More on Mahfouz

Since so many obits and articles on Naguib Mahfouz start out by mentioning that he was “the only Arab to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature,” I think it’s worthwhile to quote from Issandr El Amrani‘s piece at the Guardian Comment Is Free blog:

The life of the 1988 Nobel prize laureate – he was the only Arabic-language writer ever to get one, which tells you more about the Nobel prize than it tells you about Arabic literature – spanned most of the past century.

Indeed. The Nobel did not see fit to recognize all the other greats: Khalil Gibran, Abdulrahman Munif, Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish, Taha Husayn, Tawfiq Al-Hakim, and on and on.

Also in the Guardian, an obit on Mahfouz by the translator Denys Johnson-Davies, who worked on a couple of Mahfouz’s books, as well as on Tayib Salih’s Season of Migration to the North, among many other Arabic novels.