Shafīq Maqār

egyptian writer


Reviews in Newspapers, Periodicals and on Radio

(IV/i) Theatre Reviews

عــروض مسـرحيــّة

Reviews commissioned and broadcast by the ‘BBC 1979-1984 and published in Beirut and London 1974-1989. The material, edited by the author for publishing in book form in 3 volumes provisionally entitled:

لنذهب إلى المسرح “ (‘Let’s Go to the Theatre’)

غوايـة المسـرح“(‘Lure of the Theatre’) and

درر على المسرح من لندن، وباريس، وروما، ونيويرك” (‘Stage Gems from London, Paris, Rome and New York).


(IV/ii) Book Reviews

عـــرض كتـــب

Book reviews published in Beirut and London 1974-1990 and broadcast by the BBC 1971-1981 edited by the author for publishing in book form under the title of:

كتـب ممتعــة، وكتـب مزهجة” ‘Books Pleasant and Unpleasant.’


(V)


(VI/i)  Dramatizations for Radio

درامــا إذاعيــّة

لدستويفسكي الــمقامر” Dostoevsky’s ‘The Gambler,’ commissioned and broadcast by The Second Programme, Cairo, 1970.

أنـّـا كـارِنـيـنـا ” لتولستويTolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina,’ commissioned by the BBC, 1980.            أهزوجـة لعيد الميلاد” لتشارلس ديكنز Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ commissioned by the BBC, broadcast repeatedly since1980.


(VI/ii)Translated and adapted for Radio:

أعمال ترجمت وأعدّت للراديو

عنقـاء دؤوب” لكريستوفر فرايChristopher Fry’s “A Phoenix too Frequent,” the BBC, 1979ثُـر واللائكــة” لكريستوفر فرايChristopher Fry’s “Thor with Angels,” the BBC, 1979.

Commissioned and broadcast by the BBC.


(VII) Translations

مترجمـات


(VII/i) Works of  Fiction

أرض الضيــاع” قصص مختارة من القصص الروسي ّ، والأميركيّ ، والفرنسيّ، والإنجليزي.Land of the Lost,” an anthology of short stories selected and translated from English and French: Gorky’s “Across the Prairies;” Dostoevsky’s “Drunkard and Thief;” Kuprin’s “The River of Life;” Joyce’s “After the Race;” Dorothy Parker’s “The Diary of a New York Lady;” Sartre’s “Erostrate” and “Le Mur;” Zweig’s “The Runaway;” Conrad’s “The Anarchist” and “ The Informer;” Cairo, 1970. (27)

أبنــاء وعشــّـاق” لديفيد هربرت لورنسD. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers,” Cairo, 1970 republished 1972. (28)

عشيــق الليدي تشاترلي” لديفيد هربرت لورنسD. H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” publication prohibited by the censor 1972.(29)

روايـة البنسات الثلاثـة” لبرتولت برختBertolt Brecht’s “The Threepenny Novel,” Cairo, 1971, 1972 and 1973. (30)

ِ(All three works were commissioned by Dar al-Helal دار الهلال The translation of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover was prohibited by the censor.)


(VIII) Journalistic Writings

The author’s journalistic Career started early while reading journalism at the American University, Cairo, with writings in ‘al-Nidaa’ النداء’daily, in the 1940’s and, from then on went hand in hand with other writing and broadcasting activities. Contributed to various dailies, weeklies and periodicals: “al-Massä” ’المساء’(Le Soir), “Ibdaä”  ’إبـداع’(Creative Writing), “al-Megallah”  المجلـّة’ (Magazine); “al-Helalالهـلال’ (The Crescent); “al-Taliaaالطليعة’(Vanguard);  “al-Massrah,”  المســرح’(The Theatre); “ Lotus” (In Arabic, English and French) Cairo – the Syrian “ al-Taliaa,”الطليعة’ and “al-Maarepha المعرفــة’ (Knowledge). Contributor and correspondent to “al-Adabالآداب’ (Lettres), Beirut.  Contributor to “al-Aqlam” (Quills) الأقـلام’ , ‘al-Muthaqqaf al-Arabiالمثقـّف العربـي’  (Arab Intellectual); “al-Adeeb al-Muaasser”  الأديب المعاصر’(Contemporary Writer), “al-Bayan البيــان’(Writing). Wrote the weak-end edition ‘Cultural Page’ of “al-Arabالعـرب’ daily, London 1979-1980. Contributing Editor, “al-D’stour”  الدسـتور’weekly, London 1980-1990.


(IX) Interviews with the writer

لقــاءات مع الكــاتنب

On radio and in print, included Interviews on: the Second Programme 1972; “A date with Art” on the European Service, Radio Cairo, 1972; on the “Oasis” programme of the BBC, 1979 and interviews by “Al-Taliaa” الطليعة’ Damascus, 1973; “al-Megallah,”   المجلـّة’ London, 1982; “al-Thawra,” الثورة’ international edition, London, 1988 and “al-Hayat,” “الحيـــاة’ London, 1990.


(X) Cinema Scripts

سيناريوهات للسينما

لقـــاء في الليــل”“Night Encounter,” Scenario of an action movie.

كنـز توت عنح آمـــون” “The Tut’Ankh’Amun Heist,” Scenario of an action movie.

Both scripts were written as a divertissement at a time when the writer was having serious doubts about the use of any sort of serious writing. When presented to the ‘Ministry of Culture,’ they were smirked at as ‘too American.”


(XI) Overview

Timeline

1962 – 2010

Languages

Arabic, English, Dutch, Japanese and Persian

Works published in Book form

Most Widely Held by Libraries Worldwide


(XI/i) Fiction and Non-Fiction

السحـر الأسـودومشـكـلة الكـابوس”   ”   (‘Black Magic,’ a novel & ‘The Problem with the Nightmare,’ a novella). ‘’Black Magic’: In a pretend sort of existence wherein everyone tries to survive at any cost in a topsy-turvy world precariously teetering on the outer edge of disaster, a lone middle aged individual from the defunct middle class is busy performing the surviving acrobatics under the heel of a crude imitation of a totalitarian regime that has set out, in the name of righting wrongs, to remake a whole populace into a mass of loyal subjects of the leader/saviour. A chance encounter with a piece of the country’s human flotsam, a ‘citizen creature’ from the lower classes catapults the non-hero into an unsettling encounter with the unreal in the form of females giving birth to serpents and people jumping into the insides of others to squat there contentedly. The protagonist’s vertiginous escapades culminate in trying to make his escape by jumping, from a hospital fifth floor window, in the hope of floating in the air to catch up with of a red-headed ‘she devil’ that has latched on to his demented existence. ’The Problem with the Nightmare’ novella is a different reading of the non-hero situation, at the subconscious level. ‘Sanitized’ by excision, the twin works were published in the series ‘ مختارات فصـولbyالهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب Cairo, 1986. The work was translated into Japanese and published in Tokyo by Daisan Shokan, 1994, and, according to World Catalogue, is held in Arabic in 32 libraries worldwide. The complete ‘unsanitized’ texts of the two works have been translated into English by the author. Call Number: PJ7846 A646 S53 1986.Located: LSF- click “Place Requests” for delivery to any Yale library.

قـتـل مصــر من عبدالـنـاصر إلى الســادات ” (‘The Killing of Egypt, from Nasser to Sadat’) a socio-political investigation of Egypt’s plight under the dictatorship spawned by the 1952 military coup d’état. The core theme of ‘The Killing of Egypt’ derives from this central question of whose fief or privately owned Ezbah Egypt is?’ Originally, that was the title which suggested itself. The problem is that the country, because Farouk’s infantile corruption reduced it to where it fell like an overripe plum into the hands of a clique of army officers who might have sincerely believed that they were saving it but who were intellectually equipped to deal with the problems of the dangerous turning point of history at which Egypt’s hard luck dropped her into their laps. The result, as the title suggests, has been the killing of a country that, in her far distant past, led the human race out of the caves of barbarism.  It is from this view of Egypt’s plight that the book was written. 1 edition published in London, 1989 and held by 26 libraries worldwide.Call Number: DT107.827 M37X 1989. Located: SML, Stacks, LC Classification

قــراءة سيــاسيــةّ للتــوراة ” ” (‘A Political Reading of the Bible’). The research, an endeavour by a believer, was not undertaken as an invitation to atheism or as religious polemic that would denigrate or idolize a religion or its followers. That the material researched is replete with political intent is the result of the fact that religion and politics are inseparable in the OT.  As such, the work was a try at understanding the OT in light of its political content and territorial ambitions.3 editions published in 1987 in London and in 1991. Translated into Persian and held by 26 libraries worldwideCall Number: BS476M2631991. Located: SML, Near East Collection.

ظــاهـرة غـورباتشـف “” (‘The Gorbachev Phenomenon’) a work of political analysis that explored the Gorbachev revolution, predicted the collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union and tried to chart out its potential consequences on the international arena. Published in London, 1990 and held by 16 libraries worldwide. Call Number: DK288M367X1990. Located: LSF- click “Place Requests” for delivery to any Yale library.

لصراع الشرق الأوسط المسيحيـة والتــوراةبحث في الجـذور الديـنـية “ (‘Christianity and the Old Testament – Researching the Religious Roots of the Middle East Conflict’). 1 edition published in London, 1992 and held by 15 libraries worldwide. Call Number: DS149 M362 1992.  Located: SML, Near East Collection

الكـــلام(‘Talk’ a novel). From Egypt’s experience with totalitarianism, Talk’ delves into the nightmare world of Saint-Just’s dictum that ‘the art of governance breeds none but monsters.’ As the state, through an unholy alliance between the appartchiks and their potential victims, is transformed into the kept mistress of the ‘leader,’ the monsters at the top tend to breed, down below, all sorts of little monsters vermin and reptiles. It is an anti-hero of this breed that the reader comes upon in ‘al-Kalam’ trying to compete with the state’s ‘specialists’ in the hazardous and rewarding art of murder with impunity and getting entangled in a web of intrigue, lust and greed. 2 editions published since 1987 in Beirut by المؤسـّسة العربيـّة للدراسات والنشر. According to World Catalogue, الكلام has been translated into Dutch as “‘Het spreken’ – Roman over het lot dat mondige burgers in dictatoriale regimes staat te wachten.” The work is held by 15 libraries worldwide and is in the process of being translated into Italian as part of a university dissertation project on the author’s work.

السحــر في التــوراة والعهد القديم(‘Magic in the Bible’) Explores the role in the biblical construct’s storytelling of the ancients’ belief in magic as a means of liaising with the powers of the beyond. 1 edition published in London 1990 and held by 15 libraries worldwide. Call Number: BM585 M37 1990. Located: SML, Stacks, LC Classification.

الجـنـس في التـوراة وسائر العهد القديم(‘Sex in the Bible’) Explores the sexual content of the biblical construct’s storytelling. Published in Damascus, 1997 and held by 10 libraries worldwide. Call Number: BS680 S5 M264 1998.   Located: SML, Near East Collection.

دراسات في الأدب الأوروبّي المعاصر(‘Studies in Contemporary European Literature’) studies on Samuel Beckett, , Eugene Ionesco, Arthur Adamov, Albert Camus and D. H. Lawrence. 1 edition published in Baghdad, 1972.The book raised a few eyebrows with its – at the time – strange title of ‘Contemporary European Literature.’


(XI/ii) Works of Literary Study and Translation in Book Form

آرثـر شـوبنهاور عن فن الأدب(‘Arthur Schopenhauer views on ‘The Art of Literature’) translation of a study by Billy Saunders with an introduction annotated by footnotes on the works and authors mentioned in the text). Commissioned and Published in Cairo, 1962, by the National Printing and Publishing House. الدارالقوميـّة للطباعة والنشر- سلسلة مذاهب وشخصيـّات -.

خمـس مسـرحيـّات طليـعـيـّة ليوجين يونسكو “ (‘Cinque Pièces de l’avant garde par Eugene Ionesco’ with an introduction on the Theatre of the Absurd). Commissioned and published in Cairo, 1966, by the National Printing and Publishing House سلسلة مسرحيات .

مسرحيـّـات طليعية لآرثر آداموف خمس (‘Cinque Pièces de l’avant garde par Arthur Adamov’) with an introduction on his theatre. Commissioned and Published in Cairo, 1967 by ‘al–Masrah’المسرح (‘The Theatre’) periodical.

من الشعــرمختارات من الشـعر الفرنسي مع تقديم ودراسة عن كل شاعرشـيء (‘A Little Poetry’) An anthology of French poetry of the 19th & 20th centuries with introduction and a study on each poet and their literary movements, from the Romantics, to the Parnassians, the Dandies, the Symbolists and the Surrealists. Commissioned and published in Cairo, 1969, by The National Printing and Publishing House.

أرض الضيــاع” (‘Land of Perdition,’ a selection of short stories from Russian, English, French, German and American literatures) commissioned and published in Cairo, 1970, by ‘World Fiction Series’ سلسلة رواايات عالميـّة.

أبنـاء وعشــّاق (D. H. Lawrence’s ‘Sons and Lovers’) commissioned and published in Cairo, 1970, by ‘al-Helal House.دار الهلال .

روايـة البنسات الثلاثـة(Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Three Penny Novel’) commissioned and published in Cairo, 1971, by ‘al-Helal House.’

الأم شـَـجاعة وأبناؤها (Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage and Her Sons’) commissioned and published in Cairo, 1972, by ‘al-Helal House.’


(XI/iii) Fiction and non-Fiction Serialized in Periodicals

المزرعـــة{عزبـة عـريان}(‘Ezbet Eryan ‘Farm of the Naked’} serialized in the week-end edition of al-Arab’, London, 1979/1980). The novel is a parody that was meant to be as a ‘spoof’ on George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ that harkened back to the allegorical technique of the 14th-century classic ‘Kalilah wa Demnah’ In both cases, the debt owed to the two older works, though intellectually considerable, is limited to certain specifics.

The debt owed to ‘Kalilah wa Demnah’ is the literary stratagem of making non human creatures talk in order for them to figure as living characters in an allegorical cautionary work or ‘fable.’

The debt owed to Orwell has to do with the literary stratagem of making a crowd of talking animals rise in ‘revolution’ and take over a farm under the banner of the search for social justice and the righting of social and political wrongs.

Thereafter, there was a parting of the ways with Orwell, as each went his own way, ‘singing of his own Laila’ as it were. Orwell’s Laila, of course, is none other than the beautiful ‘Albion,’ England, which he wanted to alert to the then looming danger of the competing totalitarianisms of Right and Left whose savage fight to the death he had witnessed at first hand on the killing fields of the Spanish Civil War.

The ‘Laila’,’ of ‘Ezbet Eryan,’ by contrast, is Egypt ‘Mother of the World,’ as her sons call her, for whom and about whom every word and line of the author’s work s has been written. Egypt, in this parody, is the ‘Ezbah’ عزبـة (private farm, fief) which has been taken over, raped and defiled, not by the pigs of Orwell’s nightmare vision, but by something much more sinister and cynically obscene: those who were supposed be her guard dogs.

The novel as a parody of the country’s situation, tells of what the author sees as a crude throwback in modern garb to the sort of oriental despotism wherein the ruler invariably turns himself into a god before whom those he rules must obediently kneel in adoration or bear the unthinkable consequences. In the process, the ‘Ezbah’ is plundered, enslaved and debased by those who profess to protect her from external aggression and to be bringing to its docile herds a fairy tale formula of ‘social justice’ that turns out to be an extremely vicious parody unblushingly labeled as ‘Socialism.’

حكـايات لأطفال الأيــّام الآتيــة

(‘Tales for the Children of the Days to Come’) serialized in ‘al- al-D’stour’ weekly, London.

غبــاء المرء محسوب عليـه(On the I.Q. Controversy) series of articles researching the issue, serialized in ‘Al-Arab’ week-end edition, London, 1979

تسخير العلم قي خدمة العنصرية” “   (‘Science Pressed into the Service of Racism.’)

الذكـاء والغبـاء في أنبوبـة الاختبار” (‘Intelligence and Stupidity in the Test Tube.’)

تدليك الــذات العنصريـــّة” (‘Massaging the Racial Ego.’)

ياعباقرة العالم اتّحدوا في مواجهة من هم دون البشــــر!” (‘Geniuses of the World Unite Against the      Less than Human!’)

الذكـاء: وراثــة أم من فعل البيئـة؟ “(‘Intelligence: Heredity or Environment?’)

من مجتمع الجدارة إلى عالم يحكمه السوبرمان؟ ” (‘From Meritocracy to a World Ruled by ‘Supermen’?)

أزمـة الحـريـّة (On the plight of Freedom’) series of talks broadcast by the BBC 1979/1980 and serialized in London)

الحريـــّة غــاية ووسيلـةFreedom: an End and a Means.

موت الحريـّة الزاحف بـلاء العصـرThe Creeping Death of Freedom, an Affliction of the Age.

سـكـّين الأستاذ عند يونسكو وبلطة أفلاطونLe Chouteau’ of Ionesco’s ‘Professor’ and Plato’s Bowie Knife.

المثـاليـّة ومداخل جهنـّمIdealism and the Gates of Hell.

العـم هوبــز وأمـّنـا الغولـةUncle Hobbs and Mother Ogress.

جوزف كونـراد والشـرّ الكامن في جذور الخليقـة Joseph Conrad: on the Evil at the Roots of Creation.

عــلامَ الكــتابـة ؟ (‘Why do Writers Write?’)

A series of talks broadcast by the BBC, and serialized in ‘al-Arab,’ London, 1979.

الكاتب كمدافع عن الحيــاة(‘The Writer as Defender of Life’).

الكــاتب والواقـــع(‘The Writer and Reality’).

الكاتب وطموح تغييـر العالم(‘The Writer’s Ambition to ‘Change the World’).

ألدُس هكسلي وجدوى الكتابـة (‘Aldous Huxley and the Uses of Writing’).

جورج أرول: الكاتب في مواجهة الشموليـّة (George Orwell, the Writer vs. Totalitarianism’).

آرثــر رامبو: وظيفـة الشعـر (‘Arthur Rimbaud: the Function of Poetry’).

جيل الثلاثينيـّت بين شموليتيّ العصر(‘The Thirties Generation between the Two Totalitarianisms’).

هنري ميلـر: سـبر غور مشكلة الواحد والكثرة في المجتمع (‘Henry Miller, probing the issue of the One and the Many in Society’).

) تشارلس ديكنز، كاتب غيـّر عالمـه حقـّاًCharles Dickens the Writer who did Change his World’).

” برنارد شـو، ثوري خفيف الظـلّ تـنـبـّأ بأنه سيصبح غير ذي موضوع ” (‘Bernard Shaw, a Sympathetic Revolutionary who predicted his own Obsolescence’).





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