Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz
Naguib Mahfouz
  • Born: December 11, 1911
  • Died: August 30, 2006
  • Nationality: Egyptian
  • Profession: Novelist









Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature, along with Tawfiq el-Hakim, to explore themes of existentialism. He published 34 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays over a 70-year career. Many of his works have been made into Egyptian and foreign films.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
According to Islamic principles, when a man is accused of heresy, he is given the choice between repentance and punishment.
An allegory is not meant to be taken literally. There is a great lack of comprehension on the part of some readers.
As the tension eases, we must look in the direction of agriculture, industry and education as our final goals, and toward democracy under Mr Mubarak. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
At my age it is unseemly to be pessimistic.
Events at home, at work, in the street - these are the bases for a story. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
God did not intend religion to be an exercise club. Religion & God ;Humor
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself. Society ;History
Hosni Mubarak... his constitution is not democratic, but he is democratic. We can voice our opinions now. The press is free.
I accepted the interviews and encounters that had to be held with the media, but I would have preferred to work in peace. War & Peace ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I am practically in the employ of Mr. Nobel. I have to meet everyone he sends my way.
I believe society has a right to defend itself, just as the individual has the right to attack that with which he disagrees. Society
I consider Khomeini's position dangerous. He does not have the right to pass judgment-that is not the Islamic way.
I defend both the freedom of expression and society's right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things. Society ;Freedom & Liberty
I didn't make any money from my writing until much later. I published about 80 stories for nothing. I spent on literature. Money, Coins & Minting
I love Sufism as I love beautiful poetry, but it is not the answer. Sufism is like a mirage in the desert. It says to you, come and sit, relax and enjoy yourself for a while. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Literature, Writers & Writing
I reject any path which rejects life, but I can't help loving Sufism because it sounds so beautiful. It gives relief in the midst of battle. Life
I started writing while I was a little boy. Maybe it's because I was reading a lot of books I admired, and thought that I would like to write something like that someday. Also, my love for good writing pushed me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I thought they would never select an Eastern writer for the Nobel. I was surprised.
I wake up early in the morning and walk for an hour. If I have something to write, I prefer to write in the morning until midday, and in the afternoon, I eat. Morning
I was a government employee in the morning and a writer in the evening. Morning ;Government
I was reading a lot of books I admired, and thought that I would like to write something like that someday.
I was suffering from a peculiar and persistent sense that I was being pursued, and also the conviction that under the political order of the times, our lives had no meaning.
If the urge to write should ever leave me, I want that day to be my last.
If we reject science, we reject the common man. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
If you want to move people, you look for a point of sensitivity, and in Egypt nothing moves people as much as religion. Religion & God
In Egypt today most people are concerned with getting bread to eat. Only some of the educated understand how democracy works.
Insults are the business of the court. Business, Commerce & Finance
It is simply not part of my culture to preserve notes. I have never heard of a writer preserving his early drafts.
It's clearly more important to treat one's fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one's head to a prayer mat.
I've never worked in politics, never been a member of an official committee or a political party. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
My countrymen have the right to shake my hand and talk to me if they so wish. Don't forget that their support and their reading of my works is what brought me the Nobel prize.
My wife thought I deserved it, but I always thought the Nobel a Western prize.
One effect that the Nobel Prize seems to have had is that more Arabic literary works have been translated into other languages.
Sadat made us feel more secure.
The Arab world also won the Nobel with me. I believe that international doors have opened, and that from now on, literate people will consider Arab literature also. We deserve that recognition.
The criminal is trying to solve his immediate problems.
The Koran and the laws of all civilized nations legislate against the vilification of religions.
The Nobel Prize has given me, for the first time in my life, the feeling that my literature could be appreciated on an international level. Life ;Time
The writer interweaves a story with his own doubts, questions, and values. That is art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
There are no heroes in most of my stories. I look at our society with a critical eye and find nothing extraordinary in the people I see. Society
Today's interpretations of religion are often backward and contradict the needs of civilization. Religion & God
We are like a woman with a difficult pregnancy. We have to rebuild the social classes in Egypt, and we must change the way things were.
We are passing through a very sensitive time, and on the whole, this country is facing very big problems. Time
We used the Western style to express our own themes and stories. But don't forget that our heritage includes The Thousand and One Nights.
Winning Nobel imposed on me a lifestyle to which I am not used and which I would not have preferred.
Without literature my life would be miserable. Life
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.