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Tawfiq al-Hakim (1898–1987)

Author of Diary of a Country Prosecutor

84+ Works 425 Members 23 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Tawfiq al-Hakim was the undisputed pioneer of dramatic writing in Arabic. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, he studied law in Paris and spent time with writers there. In 1928 he was appointed an attorney to the public prosecutor in the provinces of Egypt, and his experiences there inspired his novel The show more Maze of Justice. He resigned from government service and devoted himself completely to writing. Among his works widely read in Europe, particularly in France, are The Return of the Spring (1933) and The Tree Climber (1962), considered his masterwork. 020 Al-I Ahmad, Jalal Life Dates:1923-1969 Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1923, Jalal Al-i Ahmad is considered to be one of Iran's major modern prose writers, distinguished in both fiction and nonfiction. His first works of fiction began to appear in 1945. His seminal work, Mudir-i Madrasah (The School Principal) (1958) is social criticism as much as a novel-a blend that has led to many of Al-i Ahmad's works, especially his later ones, being banned. His political affiliations changed markedly during his life. The son of a Shi'ah cleric, he eventually came to have a strong belief in Islamic government and the importance of Shi'ah Islam in Iranian life, but earlier in his life he was active in the Tudeh (Communist) party and a strong supporter of Muhammad Musaddiq. Unquestionably, though, he was a nationalist with a strong dislike of Western culture and its pervasive intrusion in Iran. These feelings are particularly evident in his best-known nonfiction work in both Iran and the West, Gharbzadigi (Struck by the West). Originally published in serialized form in 1962, only a part appeared before it was banned. The first uncensored edition was published in 1978. Yet Al-i Ahmad was not solely an angry voice. Cynicism and disillusionment mingled with humor is part of his prose. His last novel, Nafrin-i Zamin (Cursing of the Land), was published in 1968 shortly before he died of a heart attack. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Courtesy of Egypt State Information Service

Works by Tawfiq al-Hakim

Diary of a Country Prosecutor (1937) — Author — 95 copies
Return of the Spirit (1933) 64 copies
أهل الكهف (2006) 15 copies
The Return of Consciousness (1974) 12 copies
Bird of the East (2004) 8 copies
The Prison of Life (1990) 7 copies
Al-Hakim's Donkey (2008) 6 copies
Flower of the Age (2004) 6 copies
بنك القلق (1988) 5 copies
سليمان الحكيم (2005) 4 copies
Isis 3 copies
The Revolt of the Young (2015) 2 copies
شهرزاد 2 copies
Пьесы 1 copy
شهر زاد (2009) 1 copy
مصير صرصار (2019) 1 copy
إيزيس 1 copy
ايزيس 1 copy
Nashīd al-anshād (1980) 1 copy
Tres obras (1983) 1 copy
الصفقة 1 copy

Associated Works

A World of Great Stories (1947) — Contributor — 258 copies
The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction (2006) — Contributor — 101 copies
Modern Arabic Short Stories (1967) — Contributor — 43 copies
African Literature: an anthology of criticism and theory (2007) — Contributor — 23 copies


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Tawfiq al-Hakim
Legal name
Tawfiq Ismail al-Hakim
Other names
توفيق الحكيم
Tawfīq al-Ḥakīm
Date of death
Alexandria, Egypt
Place of death
Cairo, Egypt
novelist, playwright



A giant in Egyptian literature. I read his Maze of Justice some years ago and enjoyed it. Not this one. It was first published in 1933 and is touted as the story of the 1919 Revolution (throwing off the yoke of the colonial British government). Either I am an incompetent reader (a distinct possibility) or this has virtually nothing to do with the coming of the 1919 Revolution except that it covers the period shortly before it. Advertised as “a trailblazing political novel that illustrates the way one man's spiritual awakening ties to a political awakening of a nation,” it is actually the story of a boy who falls in love with his next-door neighbor, a woman a few years too old for him. That “relationship” is the most significant portion of the book, the remainder being primarily taken up with the lives and tribulations of the people in the house in which the boy lives. His rich parents in the countryside make a brief appearance and the customers of a café across the street make occasional appearances. The Revolution appears out of nowhere in the last dozen or two dozen pages; they are almost as if tacked on from another book. The only connection to what came before is the same characters as witnesses to the eruption of violence. To the extent that the “love story” is a metaphor for the Egyptian people under the British yoke, I never got it.
The book wasn’t particularly well-written and the translation struck me as a poor job. William Maynard Hutchins, a major translator—indeed, he translated Mahfouz’s “Cairo Trilogy” into English among other things—did the translation. It seems that he must have done the Mahfouz at the same time and there is no doubt in my mind where his attention was. It reads too often as if he simply sleepwalked through it. The English is occasionally stilted, ungrammatical, and just difficult. A sad job of translating and a grave disappointment of a book. (That said, I’d be very curious to hear from someone else who has read it to make certain I’m not just blind to something.)
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Gypsy_Boy | Aug 24, 2023 |
توفيق الحكيم واخد لقب عدو المرأة مش من فراغ
الاسلوب جميلة كالعاده , توفيق الحكيم فعلا يقدر يعمل من الفسيخ شربات
الرواية عموما بتدور حوالين الصراع بين المبادئ والقيم اللي بيمثلها شخصية الاديب في الرواية و الجسد ا الانحطاط زي ما هو شايفه اللي بتمثلها الست المستهترة في الرواية
من طريقة عرضة بيقول ان الستات هما اساس الغواية والست هيا اللي بتحدد وتقرر انها تختار
وانه شايف ان الست محتاجه لاديب او مفكر ايا كان يرشدها علشان يغير اهتمامها من الاهتمام بالمظهر والجري ورا الملذات الجسدية للاهتمام بالثقافة والملذات المعنوية
كلام حلو بس الموضع عمره ماكان كدا ابدا مش بالبساطة دي ولا كان بالاسلوب دا
لو في غواية يبقي الراجل اكيد له دور , الراجل مش مسلوب الاراده يعني , الراجل له اراده حره بيختار بيها , كون انه اختار يعيش حياة الرهبنة ويبعد عن الاتزان اللي ربنا حدده والموازنه بين الحس والجسد , خلاص هو حر بس مايرجعش يشتكي بقي ويرمي الذنب علي غيره
الله يرحمه شكله اتلسع من الشوربة
… (more)
amaabdou | Oct 14, 2022 |
الكتاب صغير المقطع وعدد صفحاته لاتكاد تعتبر رواية , ضخصيا اعتبرها قصة طويلة , عدد الشخصيات او الاحداث قليلة جدا
لكن الفكرة رهيبة
الغير معقول والذي ربما يدفعك للتعجب هو كيف يحول العباقرة من مثال توفيق الحكيم ونيوتن الي اشياء ذات معني قديغير البشرية فالثاني , اكتشف قوانين الجاذبية والثاني احاول مجرد رؤيته لصرصار في حمامه الي مساله في غاية الاهمية لدي الانسان
وعلي الرغم من اني قرات الرواية هربا مماامر به حاليا الا اني اشتريتها اليوم وانهيتها اليوم
فهي شيقة جدا وذات معني رائع
… (more)
amaabdou | Oct 14, 2022 |
هل تسترد مصر الوعى الحر يوما بعد ان اعتادت لعقود على تغيب الوعى بالشعارات الزائفة و الاوهام؟
Hany.Abdelmalek | 1 other review | Sep 16, 2020 |


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