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Title: The nature and uses of the fantastic in the fictional world of Naguib Mahfouz
Authors: Al-Mousa, Nedal M.
Keywords: Naguib Mahfouz
Issue Date: 1993
Publisher: King Saud University
Citation: Journal of King Saud University,Arts: 5(2); 105-120
Abstract: The main concern of this paper is to explore the nature and roles played by the fantastic in the fictional world of Naguib Mahfouz, with particular reference to two of his major works: The Epic of the Riff-Raffand The Nights of the Thousand and One Nights. Both of these works belong to a particular phase in the course of the development of Mahfouz's literary career, a phase in which his writings are characteristically inspired by indigenous sources, such as The<br>Arabian Nights and Sufism. This accounts for the distinctive native flavor of the fantastic elements in the novels under consideration. In The Epic of the Riff-Raff, Mahfouz's attempt to use Sufi doctrines and practices to establish a kind of native version of epic machinery is somewhat akin to Milton's basing his machinery in Paradise lost on the Bible. However, fantasy does not enter the novel only as a generic device, but also as a direct expression of 'authorial vision,' a medium of commentary upon reality, and as an effective means of investigating the human condition. The same holds true for The Nights of the Thousand and One Nights in which Mahfouz sets out to imitate the manner and style of The Arabian Nights, utilizing its fantastic potentialities mainly to investigate and comment upon the sociopolitical conditions in the modern Arab world.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/579
Appears in Collections:Journal of the King Saud University - Arts

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