The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor


The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor

–Menonim Menonimus


The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor

The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor

The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor

Tawfiq al-Hakim was a versatile writer not only of Egypt but also of the Arab world. He attempted almost all the major branches of literature as plays, novels short stories and essays. There is a considerable lasting effect of his writings in the social, Political and linguistic sphere of Egypt as well as of the Arabic-speaking world.

He had made a conscious effort to produce indigenous Arab literature using techniques from the heritage of the past. He used the technique of Shahrazad in his Maze of Justice. He had given consideration to the themes which are faced by the intellectuals of his society and made them understood by all kinds of his readers. He dealt with the problems of facing the West, and of raising one’s spirit above disappointment and sad realities of life. The characters in his early novels begin to feel the frustration in face of the overpowering forces of reality but they cling to their imagination and humour.

Because of the intellectual orientation of his works, some people have accused him of being aloof and of living in an ivory tower. After his first period in the country and in Paris he never actually lives with the people. When his novels, which developed out of his actual experiences, lack in the tragic realism of the younger Egyptian writers. He views all situations from a detached aristocratic point of view. In spite of that, he felt emotions strongly and was able to put all those emotions into his writings- whether they be emotions or natural identity or anti-feminism or the terror of dualistic living.

He introduced an effective writing style for the novel in Arabic- which is called to be simple and unadorned. The power of his writing lies in his ability to present thoughts quickly and concisely. He used colloquial language in his dialogues and even in his texts. A colloquial word or expression often speaks more forcefully than the classical one since the readers are acquainted with such words in the land. But al-Hakim is against the total reliance on the colloquial. Outside of his dialogues he always observed the rules of the classical making skillful use of its sophistication. Some of his ideas about a third language in the theatre have spilt over into his novels. The third language is a language that is grammatically correct yet can be spoken by porters. In his Bank al Qalaq, the dialogues are in this third language. The classical has a colloquial ring about it.

In Egypt, Hakim’s writing style i.e. colloquial dialogues and art, in general, are less commonly known for his stance against women. He frequently appears in society columns of the ahram whenever some feminist wants to voice her opinions against conservatism and the man’s world. All the pretty feminine journalists interviewed him and tried to change his opinion all to no avail. He seems to feel that his prime duty as an Egyptian is to put a check on the Egyptian woman’s emancipation. His anti-feminine novel Al- Rabat al- Muqaddas written in 1945 has given him a national reputation. His ideas against women have mellowed since then. He usually explained that he did not hate women, he just thought that they were dangerous especially when they are pretty. The roots of Hakim’s anti-feminism lay in his personal life. But they are inherent in the prevailing male orientation of Arab society. Nevertheless, it is hard to understand why that thoughtful man who would never write without reason, should write a book like Al- Ribat al-Muqaddas which only reinforced old bigoted beliefs. Is there something important he tried to say? Was he trying to warn his people through exaggeration that Egyptian women are evolving too quickly becoming westerns in their dress and lipstick, but not really overcoming their basic instincts? Perhaps such was his purpose for his women in his Al- Ribat al-Muqaddas?

Besides the literary circle, he had large followers among the common people from all walks of life, not merely intellectuals. It might be an exaggeration to say that he is the pulse beat of his country, but he did not strike the common chords in the hearts of millions of Arabs. His Awdat al-Ruh (Return of the Spirit) has probably been one of the most important books of the pre-revolutionary period in Egypt and post-revolutionary Egypt. The fact that it influenced President Nasser is of considerable significance. It is the literary spirit behind the revolution.

The heroes of Al-Hakim’s novels are often projections of himself. They are constantly disillusioned: they are romantics who view the realities of life with a kind of sadness, just as Muhsin regrets his love affairs with Saniya when he finds how easy it was to win her. His characters always try to bridge the gap between reality and ideas. Both Muhsin’s Awdat al-Ruh and Usfur min al-Sharq put all their hopes in  Sayyida Zeinab, the virgin protectress, whose mosque is at the centre of old Cairo. Hakim and Hakki were the first of modern writers to talk about the special Sufi significance of Sayyida Zeinab in their characters.

Tawfiq al-Hakim’s concern for his country does not lead him to indulge in overly sensational cries for reform or social improvement. He is noted for his balanced views although at times he can be firm and impassioned. At certain points in the Maze of Justice and Bank al-Qalaq, he keeps a static vein, poking fun at people and at the government. The satire is subtle enough not to offend or insult which make it all the more readable and effective.

The novels of Tawfiq al-Hakim are an integral part of his whole literary and social career. They reflect the same basic themes as in his plays and essays: his enchantment with the East, his patriotic concerns, and his attempts to reach a mystical ideal above sordid reality and materialism. He is one of the first Arab writers for whom novelistic writing was more than an aside to politics or scholarship. He may be called the complete artist as he has shown that there is room for pure artists in the Arab revival which is taking place in the Middle East today. Through his art, he has raised the sight of many people in his own country, and in other Arab countries. He has given the Arabic novel a basis for existence on its own with its own concern and methods. The Arabic novel needs no longer be ashamed of itself for being a Western technique. With Tawfiq al-Hakim it has become Arab as well. 0 0 0

The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor 

Read More: Theme Analysis of ‘Diary of a Country Prosecutor’

The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor

N. B. This article entitled ‘The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor’ originally belongs to the book ‘Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf-An Analytical Study‘ by Menonim Menonimus. The Conclusion to Diary of a Country Prosecutor

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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