Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz, Tagreid Abu-Hassabo

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 in regards to the such a lot notorious pharaoh of old Egypt.

In this beguiling  novel, initially released in Arabic in 1985, Mahfouz tells with awesome perception the tale of the "heretic pharaoh," or "sun king,"--the first identified monotheistic ruler--whose iconoclastic and arguable reign in the course of the 18th Dynasty (1540-1307 B.C.) has uncanny resonance with smooth sensibilities.  Narrating the radical is a tender guy with a fondness for the reality, who questions the pharaoh's contemporaries after his terrible death--including Akhenaten's closest pals, his such a lot sour enemies, and at last his enigmatic spouse, Nefertiti--in an attempt to find what quite 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 the entire contradictions his topics see in him: straight away merciless and empathic, female and barbaric, mad and divinely encouraged, his personality, as Mahfouz imagines him, is eerily glossy, and fascinatingly ethereal.  An formidable and enormously lucid and available booklet, Akhenaten is a piece purely Mahfouz might render so elegantly, so irresistibly.

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Sample text

We are the teachers, the healers, and the guides in this world and the hereafter. The queen is a wise woman; she must acknowledge our merits,” I replied. “But this is a power struggle. The queen is ambitious. In my opinion she is more powerful than the king,” he said irritably. “But we are the sons of the greatest deity. We are backed by a heritage stronger than destiny,” I argued, against my own misgivings. Maybe at this point I should tell you about King Amenhotep III. His grandfather, Tuthmosis III, had established an empire that surpassed all others in its vastness and the multitude of its peoples.

Haremhab's father was the first in his family to be elevated to the ruling class when he was appointed chief of horsemen during the life of Amenhotep III. Haremhab was the only one of Akhenaten's men who kept his position as chief of security in the new era. His main duty at that time was to eradicate the corruption that had spread in the country and to restore peace. He was so successful that in the critical period of transition from Akhenaten's rule, Haremhab was regarded as a hero. The high priest of Amun gave him a glowing testimony, and Ay, the sage, confirmed it.

He talked at length about the wrath of the gods and the fate of the empire. Then he delivered us a severe warning and left. We felt as though a snake had just brushed by our feet. I did not know how to interpret his actions; I had never trusted him in the first place. I suspected, however, that the high priest did not trust the troops in the provinces to be on his side either. He was afraid, I concluded, of a nationwide conflict that would end either in his destruction or, at best, in a very costly victory.

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