Naguib Mahfouz and ‘The Dreams’

November 3, 2017

The Dreams by Naguib MahfouzNaguib Mahfouz and The Dreams

Raymond Stock


On L2L: November 3, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)


About Naguib Mahfouz and The Dreams

Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. He was the first Arab writer to be recognized with this award.

Born in Cairo 1911 and age 94 upon his death in 2006, Mahfouz was prolific during his lifetime — writing 34 novels, several hundred short stories, and even films and plays.

In 1994, however, Mahfouz was attacked by a religious extremist. This stabbing, along with other health issues, lead to a four-year hiatus from writing — something anathema to Mahfouz. Out of this tragedy, however, came a collection of short passages known as The Dreams.

In this episode of Listening to Literature, we continue our conversation with Dr. Raymond Stock, a scholar who knew Mahfouz both professionally and personally and who has translated The Dreams and many of Mahfouz’s works from their original Arabic.

This is the second part of a two-part episode featuring Dr. Stock. The first episode can be heard here.

About Raymond Stock

Egyptian author and 1988 Nobel laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz with writer, translator, and biographer Raymond Stock in March 1990, at the then-offices of The American University in Cairo Press, shortly after Stock began working there. (Photo courtesy Raymond Stock © 1990)

Raymond Stock, Ph.D., is an expert on Middle Eastern cultural and political affairs and is currently an Instructor of Arabic at Louisiana State University and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum. A twenty-year resident of Cairo (1990–2010), he has translated seven books by Egyptian author and 1988 Nobel laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006), whose biography he is writing for Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Mahfouz himself cooperated in the research for this book.

A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, with a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (including ancient through modern studies) from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Stock served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies at Drew University in 2010–2011. A frequent commentator in the media, his articles and translations of Arabic fiction have appeared in Bookforum, The Financial Times, Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Notes, Harper’s Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, the Journal of Arabic Literature, The London Magazine, Middle East Quarterly, Zoetrope: All-Story, and many other venues.

He is currently translating a novel, Suleiman’s Ring, by Egyptian-American author Dr. Sherif Meleka. This novel was published in Cairo in 2008, with Dr. Stock’s forthcoming translation published by The American University in Cairo Press.

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