Reminiscenza e sogno nella tarda opera di Naguib Mahfouz

Lucia Avallone






In 1994, after a failed attempt on his life, Mahfouz underwent a period of physical rehabilitation and entered the final phase of his literary career. His last work, a collection of dreams composed while his physical difficulties made writing impossible thus compelling him to dictate his last work, marked the writer's abandonment of the complex structure of the novel for short and fragmentary narratives. This paper proposes some reflections on Mahfouz’ passage to the new literary genre, the choice of an essential and rapid style, and the offer of a deep private portrait. In this context, reminiscence and oneiric experience are considered as significant expressions of the writer's aesthetics where time had an essential role in determining plots and forms and in a philosophical research which only halted with his death. In addition, Mahfouz’ late work is showed in relation to its precedents in classical and premodern Arabic literature and as a prelude to the rebirth of the very short narrative of the 2000s.