Dweller in Truth (al-`A'ish fi-l-haqiqa, 1985) is highly stylized. There is no drama or mystery in the framing narrative, which is really just a device, and little in the individual accounts, since they tell essentially the same story, albeit in rather different ways. There is no final resolution: we are left at the end to make up our own minds about Akhenaten from the conflicting voices we have heard. And with the focus on the psychological and the personal, there is little historical detail — as a reconstruction it is sparse, and perhaps implausible in its lack of violence. Despite all this, Dweller in Truth makes a compelling short novel. As well as the multi-faceted portrait of Akhenaten himself, there is a fascination in the ways in which the other characters reveal themselves in describing him. And it is hard to break off reading Naguib Mahfouz's prose, which even in translation has a unique poetry.
- Related reviews:
- Naguib Mahfouz - Respected Sir; Wedding Song; The Search
- more Arabic literature
- books about Egypt + North Africa
- more historical fiction