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The Dreams Paperback – July 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307455076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307455079
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,213,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

In his first book since an assassin nearly killed him, a decade ago, the Nobel laureate and author of "The Cairo Trilogy" transcribes his dreams. Presented without interpretation, the hundred and four sketches are cryptic, haunting, and brief—none more than a few paragraphs, some only a few sentences. Frequently, the narrator begins in delight and wonder—a street is a circus; a beautiful lady stirs his heart—and ends in terror, doubt, and confusion. He seems to experience everyday life with the knowledge that something is amiss—sometimes, perhaps, everything—and that people are, at the core, an uneasy mixture of idealism and hate.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Cryptic, haunting, and brief. . . . Frequently the narrator begins in delight and wonder . . . and ends in terror, doubt, and confusion.” —The New Yorker“Mahfouz [gives us] a sense of immersion in a mind at the edge of life, a mind returning to its elemental instincts. . . . Mahfouz maintains an unruffled, even humorous voice in the face of these volatile dreamscapes. . . . A fine, surreal filter through which to divine all the elements at play in contemporary Egyptian society.” —The Seattle Times

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rev4u VINE VOICE on August 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Egyptian Nobel Laureate Mahfouz, who was nearly assassinated in 1994 at the age of eighty-two, survived the attempt on his life and lived twelve more years, long enough to compose a book about his post-assassination dreams.

The late Mahfouz transcribed these dreams with captivating lyrics shrouded with mystery, and developed his actual reveries into short stories.

The book consists of a series of allegories connected to the attempt on his life, as well as previous experiences of people he knew, places he went, situations he faced, all laced with the ominous political atmosphere in which he lived in.

Unlike Freud, Mahfouz recited his dreams without interpretations, and left it up to the reader to construe the content and to decipher the enigma.

The two hundred and six scenes he dictated to his secretary are obscure, perplexing, and concise. He frequently began the vision with joy, nostalgia, and astonishment and ended in horror, uncertainty, and confusion. His dreams are a troubling mixture of the deceptively ordinary, and the frightfully eccentric constituting ten years of everyday experience.

You have to be a Mahfouz fan and an avid reader of his literature in order to appreciate this volume. Otherwise, you might find it boring and confusing. Overall, the book will present an interesting literary experience of a prolific author and a literary giant.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zeldie Stuart on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a story but pieces and fragments of dreams and thoughts. I found this book strange and not interesting enough for deep and long thinking; too much mind work for a book; I wouldnt mind if it were enjoyable in some sense but I did not find it so.
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