Western-Made Source of Naguib Mahfouz’s Pharaonic Novels

  • Mohamed Kamel Abdel-Daem
Keywords: literary journals India, online English research journal, research papers publisher, UGC approved journal, High impact factor journal, Peer reviewed literary journal


This paper argues that the efforts and discoveries in Egyptology made by European archaeologists and historians are the main references that helped the modern Egyptian people and writers learn about the history of ancient Egypt. Naguib Mahfouz’s three novels about ancient Egypt – written in the late 1930s when Egypt was under the British occupation and the Turkish rule – unconsciously conveyed postcolonial ideas to the colonized people, i.e, surrender to Fate (the colonizer’s and dictator’s reality) (Khufu’s Wisdom), irrelevance of democratic rule, lack of centralized regime leads to conflict between two domineering authorities – religious and military (Rhadopis of Nubia), and political relief from contemporary oppression springing from nostalgic pride for forcing the invaders out (Thebes at War). The three novels foster enlightenment principles of Egyptian patriotism (rather than Middle-Ages Arab) nationalism, and this helped implement the European colonizer’s strategy:diaírei kaì basíleue ’.

Key words

ancient Egypt, enlightenment, dictator rule, colonialism, patriotism, individualism, Middle-Ages Arab nationalism.


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Author Biography

Mohamed Kamel Abdel-Daem

M.K. Abdel-Daem is currently a lecturer in English literature, language, linguistics and literary criticism. He has published several critical works on many genres, featuring poetry, drama, novel, translation, literary criticism, linguistics, comparative literature, and postcolonial studies


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How to Cite
Abdel-Daem, M. K. “Western-Made Source of Naguib Mahfouz’s Pharaonic Novels”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 2, no. 1, Oct. 2018, pp. 1-14, doi:10.201411/clri.v2i1.82.
Research Papers