger.