Drugged Poets in Cafes


Drugged Poets in Cafes is an essay on the novel Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, first serialised in Egypt in 1959. It was the novel that led to the 1994 attack which left the writer partially disabled until his death.

I show the close relationship of the novel with the Old Testament, the Gospels, the Qu’aran and the Hadith. I demonstrate that Mahfouz believes that political changes have always left the Egyptian people in misery, and that fratricidal strife in the Middle East has led to the domination of the area by the nuclear-armed powers. I also show that Mahfouz supported in principle the Free Officers coup of 1952.

Drugged Poets in Cafes will probably be published in 2019.