By Naguib Mahfouz, Tagreid Abu-Hassabo

From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and writer of the Cairo Trilogy, comes Akhenaten, a desirable paintings of fiction concerning the such a lot notorious pharaoh of historical Egypt.

In this beguiling  novel, initially released in Arabic in 1985, Mahfouz tells with striking perception the tale of the "heretic pharaoh," or "sun king,"--the first recognized monotheistic ruler--whose iconoclastic and debatable reign in the course of the 18th Dynasty (1540-1307 B.C.) has uncanny resonance with glossy sensibilities.  Narrating the unconventional is a tender guy with a keenness for the reality, who questions the pharaoh's contemporaries after his terrible death--including Akhenaten's closest neighbors, his so much sour enemies, and eventually his enigmatic spouse, Nefertiti--in an attempt to find what rather occurred in these unusual, darkish days at Akhenaten's court. As our narrator and every of the themes he interviews give a contribution their model of Akhenaten, "the fact" turns into more and more evanescent.  Akhenaten encompasses all the contradictions his matters see in him: immediately merciless and empathic, female and barbaric, mad and divinely encouraged, his personality, as Mahfouz imagines him, is eerily smooth, and fascinatingly ethereal.  An formidable and incredibly lucid and available publication, Akhenaten is a piece merely Mahfouz might render so elegantly, so irresistibly.

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Example text

Ay remained silent for a while. He tightened the sash around his shoulders. His face looked rather small under the thick wig. When some time had passed in silence, he continued. I am still amazed at the young boy's intelligence. It was as if he had been born with the mind of a high priest. I often caught myself arguing with him as though he were my equal. By the time he was ten, his mind was like a hot spring, sparkling with ideas. His weak body harbored such a strong will and perseverance that I took him as living proof that the human spirit could be stronger than the most exercised muscles.

I looked forward to lessons with him and wondered what his mind would produce when he reigned over the empire of his forefathers. I was certain that the greatness of his empire would surpass that of his father's. Amenhotep III was a great and powerful ruler. He was merciless with his enemies and those who disobeyed him. In peaceful times he indulged himself with women, food, and wine. He became so thoroughly consumed by those pleasures that he soon fell victim to all kinds of ailments, and spent his last days in agony, suffering excruciating pains.

The high priest of Amun gave him a glowing testimony, and Ay, the sage, confirmed it. He received me in the visitors' hall by the palace garden. Akhenaten was my companion and friend from boyhood, long before he was my king. From the time I first knew him, until we parted, he thought of nothing but religion. I gave him the respect that was due to him from the beginning, for I was raised to worship duty and to place everything in that context, regardless of any personal emotions or attachments. Akhenaten was the crown prince, I was one of his subjects.

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