Written by: Hassan Hafez
A few days away, Al-Arabiya readers are waiting for the most prominent cultural event in 2022, which is the release of a new edition of Giant’s works Arabic Novel About “Diwan”, an edition that will be controversial because it is subject to the work of an audit committee Naguib Mahfouz’s work And reviewing it on his manuscripts and various editions, which is something that everyone, whether critics or readers, is waiting for in order to make sure that the work of Al-Najeeb is not tampered with, and how the expected new edition will come and whether it will be worthy of the name of the only Arab writer who has obtained a certificate. Nobel prize? While some fear that the committee will interfere with the revision of famous novels. All of these reasons make the release of the new edition a subject of anticipation and anticipation, and it is expected that it will provoke a lot of reactions as soon as it becomes available in bookshops beginning in May.
Last December, Naguib Mahfouz’s family and Diwan announced the signing of a contract giving the latter the exclusive rights to publish the complete works of the world’s leading writer, Naguib Mahfouz, This is for a period of 15 years, starting from next May, which is the news that ended the state of anticipation and the stock exchange of expectations about the house that would obtain the paper publishing rights for Mahfouz’s work after the expiration of the contract period with Dar Al-Shorouk, but the announcement of the new editions that will be released to the market within days, did not go unnoticed. Diwan announced that it would “revive Naguib Mahfouz’s legacy and present his revised and revised works with the latest paper, digital and audio publishing techniques, and work to extend his intellectual impact and preserve his unique literary legacy.” The preserved text and opened the door for anyone who wants to manipulate the texts of the author of the trilogy, hence the state of anticipation by readers and critics for the publication of Naguib Mahfouz’s first works, to know what happened in the preserved text.
The novelist Ahmed al-Qarmlawy, director of the publishing department at Diwan, coordinator of the committee formed to review the works of Adeeb Noble, told (Akher Sa’a) that the committee has already completed a full review of some of Naguib Mahfouz’s works, and there are some works in progress, and the publishing process will start successively. Starting from next May, the process of marketing and announcing these works will start at the beginning of next May, pointing out that reviewing Adeeb Noble’s work is “a stressful and interesting process at the same time, and there is work for Mahfouz that took more than his time in the plan, regarding the review, so it was replaced by a work Another to be issued with the group that will be issued within days, but in general the committee is proceeding with the plan set for it.”
Regarding some of the rules that the committee follows in the process of reviewing Naguib Mahfouz’s works, Al-Qarmlawy said: “In order for the preserved works to come out with the accuracy that we want, desire and aspire to, So we reviewed all the editions that were issued for Naguib Mahfouz’s works, including the works that were published serially in Al-Ahram newspaper, and reviewed the differences between the different editions, to make sure that the new edition came out as close as possible to what Naguib Mahfouz wanted,” stressing that the committee’s work is far from revision and interference. In drafting the text, it is an examination of Naguib Mahfouz’s writings in order to reach the most accurate picture of what Mahfouz wrote himself without any censorship or interference with deletion.
The process of publishing Naguib Mahfouz’s texts went through many stages, as he began publishing his short stories in Al-Resala magazine and Al-Jadeedah magazine, then published his fictional works in the (Publishing Committee for Academics), which was founded by Abdel Hamid Gouda Al-Sahar in the 1940s, to publish the works of young writers who suffered from difficulties. Publishing in the major publishing house at the time, which refused to publish by creators who are still young and without literary fame, so El-Sahhar succeeded in publishing most of Naguib Mahfouz’s first works. This house is the exclusive publisher of Naguib’s works in Egypt for decades and throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and for the house to achieve its Arab fame as the legitimate publisher of the works of Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, to live this house on this glory, until a crisis began between Mahfouz and the director of the house, Amir Saeed Gouda Al-Sahar, when the latter spoke in one of the dialogues about the failure to achieve the works of the Nobel Prize owner for sales, so that the owner of the (trilogy) thinks about a new house that publishes his works.
Indeed, Dar Al-Shorouk presented the largest offer in the history of Arab publishing in the year 2000, with a value of one million pounds, in exchange for obtaining rights to publish Naguib Mahfouz’s works. The latter agreed, and the house began publishing the works of the great novelist with new covers and complete editions of his works, but the most prominent The work of Naguib Mahfouz was associated with this house, which is the publication of the first Egyptian edition of the novel (The Children of Our Neighborhood), which was not published in Egypt except through the pages of Al-Ahram newspaper in the fifties of the last century, then it was published by Al-Ahali newspaper, the tongue of the left-wing party, in one of its issues a few days later. From the attempted assassination of Naguib Mahfouz in October 1994, but it was never published in a book in Egypt, even if it was published by the Beirut House of Arts, so the publication (Dar Al-Shorouk) of Mahfouz’s novel came as the most important achievement of this edition as the first Egyptian edition in 2006, i.e. in the same year as Naguib Mahfouz’s departure.
While the American University Library obtained the copyright for Naguib Mahfouz’s works translated into English and other languages, some of Naguib Mahfouz’s works have been published. In other roles, the (Egyptian Lebanese) house obtained from Naguib Mahfouz the right to print his articles in the thirties, and they were issued in three volumes under the title (Naguib Mahfouz’s Annals). Al-Nujoum) which was issued in 2020, and the Hendawy Foundation for Electronic Publishing obtained the rights to publish the works of Naguib Mahfouz from his family last year, on the electronic space and provide them for free, as is customary in what the non-profit institution provides, from spreading knowledge and culture, and instilling a love of reading among Arabic speakers, by providing the books of many major writers in a free electronic edition.
Anticipation for the release of the new edition of Naguib Mahfouz’s works is not limited to the body of works, but rather there is anticipation of another kind, and it relates to the covers of the works of the owner of (Al-Harafish), as generations were associated with the covers of the edition issued by (The Library of Egypt), which was confronted by the plastic artist Gamal Qutb, who became the painter The most famous for the covers of fictional works in the Arab world, after the completion of many covers of major writers contracted with (Library of Egypt) such as Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Youssef Idris, Youssef Al-Sebaei and Ihsan Abdel Quddus, as well as Naguib Mahfouz, whose omissions came to express the worlds of the Egyptian neighborhood as depicted by Jamal Qutb. With the transfer of copyright rights to (Dar Al-Shorouk), the plastic artist Helmy El-Tuni confronted the design of the covers of the new edition.