Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales

Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales

AUC Press

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Naguib Mahfouz

The forces of law and order disturb a districtÕs too-perfect peace at the dawn of Egyptian civilization. A wise and popular pharaoh is betrayed by his own son, and by his dearest friendsÑthen makes a most peculiar decision. A mummy returns to life after three thousand years, to confront the arrogant new race that now rules the land. A favored prince flees to a faraway country when the king dies suddenly, leaving his true love behindÑonly to come back to question her about their forty lost years. A famous young writer, composer of a legendary epic of PharaohÕs greatest battle with the Hittites, is carried off without warning by a mysterious diseaseÑthen speaks to us in this life from beyond the veil of death.
Such are the tales that make up this volume of five masterly stories by the young Naguib Mahfouz, all inspired by the Egypt of the pharaohs. Like three novels set in ancient times that he published early in his career, and two more with pharaonic themes that he produced four decades later, these stories reveal his wide reading of EgyptÕs (and the worldÕs) oldest history and literature. All of these gems, however, are very much his own creations. Their voices speak with the familiar genius of EgyptÕs greatest modern writerÑthough they call from a very different world than the one for which he is best known.

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