Lecture Outline for Mahfouz’ Children of the Alley

Attached is a brief outline of what I would like to cover in my forty minute lecture. Mahfouz has written over forty novels as well as many plays and short stories. A brief outline of his phases of literary development will help us to have a fuller understanding of Mahfouz as a writer, provide a literary context for our particular book and encourage and assist readers to continue exploring more works by this author.

Mahfouz’ books frequently comment upon recent Egyptian political events. Many of these events are unfamiliar to a Western Audience. An overview of some of the more important events of recent Egyptian history will help readers to understand the social and political context of his works and bring an added dimension to their reading of Children of the Alley. Finally we will look at the book itself, some of the events surrounding it’s publication and the novel’s various levels of meaning. This should provide a good transition to open up general group discussion of the novel.

I. Brief Biography of Nagib Mahfuoz

i) Civil Service
ii) Assassination attempt
iii) Nobel Prize
iv) Importance to Arabic Literature

II. Mahfouz Literary Development

i) Early/Historical
ii) Naturalism/Realism
iii) Experimental
iv) Late/Magic Realism

III. Modern Egyptian History

i) Britain & Colonialism
ii) 1952 July Revolution
iii) Nassar & Socialism
iv) 1956 Sinai
v) 1967 Six Day War

IV. Children of the Alley

A. About the book
i) Serialized Publication
ii) Banned throughout the Middle East
iii) Issues of Translation

B. Levels of Meaning/Approaches
i) Religious Allegory
ii) Political & Social Criticism
iii) Personal/Individual



~ by severalfourmany on December 10, 2003.

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