The story of “The Mirage”


“ Without Literature, my Life Would be Miserable”- Naguib Mahfouz  

Egypt is a mysterious place which captured my imagination from the great Nile to the Pyramids… Modern Egyptian literature captures the heart and soul of the people of Egypt. After reading work of more modern writers such as Alaa Al-Aswany it was a nice adventure to come across  “The Mirage”  a classic novel from Nobel prize-winning author of Arabic literature Naguib Mahfouz. Mahfouz, lived until the age of 94, was a much-loved novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter in the Arab world as well as internationally.

Story in the book “The Mirage” revolves around a bit unusual character and narrator Kamil. The story is set in Ciro and it is said to be one of the first novels by the Autor which captures the life in suburban life in Ciro. The author takes a journey through the life of young Kamil comes through to the adolescence as well as to his “married life”.. Author puts in the table to the reader to judge the so-called “married life “of this man!  A man admired the beauty of his charming wife from a distance and attracted to “unattractive “ souls for basic human needs… The story is a psychoanalytical journey.

I believe any classy piece of literature or any form of art for that matter is worthwhile if it has a public appeal to a wider audience. Unfortunately, most award-winning masterpieces are hard to understand for a generalized audience… This is not to deny the abstract literary pieces which have contributed to the advancement of the literary traditions… But what is there for a common man for his everyday life… I think the writers like Naguib has that public appeal which cannot be undermined by his literary achievements as a Nobel prize-winning author.

Naguib Marfou in his popular quote express this as “ My countrymen have the right to shake my hand and talk to me if they so wish. Don’t forget that their support and their reading of my works is what brought me the Nobel prize.”

Also, I often wonder what captivates audiences multiculturally in storytelling and literal writing. My thinking is that it the human emotions and relationships which makes the writings of great novelists appealing to a worldwide audience… I am not a Muslim and I am living a faraway land from Egypt and a different era than the plot of this novel, but it still appeals and captures my attention to think beyond the lines and analyze. It becomes a fascinating experience to immerse in a different culture as well by reading a novel such as this, in which characters live and breath in a totally different culture… How fascinating and adventurous that experience is…

I think as writers and bloggers we have to get that lesson right to talk to a wider audience transcending the boundaries of culture in this digitalized age. As the communications become fast in a digitalized era, what space we give to express the human emotions…Human emotions and universal relationships are the lifeblood of cultural integrity. Some material to think for the writers in this digital era.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s