In his brilliant essay “The Storyteller” Walter Benjamin reflects on the work of the Russian writer Nikolai Leskov, concluding that “the storyteller is the figure in which the righteous man encounters himself”.
We could do no better than if we approach the work of Naguib Mahfouz with Benjamin’s reflections of Leskov in mind.
Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and died in 2006. He created a body of work that is regarded as some of the most influential Arabic literature of the 20th century. In 1988 he became the first Arab writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.