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AUC Press's Description
In this second collection of writing based on his own dreams, serialized in a Cairo magazine before his death in 2006, Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz again displays his matchless ability to tell epic stories in uncannily terse form. As in the first volume (The Dreams, AUC Press, 2004), we meet more of the real (and unreal) figures that filled the author’s life with glory and worry, ecstasy and ennui, in tales dreamed by a mind too fertile to ever truly rest. In them, a man sent by a victorious invader to open a storehouse holding the statue of Egypt’s reawakening finds his access denied by a menacing reptile. An obscure writer dies, and a despairing inscription on his coffin turns his funeral into a massive demonstration. A man opens a stubborn gate to stare at a lake over which loom the illuminated faces of those he has loved, but who are no more—in search of the soul who made him long to live forever. The ever more condensed and poetic episodes in Dreams of Departure movingly carry on Mahfouz’s only major work after a knife attack in 1994 ironically inspired him to dream in print for his readers.