- Tapa blanda: 166 páginas
- Editor: Anchor; Edición: Reprint (1 de julio de 2012)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0307742563
- ISBN-13: 978-0307742568
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
Before the Throne: Dialogues with Egypt's Great from Menes to Anwar Sadat (Inglés) Tapa blanda – jul 2012
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Descripción del producto
"Mahfouz is a storyteller of the first order in any idiom." --Vanity Fair
Reseña del editor
Nearly sixty of Egypts past leadersfrom the time of the Pharoahs to the twentieth centuryare summoned to judgment in the Court of Osiris in the Afterlife, in this extraordinary novel by Nobel Prizewinning author Naguib Mahfouz.
Before the Throne calls forth a parade of those who have shaped the modern nation of Egyptfrom the ruler who first unified Egypt in 3000 BC to Anwar Sadat, the president assassinated by religious extremists in 1981, and including figures as various as the famous pharaoh Ramesses II and the medieval vizier Qaraqush. As they defend their decisions under questioning by Osiris, Isis, and Horus, those who acted for the nations good are honored with immortality in paradise while those who failed to protect it are condemned either to the inferno or to the place of insignificance. Full of Mahfouzs unique insight into his countrys timeless qualities, this provocative work skillfully traces five thousand years of Egypts past as it flows into the turbulent present.
Translated from the Arabic by Raymond Stock
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The great idea is to write a novel organized around the afterlife trials of Egyptian rulers, from King Menes down to Anwar Sadat. This takes place in the Court of Osiris. Each defendant is allowed to speak for themselves, then Osiris challenges them on certain points. Isis delivers the judgment, and acts more like a defender than a prosecutor. The outcome determines the eternal destiny of each ruler: will it be immortality, perdition, or hell?
I was intrigued by the opening chapter about King Menes, but the book quickly became monotonous. Rather than stick with a few fleshed-out examples, Mahfouz throws out one king after another, many of them are close to indistinguishable. The description of their actions is quite plain, resembling the first paragraph of a Wikipedia article. The trial proceeds based on this snippet of information from the scribe, but then sometimes someone in the court will suddenly know more about the defendant, so it raises the question just what is the point of the scribe anyway?
One missed opportunity is that there are no witnesses called. That could make things more interesting! Let's hear from one of the soldiers in King Menes' army to see if he saw his death as being for the greater good of the country!
I was also quite frustrated by the poor judgments, and downright inconsistencies shown by the rulings. The Pharaohs are war mongers and whore mongers and they parrot these lame lines about "it was for the glory of Egypt" and get let off with verbal chastisements. And not only the war mongers are rewarded, but the pacifistic Akhenatan as well! King Menes appeals to the fact that he was faithful to his wife, but another king justifies himself on the grounds that "every king has a harem." Well, the Kings of the old dynasty didn't, but no one brings up that point.
A good idea, but a big let-down!
Is valuable not only to analyse Egyptian history and evolution but also to understand the movements that Egypt is undergoing. For outsiders this history-fictional work is revealing