Mirrors is one of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz's more unusual works. First published in serialized form in the Egyptian television magazine, it consists of a series of vignettes of characters from a writer's life -- a writer very like Mahfouz himself. And accompanying each vignette is a portrait of the character by a friend of the author, the renowned Alexandrian artist Seif Wanli. Through each vignette -- whether of a lifelong friend, a sometime adversary, or a childhood sweetheart -- not only is that one character described but much light is thrown on other characters already familiar or yet to be encountered, as well as on the narrator himself, who we come to know well through the mirrors of his world of acquaintances. At the same time, Mirrors also reflects the recent history of Egypt, its political movements, its leaders, its wars, and its peace, all of which affect the lives of friends and enemies and of the narrator himself. As the translator writes in his introduction, "the narrator's acquaintances from childhood, schooldays, and civil service career take him from the lofty heights of intellectual salons to the seamy squalor of brothels and drug dens; from the dreams of youth and nationalistic ideals to the sobering realities of post-revolutionary society and clashing economic and political values."The apparently simple but penetrating portraits by Seif Wanli add an extra, distinctive dimension to this already intriguing book. They originally appeared with the serialized texts in the television magazine, but were omitted when the book was first published in 1972, and were also omitted when the English translation first appeared in 1977. Now, in this special edition, the pictures and the complete text appear together for the first time.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
1952 revolution Abbasiya Abd al-Karim's salon Abd al-Rahman Shaaban Abda Abduh al-Basyuni Adli al-Muadhin Aglan Thabit Ahmad al-Adil Amm Saqr anger Arabic asked Azmi Shakir Badr al-Ziyadi beautiful believe cafe Cairo daughter despite Doctor Ibrahim Aql Doctor Mahir Abd Egyptian Eid Mansour employees English eyes face father Fayza friendship Gaafar Khalil Gabr's Gad Abu al-Ela Galal girl Hanan happy hashish heard husband July revolution Khalil Zaki laughed lived look Mahfouz Mahir Abd al-Karim Mahmoud Mahmoud Darwish married minister ministry mother Muhammad Mustafa al-Nahhas Naguib Mahfouz never party pasha political professor Qadri Rizq Reda Hamada replied returned Rizq Saad Zaghloul Sadiq Abd al-Hamid Safaa Salim Gabr Sayyid Shouayr Second World War Shaarawi al-Fahham Sharara Sharara al-Nahhal smile Soraya street student Sulayman Surour Abd al-Baqi told Ustaz Abbas Fawzi Wafd wafdist What's whispered wife woman Zahran Zahran Hassouna Zuhayr Kamil