Denis Hoppe



















Submitted to the Department of Oriental Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree.


April 19, 1969








      Modern Arabic literature is only beginning to receive the attention it deserves.  It has suffered neglect for many years, after the distinguished Orientalist H.A.R. Gibb cast off its early novelistic attempts as unworthy in his famous essay of 1933, “Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature.”  In the essay, Gibb said that the problem with modern Arabic novels was that they were at best weak imitations of western techniques and did not apply to Arab society.  Since that essay, two whole new generations of Arab novelists have been developing.  Tawfiq al-Hakim is one of the greatest of these new writers, although some say that he is now becoming old and may soon be surpassed by others.

      Since his novelistic career is almost complete, one can look at it as a whole and observe certain basic themes.  The aim of this paper is to present three of Hakim’s concerns as an artist and discuss these as they are reflected in his Audet al-Ruh(Return of the Spirit), Yomiyat Na’ib fil Aryaf(Maze of Justice), Usfour min al-Sharq(Bird from the East, Ash’ab, al-Ribat al-Muqaddas(the Holy Bond), and Bank al-Qalaq(Bank of Worry).

      I have tried to read as much of what Hakim’s critics have said about him in his own country before writing this paper.  I have included many of their views of Hakim in the paper in order to give the reader an idea about the literary discussion over his works taking place in Egypt today.  The bibliography of magazine articles and books on Hakim at the end of the paper suggests still further critical viewpoints.

      My chief indebtedness is to my advisor, Mr. Wadi’ Haddad, who steered me through many of the critical works and helped me arrive at my ideas on his novels.  Also I am indebted to my teachers, L. Carl Brown and Andras Hamori, who, unknowingly suggested to me some of the ideas on Hakim’s position in society and his relation to Jahiz.  Asad Khairalla, a graduate student at Princeton pointed out to me several articles on Hakim, which have aided me in my research.






















I.    Introduction to the Life and Works

      of Tawfiq al-Hakim.                          1


          Childhood and formative literary years.

          Period of leisure in government posts

          and first success.                       4

          Period of honorary appointments and

          modernistic writings                          6


II.   The Eastern Enchantment.                     9


          Influences of the past in Yomiyat.      10

               a.  Hakim's preference for Jahiz

                   and Shaherazade.                     10

               b.  Influences on the ordering

                    of Yomiyat                          13

                          1)Jahiz disorder.        13

                          2)Sheherazade story-pattern   15

               c.  The enchantment of Shaherazade.     17

          Easternism in Hakim's other works.      20

               a.  Plays                           21

               b.  Reflections on Sheharazade          22

               c.  Short Stories                   23

               d.  Novels                               24


III.  Hakim's Patriotic Concerns                        29


          'Audet al-Ruh:  a patriotic novel.      29


          Hakim's concern for social problems.         41


          Hakim as national writer of Egypt            44

               a.  Hakim's contributions to the

                   development of literary Arabic 45

               b.  Hakim's reputation as a

                   woman-hater.                         51




IV.   Hakim's View of Life                              54


          Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas                          57


          Bank al-Qalaq                            63


      Conclusion                                   71


Bibliography                                       75


      Biographical Works on Hakim                  75


      Critical Works on Hakim                      76


      Other Works Consulted                             80

Appendix:  Chronological Listing of Hakim's

          Main Works.                              82






     This paper is on the novels of Tawfiq al-Hakim, but since he has written a great deal more outside the novel, especially in the theater field, it is worthwhile to sum up his total literary career by way of introduction.


     Hakim's childhood and formative literary years


     Tawfiq al-Hakim was born in Alexandria in 1898.  His father was from the so-called wealthy peasant class and had married a Turkish lady.  His parents' comparative wealth and bourgeois pride led them to scorn the Egyptian peasantry and to isolate the young Tawfiq from any companionships among the poorer boys who lived near their country estate.  Perhaps this lack of companionship led him to enter an inner world of thought at an early age, since the doors to the outer world were closed to him.

     His mother introduced him to art, giving him books to read and letting him participate in the back-stage activities of a local troop of dancers and musicians.  He went to secondary school in Damanhour, a market town near the family estate in the Delta, and then was sent to the Mohammed Ali School in Cairo for his secondary education.  In Cairo he lived with his father's cousins, who were poor, but whom he liked because of their natural gaiety and openness.

     In 1919, he and his cousins participated in the revolution in favor of Saad Zaghloul against the British.  When about twenty-one years old, he was put in prison for a time because of his distribution of revolutionary tracts and poems.  In 1921 he began studying law at the Sultaniya Law School, which had become the principle training ground for Egypt's intellectual leaders of the new generation, as the Azhar had been for the generation before.  Mustapha Kamil and Ahmed Lutfy Sayyid had been graduates.  al-Hakim graduated in 1924 in a class with Yahya Haqqi, who later became an ambassador and a novelist.1

     While in law school he associated with the directors and actors of the active Cairo theaters.  He was totally enchanted by the theater, as one can see by reading some of his autobiographical short stories written about his student days.  He wrote some plays during this time, but they are mediocre.  Though as yet unpublished, they are still performed.

     He finished law school in 1924 and persuaded his father to send him to Paris to study for his doctorate in Law.  There he stayed about four years studying not only law but French and Western culture in general.  He read French novels, went to plays and concerts and discussed literature with the artists of Paris.  With his father's wealth, he was able to live the life of a devoted student of the arts in Paris.  While there he decided to prepare himself to become one of the national writers of his country in the field of the novel and the theater.  He began writing his famous novel about pre-revolution Egypt, 'Audet al-Ruh(Return of the Spirit), while he was in Paris.  In fact he wrote it in French and later transposed to Arabic and published it in 1933.  He wrote some of his first short stories in Paris and later published them in Ahl al-Fann(The Arty People) in 1934.1  "Al-Sha'ir"(The Poet) from these early stories has been translated into French:2 it is reminiscent of the Parisian impressions of many other expatriate artists have had in Montmartre.  He also wrote his first well-known plays in Paris.  His humorous "Devant le Guichet" was first performed in Paris and later translated into Arabic as Amam shubbak al-Tathakir.3

     In 1928 he returned to Egypt and got a job as attorney to the Public Prosecutor, working in the district courts of the Delta.  These six years in the country gave him the opportunity of meeting many people who would later become characters in his social plays and novels, such as Yomiyat Na'ib fil-Aryaf(Diary of a Deputy Prosecutor in the Country).  The short stories in al-'Adaleh wa al-Fann are more incidents like those related in Yomiyat which take place in the country.  Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf has been translated into many languages, including English.1  Some of the stories in al-'Adaleh wa al-Fann have been translated into French.2


Hakim's period of leisure in government posts and first success


     In 1933, he became Inspector General for the Ministry of Education and stayed in this post until 1939 when he moved to the Ministry of Social Affairs as Director of Social Guidance.  He retired from government service in 1943.  During this second period in his life, a period of easy desk jobs, he refined and published the works he had been working on before.  Thus his famous Ahl al-Kahf(The Men of the Cave) appeared in 1933, as well as 'Audet al-Ruh(1933), and Shahrazad in 1934, assuring his reputation as one of Egypt's greatest writers.  Since his only contact with the world was his desk job in the ministry, he became known as the writer in the Ivory Tower.  He wrote many essays and short stories on society, politics, and art, which played a formative role on the thoughts of many Egyptians of his day, and even today they are often quoted.  He turned increasingly to plays, many of which were about society, and politics.  They have recently been collected in his Masrah al-Mujtama'(Theater of Society).1   He treats his country's problems with a humorous touch.  Many of these plays have been translated into French.  He continued to write serious full-length plays, dealing with the mystical search for a higher world here on earth, elaborating on the themes and conflicts brought out in Ahl al-Kahf and Shahrazad.  He used subjects frown from the Bible, the Koran, "Song of Songs," and The Arabian Nights.  The critics have called these serious plays his "masrah dhihiny," or "intellectual theater," since these plays deal more with thoughts than with actions, and some, like Muhammad are too long or too involved to be performed on the stage.  The language is not poetical, but has a certain lightness.  Plots develop quickly through exciting dialogues, and are not impeded by long soliloquies.


Hakim's period of honorary appointments and modern writings


     After withdrawing from government service in 1943, he has devoted himself to writing, although he has held several important positions.  During 'Abd al-Naser's revolution, he was an editor of the newspaper al-Ahram, and afterwards was appointed head of the national library.  In 1956 he was made an honorary member of the High Council of Arts and Letters.  In 1959 he was appointed to be the U.A.R.'s representative to UNESCO in Paris, but preferred to return to do active work on the High Council of the Arts in 1960.  During this period of high appointments, he wrote his anti-feminine novel, al-Ribat al-Muqaddas(1945).  Although he has married, and forgiven women some of their faults, he was always anti-feminine.  He feels that a woman is the flower of the arts, culture and society, but that like some flowers she has thorns with which she ensnares man and causes unspeakable trouble.

     He published two collections of short stories, Qusas Tawfiq al-Hakim(Short Stories of Tawfiq al-Hakim) in 1949 and 'Arni Allah(Show Me God) in 1952.  Twelve of these fanciful stories have been translated into French in Part Two of Souvenirs d'un Magistrat-Poete, and one of them called "Mu'jizat wa Karamat"1  has been translated into English as "Miracles For Sale" in Denys Johnson-Davies' new collection, Modern Arabic Short Stories(Oxford:  Oxford Univ. Press, 1967).

     He continued writing plays, some of which are modern in the manner of an Ionesco or a Pirandello, like Ya Tali'a Shajara(1963) which was translated into English in 1966 by Denys Johnson-Davies as The Tree Climber(Oxford:  U.P).  Others, like al-Safqa(The Deal)(Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1956), are addressed to the Egyptian people, and designed to be performed in the most primitive of villages with a minimum of props.

     His most recent work is a fantastic, imaginary novel, Bank al-Qalaq(Bank of Anxiety.  Cairo:  Dar al-Ma'arif, 1966).  Like many of his modern plays, it is a dialogue of confusion and anxiety, showing the dualistic nature of ultra-modern man.

     Amid his large output of other writing, especially plays, Hakim's novels seem to take a place of second importance, but actually they are as much a part of him as his plays and some of them, like Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf and Bank al-Qalaq are equal to the best of his plays.  'Audet al-Ruh and 'Usfour min al-Sharq(Bird From the East) are likewise important because of their large following in Egypt and the Arab World, even if their artistry is not as refined as some would like it to be. 

     Hakim's novels vary in form.  He has written a novel in diary form, a novel of ideas in the French manner, and a modern atmospheric novel which fluctuates between existence as a novel and as a play.  In spite of the variety, however, certain forces in Hakim's work make him distinctive.  He looks at life and art in a special way.  This paper is composed of three essays on three basic themes in his work:  1)  his sense of artistic continuum with the Arab past, 2)  his patriotic concern for his country, and 3), most characteristic of Hakim, his belief in the mystical feelings which raise the spirit and the heart above cold logic and material objects.























     If modern Arabic literature is ever destined to become popular in these Anglo-Saxon lands, as Chinese and Japanese literature have, probably translations of Tawfiq al-Hakim will lead the way.  For he, more than any other Arab writer, sees the Arab world through the rose-colored glasses of the West.  His view of the Arab world is tinted by the enchantment expected of the East, but which many Easterners themselves do not feel.  This is not to say that there is anything artificial or cute about his writing.  He gratifies the Westerner's delight in witnessing the Eastern soul, but he also shows the difficulties of living with such a soul.  This tragic aspect in Hakim's Easternism makes him more solid than innumerable romantics who have written about the exotic Middle East, without recognizing the contradictions in the very Eastern soul which seems so mysterious.  The tragic side of Hakim, however, will be the subject of the last essay.  This first essay will deal in his Easternism from an artistic standpoint.  One of the most striking characteristics of Hakim is his sensitivity to the Arab past.  Like the great playwright, Ahmed Shawqi, he took subjects for his writing from the ancient works, Arab folk tales, The Thousand and One Nights, the Bible, and the Koran.  All his works reflect a deep respect for the East and its unique heritage.  As an artist, he tried to incorporate into his work what he felt was the essence of past Arab genius.




Hakim's Preference for Jahiz and Sheherazade.


     His most successful attempt to produce a distinctly Eastern novel is his Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf(The maze of Justice 1937), although it may be argued that certain characteristics of Egypt such as "Heart," "Spirit," and community are better discussed in 'Audet al-Ruh(Return of the Spirit, 1933);  and certainly some of his plays are his greatest attempts to evoke the East.

     Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf is, at first glance, not a novel but a diary, yet its being so does not denigrate it as literature.  Robinson Crusoe is partially a diary, yet it is one of the pillars of the English novel.  In the Western world, Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf passes for a good novel, although its seemingly unstructured day by day plot confuses the reader and leads one translator to give it the English title of The Maze of justice.  It hovers, then, between the novel and the diary, but its real charm is that it is neither one nor the other;  but rather that it is a fresh, peculiarly Eastern form inspired by the Thousand and One Nights.1

            In a short essay on Arabic literature, Hakim himself describes his novel, explaining the Thousand and One Nights form which came upon it almost unconsciously:2


     "Moreover, contemporary Arab writing, even in its most modern forms, has not forgotten--no doubt by instinct--the technique of certain ancient works.  Here I must excuse myself if I use one of my own works because its example is especially obvious:  Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf or "The Diary of a Deputy Prosecutor in the Country."  It is not actually a diary in the strict sense of the word.  Its day entries are recounted in the same manner as the Thousand and One Nights.  On each day an incident is treated which could easily be considered as a separate story if it were not for the presence of several characters who tie together all the incidents throughout the book just as Shaherazade, Shahriar, and Dunyazade, etc. do for the Nights.  The traces of this old technique nevertheless lie hidden under this form which most people consider modern."


With this statement for a beginning, one can see more clearly how some of Hakim's favorite ancient literature lent itself to modern forms.  His favorite pieces were the Thousand and One Nights, the Bukhala'(The Misers) and other works of Jahiz, and the Koran.  He felt that these three were true creative masterpieces, and that much of the remainder of Arabic literature was redundant and alienated from the real life of the people themselves.  Even though the Thousand and One Nights lacked style, its stories had a kind of immediacy which was a real art and worthy of imitation.  But instead of the respect they deserved, the Nights were despised by the artists of the medieval periods, who preferred to confine themselves to poetry, or to long poetic accounts known as Maqamat.  Al-Jahiz, the famous ninth century writer on everything under the sun, was famous for developing a prose style which became a worthy medium for thought apart from the traditionally respected poetic forms.  Jahiz, too, was like the author of The Thousand and One Nights in that he took many of his examples and stories from the daily life of the people, both rich and poor.

     In Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf the traces of both Jahiz and Sheherazade add a special Eastern touch which goes beyond mere local color effect or nostalgic romanticism, but in fact affect the very structure and tone of the novel.  First of all, the novel has a vague, circular order controlling the seemingly fortuitous jumping from event to event, in the manner of Jahiz and the chain stories in the Thousand and One Nights.  Secondly, from the Nights comes the ingenious and subtle technique of using a beautiful and mysterious woman to keep the jumble of events related in the reader's mind, and to cast a mood of excitement and beauty over the other events.  The incorporation of these old Arabic techniques will be examined in detail.


Influences on the Ordering of Yomiyat


     The circular ordering in Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf may come from a combination of Jahiz and the Thousand and One Nights.

     Disordering Influences From Jahiz.  From Jahiz comes the apparent non-order of Hakim's Yomiyat.  All of Jahiz's works tend to ramble from one topic to another.  In the Bukhala', for example, he orders himself around his topic:  i.e.. miserliness.  Anything that has to do with misers and the things they do, he puts down with only a feeble attempt at division into categories or localities, for example.  The mediaeval Arab mind delighted in effusive variety, in contrast to the medieval French mind of Montaigne, for example who, even at that early age wrote well-structured, logical essays of the type prized by the French even today.  Consequently, the Bukhala' is a never-ending chain of short stories about people very much like Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf.  Like the people in the Bukhala', the sundry types the narrator meets in the country courts and  country roads are all related in that they are loaded points for the author's argument.  As misers are the topic in the Bukhala' so legal misfits are the subject of Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf.

     In the case of the Bukhala' it is the variety itself which saves the work from weakness.  The delight in reading Jahiz comes from letting the mind wander from one subject to another and succumbing to the humor and wittiness of the author.  Much the same can be said for Hakim's Maze of Justice:  its variety is its spiciness.  The deputy in Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf pursues his functions day by day, and is drawn here and there--to inspect the jails where he sees that the police chief has temporarily imprisoned people from the opposite party during the elections, or to visit the religious judge(who elaborates on his piously conservative opinions on the new school teacher and Einstein), or to do a hundred other chores.  Sometimes, these humorous and satiric sketches are related vaguely to the story--the visit to the religious judge, for example, was in order to get his opinion of the author of a mysterious note about the attempted killing of the pretty girl, Rim;  but often, too, they are mere digressions and have nothing to do with the mystery story.



Influences from the Broken-story Method of Shehrazade

This mystery story referred to is not a developed story with plot, climax and character development, in the manner so dear to western fiction.  It is no more than a subtle type of frame story, of the type used in the Thousand and One Nights.  The story in Yomiyat Na’ib fil Aryaf  begins with the deputy getting up in the middle of the night to investigate an attempted shooting.  When he arrives at the location of the crime, he learns that the wounded man had a ward.  She is called to be a witness, and when she comes, all are struck dumbfounded by her beauty.  This is the only time she is actually described in the book.  The description, and the deputy’s interrogation of her, however are so well done, and leave  such an aura of mystery about her that she becomes the leading force through the rest of the book, even though she never again appears in person.  Hakim’s description of Rim trying to express herself is one of the most beautiful in the book:1

     "It bewildered her sometimes and made her cry.  She wanted to know.  To know what?.. not a thing;  She couldn’t express it.  Not everyone can express himself and besides, expression requires a knowledge of the real feelings hibernating in the depths of the soul.. this girl, as it seemed to me, possessed a soul like a forest of reeds where no light reaches the depths except for a tiny bit, as if one could see coins sparkling in the shadows of the depths every time the reeds separated."

     She is a symbol for all that is beautiful and good in the poor, ignorant peasants around her.  Her case is the one that the deputy himself is most interested in and all his other cases seem to get in the way.  The story moves very much in the same manner of the Thousand and One Nights in that there are forever delaying parenthetical stories.  For example, in the story of the Porter and the Three Ladies at the beginning of the Nights, the reader’s curiosity about the identity of the three ladies is aroused by the their lascivious and strange actions with the porter, but is kept in suspense until the three stories in turn involve new stories within the story.  Each of their stories involve new stories within the story.  Similarly, as the deputy goes through the twelve days recounted in this diary, he pursues Rim’s case, but is constantly led to other things.  He cannot continue the interrogation of Rim on the first morning because he must be present at court. Pages of the diary are devoted to the various people who appear in court and the hasty judgments given by the judge.  The man who forgot to register his dog is fined, as is the poor fellah who washed his clothes in the canal, and the woman who was tricked into marrying her daughter to a man who could not pay the dowry.  In the next chapter, the deputy does get back to the Rim case, only to be diverted from it again by his duties as a prosecutor.  As the book ends, the case has slipped through his fingers.  Rim has been found strangled in a canal and all clues to the murder have been lost.  Only the taunting song of Sheikh Asfour remains.


The Enchantment of Sheherazade

     It has been shown how the day-by-day story proceeds along the course of a digressive detective story about Rim, but her contribution to the charm and mood of the novel go beyond her role in the detective story.  She becomes an ever-present, erotic force in the novel.  As in all of Tawfiq al-Hakim’s novels, the power of a woman influences everyone around her, although the characters themselves do not consider themselves to be directly under her spell.  No one knows much about Rim except that she is beautiful, and yet, two people are killed on her account.  Her presence produces a tension like static electricity in the tiny Egyptian village.  The deputy wakes up in the middle of the night thinking of her (he is slightly jealous that she is sleeping in the care of the Na’mour and his wife.  In the hospital, when he heard the dying words of Qamar al-Dawla intimating that Rim killed him, he and his assistant cannot believe their ears.  Later, when Rim runs off with Sheikh Asfour, he cannot understand why she had done so unless she were the criminal, yet he refuses to believe that such a beautiful and pure creature could commit crime:  “She a criminal?  Does such dazzling beauty commit crime?  Or are we criminals for thinking beauty could do evil.  It is difficult for me to picture beauty except as compared with virtue.  True beauty and true virtue are one and the same.”1 Such reflections about Rim are typical of the prosecutor throughout his diary.  As he himself says to his assistant at the end of the book, Rim had been a slightly erotic force like a beautiful moon during all their daily chores, reflecting a light on everything they did concerning her case.2

     The presence of Rim, felt throughout the highly varied and humorous daily accounts in the "diary," is comparable to the presence of Sheherazad in the Thousand and One Nights.  She is not really in any of the stories except the introductory story about how she took upon herself the challenge of marrying Shahrayar and keeping him distracted so that he would not kill her.  Yet, throughout the recounting of the Nights, one feels that Sheherazade is present, skillfully waging her intellectual battle against Shahrayar.  One always wonders whether Sheherazade will keep him sufficiently distracted that he will not kill her in the morning.  In most editions of the Thousand and One Nights, the stories are separated into "nights" so that Sheherazade is mentioned in so many words at every interval--as is the case in Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf, where new bits of the Rim case come to light at intervals during the other varied scenes of the prosecutor's daily life.

     Nevertheless, the actual references to Sheherazade in the Nights or to Rim in Yomiyat are not as important as the mere feeling that she is present.  The beauty in these two works is that the exigencies of the Rim and Sheherazade stories do not tie down the structure of the work to a tight, logical, developed plot as would be necessary in a respectable Western novel.  Instead, the woman, by hovering in the background, liberates the scope of the work;  thus, the Thousand and One Nights can cover the whole spectrum of medieval life and even soar into the fantastic world of genies, poets and philosophers.  Similarly, Yomiyat fil Aryaf is free to cover all sorts of Egyptian rural aspects.  It becomes a kaleidoscope of scenes and people.  satire, humor, and even philosophy are given a free hand without straining the reader's patience.  The grave-digging scene is typical of the wide range in this novelistic structure.  the purpose of digging up the grave was to follow up a clue to the mysterious killing of Qamar al-Dawla's late wife, but the occasion is the excuse for 1)  a little talk about the politics when the autopsy doctor appears, and then a trip to the deserted graveyard where guards are lounging on the tomb stones, 2)  a humorous conversation with the grave digger who can't find the right grave and proceeds to bring out the wrong corpses, and 3)  comments on the symbolic qualities of the dead felt by an uneducated bystander at the grave digging and a suggestion that the bystander's terror of the dead may be the very essence of humanity.1 The scene, because of its dialogue and humorous description, is enhanced by the little philosophic observations, . . .which are appropriate because the observations are about symbols.  Symbols bring to mind the symbol of Rim, which had inspired the crazy trip to the graveyard in the first place.




     As Tawfiq al-Hakim himself says, the similarity of Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf to the Thousand and One Nights is partially unintentional.  Certainly his tendency to ramble from scene to scene in the manner of Jahiz and his portrayal of Rim as a kind of mysterious power over all the story, in the manner of the Thousand and One Nights came about because Hakim is essentially Arab.  His other works reveal the same heritage, although they are more adulterated by certain useful Western novelistic techniques such as developed plot, limited characters, etc.  Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas(The Holy bond of Marriage, 1945) and 'Audet al-Ruh(Return of the Spirit, 1933) are both novels(the novel is a western form, of course), but the Eastern elements are mixed in them to a great extent.  Unfortunately a novel does not tolerate Jahiz-like digressive essays in its tight structure, and thus these two novels are weakened whenever the author wanders or elaborates in his Eastern fashion.  On the other hand, the technique of the all-pervading woman is carried off well in the character of Saniya in 'Audet al-Ruh and the wife in Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas.  Perhaps Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas is his best attempt to combine the novel with his eastern techniques, because the story and characters are developed enough to hold interest as a novel, and the enchanting woman is powerful enough to hold the interest through the digressive essays and indulgences in the author's conservative, anti-feminine opinions.

     Any discussion of the origins of a national literature has to be tenuous, of course;  thus the drawing of parallels between the Thousand and One Nights and its modern descendants in the Egyptian novel is dangerous.  Nevertheless, in the case of Hakim, one can draw such parallels with relative impunity since the author himself seems to have been actively engaged in thinking out these relationships.  His first novel, 'Audet al-Ruh was a deliberate, almost heavy-handed attempt to catch the Eastern spirit; and his following works, plays, novels and short stories were also consciously Arab and often took their subjects from the ancient Arab works.



     The most refined evocation of the East was in his plays, which were dramatizations of famous Arab stories and dealt with the peculiar ways the Arab(Egyptian in particular) faced his universe.  Hakim had definite views on the particular qualities of the Egyptian(and Arab) experience.  He felt that, whereas Greek tragedy was concerned with Fate versus Justice, Egyptian tragedy was Time versus Place.  According to Hakim, Egyptian literature "is the victory of the spirit over Time and Place:  that victory is the resurrection(ba'th) not to another world without time and place, but to this same world with its time and place."1   He does not see this philosophy as a consolation because of its emphasis on afterlife, but instead he views it from its tragic angle:  is it worth being reborn to a new time and place which is the same as this?  And secondly, can man be worthy of being reborn?  These are the questions he treats in his earlier plays.  Ahl al-Kahf(The Men of the Cave, 1933) represents Man's struggle with Time, as the sleepers of the cave come back to life and find all they had lived for in the past does not apply to the present.  They seek in vain for a bridge between their souls and their fleeting surroundings. Shahrazad(1934) is the struggle between man and Place:  King Shahrayar struggles to project his thoughts above sensuous reality in order to reach a truth which lets him live at peace with the world.  Shahrazade herself is at once his ideal teacher, his teasing temptress, and a woman of carnal desires.  Ahl al-Kahf and Shahrazade are the two most famous of his revivals of the past in his plays, but he wrote several others.

Reflections on Sheherazade in a work by Hakim and Taha Hussein

     Hakim became preoccupied with the reincarnation of Sheherazade in his literature.  Not only did he write the play, but also he collaborated with Taha Hussein to write Al Qasr al Mashour (The enchanted castle, 1936).  This is an imaginary tale of Sheherazade’s return to earth and her meeting with the two authors at a hotel in the French Alps.  She befriends Taha Hussein at first and does not want to meet Hakim because she claims that he does not understand her.  She had been insulted by his play about her, Shahrazade.  Hakim had portrayed her as being so vulgar as to “do it” with the black slave.  But she and Hakim make amends, since Hakim sees her more ethereal nature as well.  According to an Italian reviewer, the combination of Hakim and Taha Hussein was a fortunate one for the book.  The imaginative symbolism and humor of Tawfiq al-Hakim combine with the thought, sentiment and style of Taha Hussein to create a delightful discussion of time, art and women.1

Hakim’s Short stories

     A few of Hakim’s short stories have a special eastern flavor, inspired by old Pharaonic Egypt as “Cleopatra wa Macarthur” (Cleopatra and MacArthur)1 and “Marakib al-Shams” (The solar boats).2  “Cleopatra and MacArthur” is a silly story of Cleopatra coming to life again and spurring MacArthur on to great victories as she had done for Mark Anthony before.  It is a short, whimsical version of Al Qasr al- Mashour which also depicts a famous eastern woman returning to the present.

     “Marakib al Shams” is a pretty story which takes place in ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs and deals with some of the same themes Hakim dealt with in this plays- - the conflict of the soul with Time and Place.  The story has an endearing lightness and simplicity, so that the “philosophy” is unapparent.  The remainder of Hakim’s short stories are taken from his country experiences.  Some of his stories, too are semi-religious or moralistic stories.


     He tried his hand at recreating history in one of his novels, too, although only on a humorous level, not a philosophical one.  The novel is Asha’ab.1  In the preface to his novel, Hakim says his purpose in writing it was to bring to life the world of the ancient Islam described in the works of al-Jahiz, Khatib al-Baghdadi, Ibn Abd Rabbu, and Sadi al-Zaman.  He wanted to describe the colorful life of the common people and make the past seem more alive to contemporary Arabs, he claims that he was trying to mix the fleeting, snapshot beauty of the Arabs with the more complete beauty of the west in order to get the best of both.2

     The chief character in the novel is Ash’ab, the stock character of Arab humor throughout the middle ages in the Middle East.  He is well described in Frank Rosenthal’s Ash’ab article in Encyclopedia of Islam (new edition).  Ash’ab was a real and legendary person who flourished as a professional entertainer in the Omayyad period and was famous for his jokes about politics, religion and middle class life.  One of the most famous stories about Ash’ab, “the greedy,” tells about how he tries to get rid of some children who are annoying him by telling them that free gifts are being distributed in a different part of the city.  They all run off and leave him standing alone until his own subtle intelligence outwits him and he runs after them to get some gifts himself.1  Tawfiq Al-Hakim’s Ash’ab is much the same.  He is constantly on the move tricking people into giving him dinner and sometimes he is tricked by others.  He meets a friend who is as crafty as he and the two of them decide to go to Medina and make their fortunes on the pilgrim trade.  They set up a bar to entertain the pilgrims right outside the holy city and are quite successful until the authorities expel them and they must go back to their meager existence.  The humor of the novel is corny, lacking subtlety. 

     In line with Hakim’s sensitive awareness of his ancient heritage, his most recent novel, Banq al-Qalaq (Bank of Worry, 1966) can be viewed as a further development of the Abbassid-Omayyad Ash’ab story.  Here the rambling, crazy feeling of his Ash’ab is transposed into a creative, fantastical humor in a story which takes place in the modern age.  In Banq al-Qalaq, two men without enough money to buy food, like Ash’ab and his companion, are in search of new ways to make money.  Adham, the more imaginative of the two, devises the supra-modern idea of founding a “Bank of worry” where they would lend and borrow worries at interest and make a slight profit from the banking operations.  They barely stay alive for the next few days waiting for the customers who never come.  With difficulty they convince their landlord not to bother them for the rent until their bank is running.  A few days later, a rich landed man hears about them and is so enamored of their idea that he sets them up in a big office in the center of Cairo.  All expenses paid.  People from all walks of life come to the bank to tell them their troubles.  In a crazy sort of way, all seems well for Adham and his friend Sha’ban but suddenly, like Ash’ab in the medieval anecdote, they discover that they had been too smart for their own good.  The whole bank idea collapses in near catastrophe for them when they discover that they were unknowingly involved in a conspiracy to tap political malcontents through the tapes of “the grumblers” dialogues recorded in the bank.  In a neat and terrifying way, reminiscent of the modern ironic pessimists like Gide, Ionesco and Camus, Tawfiq al-Hakim has modernized the Ash’ab figures.  He changes them from bumbling wits into a happy-go-lucky Adham and Sha’ban, who suddenly discover that their cute little idea goes far deeper than they thought.  Although they never realized it, their bank of worry had only been dabbling at the surface of worry and terror:  the inner tragedy of Fatima, revealed to the reader only, is so harsh and real that it casts a shadow of ludicrous meaning to the rest of the story, making all the bantering dialogues that had proceeded seem hollow.1

     There are no references to Ash’ab or any ancient traditions in Bank al Qalaq, just as there are no references to Sheherazade in Yomiyat Na’ib fil Aryaf, but a certain ordering and the method of characterization remind the reader of the older story.  In Bank al-Qalaq, Hakim dealt with characters he knew—he himself had attended Law College like Adham and Sha’ban.  They are typical of any poor, but happy Egyptian dreamers, modern descendants of Ash’ab.  There are many comparisons between Adham and the medieval Ash’ab.  Both Ash’ab and Adham began their operations in a bar (the first scene of Bank al-Qalaq is in a cabaret), although Adham is not a professional entertainer as Ash’ab was.  Both Ash’ab and Adham are vagabonds who wander in search of amusement and profit, using their creative imagination for their livelihood.  Both are too smart for themselves—Adham failed his law examination because he felt the exam was an imaginary hoax and totally irrelevant: he only saw a picture of a donkey on the examination paper.  With Hakim, the old, typically Arab character leaps into the modern world of banking socialism, capitalism and general tension—which is Qalaq in Arabic.1  Bank al Qalaq is somewhat like his new play recently translated into English, The Tree Climber where he has taken old songs, a bit of country life along the railroad, and some Sufi veneration for the abstruse and woven them all into a dialogue of modern confusion.2





     Although Hakim is recognized now primarily as an artist, his writings always show a sensitive concern for his county and the development of its literature.



     His first novel, 'Audet al-Ruh(Return of the Spirit) was essentially a patriotic novel, written so convincingly that it apparently was one of President Nasser's greatest inspirations to leadership in Egypt's Revolution of 1952.1   Although many of the present generation regard Hakim's type of patriotism as sufistic and unrealistic, no one denies that he was concerned, at least from an artistic standpoint. 2

     Hakim was writing at a period when Egypt was not preoccupied with Pan-Arabism as it has been recently.  Egypt was for the Egyptians.  Taha Hussein’s famous essay on Egypt and the west, pointing out that Egypt had been oriented toward the west more than the east since Pharaonic days, was typical of Egypt’s outlook.1  Hussein, along with other writers, including Tawfiq al-Hakim, looked back to Egypt’s days of glory under the pharaohs rather than those under Islam.  One can see this feeling in Audet al-Ruh in the way Hakim uses a quotation from the Book of the Dead about the resurrection of Osiris as a theme for modern of Egypt.  Far from being pan-Arab, the book is so pro-Egyptian that considerable time is spent reviling the Arab marsh Bedouins who cut such mean figures beside the Egyptian Fellahin.  However, Nevill Barbour, writing in 1935 soon after the publication of the book, notes with keen perceptiveness that these miserable marsh Arabs were not regarded the same as the Arabs of the Arabian peninsula, and that actually Audet al-Ruh has the seeds of a less exclusively Egyptian nationalism.2  The neatly contrived dialogue which Muhsin heard on the train was indicative of the times:  Islam, concludes an enlightened passenger, is not a religion but a culture and way of life.

     Indeed, the power of Audet al-Ruh is not in any brash assertion of Egyptian patriotism, derived from Pharaonic Egypt, but rather in its sensitive searchings for a national myth.1 Viewing the novel as a search for a national myth, one can appreciate its artistic, as well as its forensic qualities.2  To view the novel as autobiographical, or to criticize it too harshly on the grounds that it is not good artistically, is to miss the whole “raison d’être” of the novel, and the period from which it came.

     Hakim’s Audet al-Ruh (Return of the Spirit) and Al-Raghif (The Bread) by the Lebanese writer Tawfiq Y. Awad were both written about the same time and are the two best patriotic novels of the Middle East.3

  They are both popular because they came at a time when people were looking for national myths.  But they are very different types of books.  The Bread is an exciting, sometimes sentimental story about the Lebanese resistance to the severe Ottoman rule during the First World War when the authorities reduced the inhabitants of Syria and Lebanon to a state of Beirut on May 6, 1916.  In fact, it is the story which is on the lips of most Lebanese today if asked what they think of the Turks.  A historian like Zeine N. Zeine may well point out that the Turks had not been exceedingly oppressive during their four centuries of rule in Syria, but he cannot efface the memory of that horrible May Sixth;  and even he admits that it was this action of Djemal Pasha which finally decided the Muslim leaders to turn against Turkey even though she represented the rightful caliphate.  Tawfiq Y. Awad’s novel appeared twenty-three years after the event, after Lebanon had indeed achieved independence from the Turks and was gingerly enjoying the first fruits of semi-autonomous government under the French Mandate.  Awad merely dramatized a bit of the past which every Lebanese felt to be part of himself.  The myth had already been created.

     Tawfiq al-Hakim, on the other hand, though he felt compelled to write about a national myth, could not turn to an adventure story of Egyptian resistance, as Awad had done because the resistance in Egypt was not yet a success story.  There had been the Arabi revolt in 1881 , but that had dissolved after being defeated by the British.  The peasants had caught brief glimpses of better days under the British administration, only to be oppressed by conscription during the First World War.  Saad Zaghloul had been their champion in the 1919 revolt, but since then, the revolt had merely smoldered as the Wafdists tried to bargain with the British.  In 1933, when the novel was published, Britain was still manipulating the Egyptian parliament so that no united political feeling came to the front.  There was considerable anti-British feeling and a feeling of Egypt for the Egyptians, of course, but it is to Hakim’s credit that his novel does not dwell on these aspects.  He attempted to do something much more difficult than lambaste the British:  he attempted to define the vague impulse for a new Egypt as felt in the innocent eyes of a sixteen-year-old boy and all the people around him during the months preceding the Saad Zaghlul revolution in 1919.  Unlike Awad, who could look back on generations of Lebanese traditionally defending their mountain from the Turks, Hakim faced the task of actually creating a myth and a tradition.  He could not turn directly to the pride of old Pharaonic Egypt.  The Pharonic ages had been almost forgotten.  Hakim nevertheless tried to infuse the contemporary scene with some of the old spirit which had brought Egypt’s glory.  The novel is touched by symbolism from the old Egyptian myth of Osiris, who was king of Egypt, killed, dismembered and then put back together again and revived.  The reader is meant to associate the Saad Zaghlul figure in Audet al-Ruh with Osiris.

On the surface, the narrative has no relation to Egyptian patriotism, except that at the end of the book, the protagonist joins the Saad Zaghlul revolution.  While living with his uncles in Cairo, the boy, Muhsin, falls in love with Saniya, the doctor's daughter living next door. The novel recounts his schoolboy romance and his jealousy of his two older uncles who also love Saniya.  The close family life at his uncles’ goes stale as each person becomes jealous and suspicious of the other,  None of that has actually caught the girl’s affection, however, for she has then fallen in love with a rich young man whom she marries.  Muhsin and the two uncles are at first deeply hurt when they learn that she does not like any of them, but they gradually forget their rivalries and come together, realizing that Saniya is happy with the other man.  When the revolution comes, they are all together, and fired with enthusiasm for their cause.

     The novel delicately creates the girl, Saniya, into a symbol.  Everything about her is charmingly Egyptian;  her diction, her coquetry, her dark hair and her flashing black eyes.  She is like Isis, who, with her brother Horus brought Osiris back to life again.  Her spirit brings the little jealous family of Muhsin and his uncles back together when they finally realize what she means.  Previously, they had loved her in the wrong way, selfishly;  but gradually they learn to share their feelings and come together.

     In ‘Audat al-Ruh, Hakim has caught the particular character of Egyptian patriotism.  It is not a big brassy patriotism, nor is it carefully calculated and proudly cherished.  Rather, it is natural, something that had been in the people all the time waiting to return.  It is human—-as human as Muhsin and his two uncles who become such close friends after being so separate from each other in their jealousies.

     The novel goes to great pains to show that the important part of Egypt is the feeling of oneness with every common Egyptian.  In the family of uncles, for example, even the servant Mabrouk is part of the family.  They call him “sha’b” (people) affectionately and he participates in all family matters.  They all sleep together in the same room, and eat the same daily fare of beans.

     A great deal is said about the fellahin, their wholesomeness and their sad plight.  Muhsin watches them when he returns to the country for vacation.  Sometimes Hakim dwells too long on theorizing about the fellahin, even though they are an essential part of the Egyptian myth.  Other Egyptian writers were beginning to write about the fellahin at this time.  Abu-Nazzara (Father of the spectacles) in his paper had been publishing attacks on the government and the social conditions of the fellahin since 1877.1  The first Egyptian novel, Zeinab (1914) by Mohammad Husayn Haykal, while ignoring the sufferings of the fellahin, did much to romanticize them and make them into a new folk hero for the Egyptians.  Tawfiq Al-Hakim added to the thought of the time by suggesting that these fellahin showed the really great power of Egypt in their closeness to each other and to nature.  Even if his point is forced, there is a certain amount of truth in it.  Abd Al-Nasser’s revolution tries to uphold this common group spirit such that today, Egyptian society is strikingly uniform and close.  Popular opinion minimizes the gaps between classes, and the simple gallabiyya of the fellahin is a national costume even in the cities.  There is a feeling of pride in being a part of everybody and to have a bit of the crude, natural fellah in one’s blood.  The popular movies and plays often show the rich man in  an unhappy state  until he works and identifies with the people.  President Nasser’s manner of addressing his people as “aiyuha al-sha'b” (oh, you common people) is a standing joke in Lebanon and other Arab countries, but is nevertheless appropriate in Egypt where the spirit of community, first put into writing by Tawfiq al-Hakim, is strong.

     ‘Audet al-Ruh’ is not just patriotic fervor, however.  If it were it would be quite boring.  It attempts to be more searching.  Its characters encompass many aspects of Egyptian society from varied social and historical backgrounds.  Saniya’s father is fairly well to do, but not rich.  He had served with the British on the Sudan campaigns as a doctor and is pro-British because he had spent the most interesting years of his life with them.  The man whom Saniya marries is the lazy heir to a large industry.  Abduh, Muhsin’s oldest uncle is a teacher, another is a soldier and the third an engineering student.  All the people are part of Egypt even if some of them do not fit into the common Egyptian myth which sees every Egyptian as a poor farmer.

     Muhsin’s background is especially complex and revealing.  His character obviously reflects that of Hakim himself as a child.  His mother was Turkish, and his father Egyptian; little Muhsin was somewhat torn in between.  Naturally, he loved his mother but her arrogance and disdain for the fellahin hurt him because he had developed sympathies with the common people during his stays with his uncles in Cairo where he went to school.  His mother was the product of the Turkish ruling class and is enamored of the British.  She knew how to impress them so as to derive the benefits of their favor.  Doubtless she was typical of the type of proud Turkish ruling class on whom the British relied for political support before the protectorate was officially proclaimed in 1922.  Muhsin’s father was Egyptian and owned a large estate.  Unfortunately, he was more interested in imitating the silk-shirted vanities of his wife than in being a real Egyptian.  He was as subservient as the fellahin were to his wife.

     Muhsin’s childhood was at once happy and sad.  When he was very small, he enjoyed the company of a group of women musicians with whom he often went to parties and helped with their instruments.  Afterwards they would tell each other long stories, romances, and popular legends.  The music and songs made a strong impression on the boy.  Such music groups were quite popular among great numbers of Egyptians before 1914 when most people were excluded from politics unless they were associated with the Turkish ruling class.1  Social leaders would vie for the honor of paying the high prices to attract these groups to their houses, and treated them with great respect, as is shown in the novel.  It is not mere chance that has made Egypt the leader in Arab entertainment arts and culture today.  The Egyptians seemed to have developed a taste for such things before others, perhaps because of Khedive Isma'il's encouragement and lavish financing of the arts.  Arab theater began in Egypt and is still more popular there than in other Middle Eastern capitals.  For the young Muhsin in Audet al-Ruh, the popular entertainment was a great joy and one of the things typically Egyptian which he cherished.

     He entered school life with his mind full of the happy exuberance of the entertainment arts for which Egypt is famous, but he often met disappointment.  He lost friends in school because he was richer than they, but he tried to say equal with them.  He fell in love with Saniya and then realized sadly that she was not even noticing him.  He tried to lose himself in love of his country by joining the revolution.  But at the end of the book, he is in prison with his uncles:  the revolution had failed and was suppressed.  All had been washed away but the spirit was still with him and growing stronger since he knew that many others were suffering the same setbacks.  As Muhsin and his uncles lie in their beds one next to the other in prison, there is happiness because they are together.  The spirit of togetherness is really the essential ingredient of any patriotism.  It is the spirit of the Egyptian myth, shorn of all the trappings of Pharonic gods, the eulogies of the fellahin, and the angry panegyrics against colonialism.

     Artistically, there was a serious flaw in Audet al-Ruh since it was sometimes imbued with the tone of the prevailing essayist and social critic literature of the day.  At times it was obvious that the characters were simply thinking what the author wanted them to think and saying things that the author could have said better in a separate essay.  This was especially true of the second part of the novel, when Muhsin goes to the country and realizes , with considerable prodding from the author, that the fellah is the heart of Egypt.  As H.A.R  Gibb pointed out, Hakim was one of the first to attempt the presentation of social criticism through the medium of the novel, rather than the essay.1  Perhaps, in view of the innovation represented in Audet al-Ruh, Hakim can be forgiven for his didactic tone since it is a relic of the prevailing essay style of his times.

     It must be remembered, too that Audet al-Ruh comes from the French tradition of novel writing, which, unlike the English or American tradition, tolerates the novel of ideas.  Many of the novelists held in highest esteem in France have emphasized particular grievances or ideas rather than pure art, in which the ideas are introduced indirectly.  Such writers are Voltaire and Emile Zola.  It is not considered bad form in France for the protagonist to do a considerable amount of thinking which is not directly related to the action.  The difference between France and America is well illustrated by comparing Ernest Hemingway and Andre Malraux.  Both were hot-blooded adventurers and wrote about their adventures in war and in various revolutionary movements.  Hemingway’s novels, though they convey thoughts, are harsh and realistic, without unnecessary discussions.  While Malraux’s novels sometimes become so deeply involved in the characters’ thoughts that the action becomes secondary.  Hakim’s Usfour min al-sharq (Bird from the East) is very much in the French tradition.  In fact its subject –the comparison of the East and West through the eyes of a young easterner—is precisely the same as the subject of Malraux’s Tentation de l’Occident.  Both novels derive their excitement from the development of a thought rather than the development of action.  Malraux’s novel is, in fact, completely divorced from action, since it consists only of a correspondence between A.S. and Ling.  Usfour min al-Sharq does have some salient events, although these might not be considered as action.  The real importance of Usfour min al-Sharq is Muhsin’s dialogue with the Parisians, Suzie, Andre, and Ivanovich.  Many Arabs have identified with Muhsin and his struggle to come to grips with the west and face his own culture squarely.  Hakim was dealing with a problem of identity, which the Middle East was and still is in the process of debating.  From this point of view, Usfour min al-Sharq is a much more topical and “engage” novel than Tentation de l’Occident.2  The latter, while not being totally irrelevant to its western audience, is essentially an aesthetic experience, somewhat like visiting  a museum of Eastern art.  It is a beautiful, thought-provoking and mysteriously vague glimpse of a different way of life.

     Since Usfour min al-Sharq is almost all theory and cultural ideas, its social relevance is debatable.  Hakim has been criticized for being form aloof from social problems, but much of this criticism was unjustified.


Yahia Haqqi has criticized Hakim’s idealistic and mystical writings like the play Ahl al-Kahf and the patriotic allegory, Audet al-Ruh.  He said that mysticism and symbolism were of no use to Egypt.1  However, he did like Yomiyyat Na'ib fil Aryaf, since it was, in his opinion, a good social criticism.  In this jovial and rambling book about the country, Hakim criticized the low level of education and misapplication of justice in the country--two areas that badly needed reforming.  He filled the book with people of all kinds, all of whom he mocks in a sympathetic way, but his conclusion is to the point:  "In passing out judgment after due process of this modern law, some consideration should be made for the limited extent of these poor people's understanding, or else the people's understanding should be raised to the level of that modern law."2 Hakim touched on many aspects of country life--the preoccupation of the government officials with politics, the false pride of the peasants, the trickery and deceit of the so-called religious leaders, and the inability of the overworked officials to cope with the daily crimes, feuds and complaints.

Throughout Yomiyat, Hakim keeps a slightly condescending tone which never falls into the self-righteously indignant tone of the social reformer.  It is a pleasure to read al-Hakim since he is at once deeply involved with the people around him, yet at the same time he looks at them from a slightly aristocratic viewpoint, which comes naturally to him.  Thus al-Hakim, as narrator of the "Diary," goes about his work conscientiously, yet at the same time he sympathizes with his young assistant who longs for the life of the capital.  Among his colleagues, the narrator keeps a spirit of friendly railing.  Thus, when he goes to check up on the police chief to make sure he is not perpetrating illegal arrests to suit his political party, he feigns innocent complicity, and asks his questions calculated to leave room for his friend to maneuver in.

In the past decade of Egyptian criticism, Hakim was often accused of being beaurocratic and thus bourgeois because of his aloof attitude, but now most critics overlook such charges and appreciate Hakim's work for its human value.1  " He looks at people from their spiritual side and raises them above material things," says one of the foremost experts on Hakim, who did much to exonerate him from charges that he had been aloof during the Nasser revolution(when he was working for Al-Ahram.)2 Now, Tawfiq al-Hakim is thoroughly restored to a place of respect and even veneration in public opinion.

He and Yahya Haqqi were among the first great writers who were not in a political party, thus breaking a tradition the great Egyptian writers before them who had participated in politics.  Al-Mazini, Taha Hussein, 'Aqqad and Hussein Heykal had all been with political parties.3 Hakim is commonly known as Egypt’s intellectual par excellence, living in his ivory tower and writing essays on art.  He has indeed written many essays on art, as well as on philosophy, religion, and modern man.  But he has also written on politics, from a philosophical level, though not on a partisan level.  His novels show a concern for his country, if not for politics as such.  His most recent novel, Banq al-Qalaq deals with the politics of Nasser’s socialism but only on a humanistic level.  Hakim is interested in the general terror of modern life, not politics in particular.  More directly concerned with his country was an essay he wrote in 1939 which led to the creation of a ministry of social affairs; he also wrote essays advocating better education in the country.


     All things considered, probably Audet al-Ruh did more to establish Hakim’s reputation in his country than any of his other writings.  President Nasser has said that it was his inspiration during the revolution of 1952.  In recognition of the national author, President Nasser’s government has placed him in positions of considerable importance:  he has been director of the National Library of Education.  Thus Al-Hakim is in that class of novelists who have become arbiters of their country.  Victor Hugo (d. 1885) in France enjoyed such a reputation, although his influence was against the government;  the point is that both men were felt to speak for the spirit of their countries.  At the present time, Hakim’s influence as arbiter in his country is centered around the literary field.  He also has a national reputation for being a proponent of Egyptian anti-feminism.

Hakim’s contributions to the Development of Literary Arabic

First and foremost, he is involved with the Egyptian theater.  Because of his influence, he has played an important role in developing a semi-colloquial written language. In the introduction of his play on contemporary society, al-safqa(The Deal), which he envisioned as a play that could be performed in the small villages of Egypt, he explains his use of a so-called “Third language”.  It is a language that could be read grammatically and yet pronounced by porters.  The critics protest his innovations, saying that language should evolve naturally and that this “third language” is a literary skeleton lacking the word associations of an evolved language.  But given Hakim’s influence and popularity (one of the most popular theaters in Cairo is named after him—a unique tribute for any living playwright, it is probable that his third language will meet with success.  Certainly, his introduction of colloquial into the dialogues of his novels has set a lasting precedent, although at the outset, he was criticized so fiercely for the colloquial dialogues in ‘Audet al-Ruh’ that he had to withdraw it from publication for a time.

     In all of Hakim’s novels, his style is simple and straightforward.  It is a reflection of his feelings about the proper language for the theater.  He has sacrificed artistic flourish and idiosyncrasy to his beliefs in the importance of developing a third language that all writers can use to express their thoughts lucidly.

     He writes concisely and does not elaborate, or produce a mood through words, as Taha Hussein does.  In describing emotions he is blunt and does not attempt to differentiate between shades of meaning by using adjectives.  His most powerful scenes  derive their force not from the words used,  but from the associations of ideas, or, more frequently, from the emotional tension suggested by the dialogue.

     Chapter Seventeen  of Audet al-Ruh is a good example of Hakim’s simple style even when dealing with a very emotional scene.  Muhsin has finally confessed to Saniya that he had been in love with her and Saniya, though she feels like a mother before this little boy, comforts him.  When she realizes why he is pouting she kisses him, in sympathy.  Even coming across this scene completely out of context, one can see how the author’s matter of fact treatment has a good effect on an almost overly sentimental scene.1





     The most charming aspect of this passage is the actual passage of Saniya's speech, which is typically girlish with its tripping abbreviations like () and the endearing (), "shame on you!" which is Saniya's special word throughout the book.  Dialogue is Hakim's specialty, of course, but in this passage, his blunt choppy style outside of the dialogue also contributes to the effect.   The kiss is evoked realistically in a few words and then left while the author turns to Saniya's crying "on account of (emotion)."  The emotion is sketched quickly but not elaborated.  One does not even know what kind of  he means:  sympathetic?  sexual?  surprise?  Hakim merely leaves the idea for the reader, and then moves on to describe the quick succession of ideas tumbling from the distraught Muhsin.  Hakim's words are simple:  not only can Saniya cry from  but also she can listen with .  Hearts always "tremble," or "understand."  He prefers basic words to any more subtle variants.

     The early critics accepted his simple usage of the classical, but they were concerned over his use of the colloquial even in dialogues.  But now Hakim's method of using the colloquial for dialogues or special meanings is not only accepted, but imitated as well.  Like 'Audet al-Ruh, Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf is full of dialogues in colloquial, and often a colloquial idiom will be used in the text to give a better meaning.  For example, the doctors doing the autopsy "squish about" with their fingers in the brain tissue:1


The colloquial word, though used out of context, describes the action much better than a classical Arabic fabrication could have done.  Hakim's descriptions are not long, but by using the colloquial for certain objects, he is able to evoke scenes realistically.

     Reference has been made to Hakim's delicate characterization of Saniya through her speech.  In Yomiyat Hakim has created a whole spectrum of characters who are characterized through their speech.  The village omdeh, protesting his election to be a member of Parliament actually sounds stupid from the way he puts his sentences together:1


The Ma'mour's reply, in contrast, is official and supercilious, as he tells him to leave:


There are numerous other examples, ranging from the cursive legal vocabulary of the judge, to the taunting of Sheikh Asfour, who speaks only in song.

     Bank al-Qalaq has no colloquial dialogue.  It is the best example of his development of a third language in novelistic form.  His characters lack the colorful impact of the characters of Yomiyat or of Saniya in Audet al-Ruh, but they are operating on a higher level, and it would be a mistake to have such tragic and dualistic figures as Fatimah speak in a localized accent.  The language of the dialogues is not beautiful, but is lucid, often reminding the reader of a well-known colloquial expression:1


In this case, the  enters the "third language" from the colloquial expression meaning "so what?  who cares."  By putting it in the dialogue, Hakim adds a touch of flimsiness to Mirfat's attitude toward life.


Hakim's Reputation as a Woman-Hater

     In Egypt, Hakim's innovations in writing style, colloquial dialogues, and art in general are less commonly known than his stance against women.  He frequently appears in the 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 interview him and try 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-Ribat al-Muqaddas, written in 1945 has given him a national reputation.  His ideas against women have mellowed since then.  He usually explains that he doesn't hate women;  he just thinks they are dangerous, especially when they are pretty.  The roots of Hakim's anti-feminism lie in this personal life, but they are also inherent in the prevailing male orientation of Arab society.  Nevertheless it is hard to understand why this thoughtful man, who would never write without reason, should write a book like al-Ribat al-Muqaddas, which only reinforces old bigoted beliefs.  Is there something more important he is trying to say?  Is he trying to warn his people, through exaggeration, that Egyptian women are evolving too quickly;  becoming Western in their dress and lipstick, but not really overcoming their basic instincts?1   Perhaps such is his purpose, for his woman in Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas has touches of brilliance in spite of her evils.  She is delightfully alive and open to the world, but her openness interferes with her duties as a wife.

     Hakim constructed Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas as a confrontation between a thinking man and a passionate woman.  The contrast brings out the author's views on subjects other than anti-feminism.  Like all of Hakim's novels, it goes beyond its avowed subject(anti-feminism, or country life in Yomiyat, or patriotism in 'Audet al-Ruh).  These deeper concerns are the subject of the next and final essay.














     It is not easy to sum up the basic themes of an author who has written as much as Tawfiq al-Hikim.  Just what are his driving forces?  To a certain extent he is concerned with the artistic re-incarnation of the spirit of the Arab east.  He is driven by a certain patriotic sense of duty.   But underneath all his works is a feeling of tension, a trembling between the real world and the world of thought.  These tensions are brought out in all his works through the use of dialogues and symbolism.

     Taha Badr and Isma'il Adham have pointed out how Hakim's childhood influenced his outlook.  He was often alone with only his thoughts to keep him company.  As he grew older, he set his ambitions on becoming a playwright.  His autobiography, Zahrat al-'Amr shows how he put all his efforts into writing and was continually afraid of failing during his formative years in Paris.  If he failed, he would have to go back to the routine life of a lawyer or a government official.  Thus he was always trembling between his art and ideals on the one hand, and the hard realities of life on the other.  Something of his nature can be seen in his novel about Paris, 'Usfour min al-Sharq(Bird from the East).  Like Muhsin, he must have been the type who could be sublimely in love but sad at discovering love's monotony and deception.

     His early novels and plays dealt with the conflict between spiritual and material things.  'Audet al-Ruh has been discussed as a patriotic novel, but it also touches upon the human problem of matching one's dreams with daily life.  The difficulty of achieving this match is paralleled in the rise and fall of expectation, as Saniya first charms all who meet her including the reader, and then reverses herself and declines in the reader's estimation when she falls in love with the indolent rich man, leaving the young protagonist in his misery.  She had been built into a symbol of beauty and all that is good in Egypt, only to reverse her nature and spurn little Muhsin, who had loved her so innocently.  Muhsin and his cousins are left feeling empty after she leaves, but they overcome their sadness and transfer their feeling of devotion from Saniy to Egypt.  As Yahya Haqqi has pointed out, this last transferal of devotion is contrived and artificial, but, nevertheless, it is typical.  Men always attempt to substitute a spiritual meaning for reality.  Perhaps the artistic failure of 'Audet al-Ruh is that symbolism is too close to the actual events of the narrative.  Hakim's next novel, Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf was more of a success artistically since the symbolism of Rim does not enter directly into the story.   Like Saniya, Rim is the symbol of higher beauty, but she enters the story only during tiny moments when one sees flashing coins beneath swaying reeds, as the author described her first appearance.  She is an inspiration for all those caught in the monotony of life with crime.  When she dies at the end, the narrator and those about him are left with a hollow feeling.

     The heroes of 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 affair with Suzy when he finds how easy it was to win her('Usfour min al-Sharq).  His characters are always trying to bridge the gap between reality and the spiritual.  Both Muhsin's in Audet al-Ruh and 'Usfour min al-Sharq put all their hope in Sayyida Zeinab, the virgin protectress, whose mosque is at the center of Old Cairo.  Hakim and Haqqi were the first of the modern writers to talk about the special Sufi significance of Sayyida Zeinab in their characters.1   For people who spent their childhood under her influence, she seems to be the last hope.  In 'Audet al-Ruh the author describes the charm of the "pure lady" in Muhsin when he needs consolation for his lost love.  He enters the Sayyida Zeinab mosque repeating her name, in a kind of soothing ritual.  'Usfour min al-Sharq, appropriately, is dedicated to her.  Similarly, Isma'il in The Candle of Um Hashim by Y. Haqqi, goes to England and then comes back to the Lady after a conversion.2   There is a similar feeling for the patron saints of Cairene quarters in the modern novels of Najib Mahfouz.

     Even with the help of Sayyida Zeinab, however, Hakim's heroes rarely bridge the gap between their ideals and reality.  They neither reach complete absorption in the mystical, nor do they give themselves completely to life.  His plays are an exception since the supernatural is more attainable in the theater.  Everyone in his novels is caught in between, in kind of indecision, and sometimes agony.  the Arabic word used to describe the feeling is qalaq.

     Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas can be regarded as the transition between the semi-romantic tension of Hakim's early novels and the total feeling of worry and insecurity of Bank al-Qalaq, his latest novel.



     Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas deals with the tension of human relations, especially the relations of spiritual love and physical passion, or thought and material delights.  Dialogue, Hakim's special talent, plays a large role in this novel, when the man of thought and the woman of instinct wage an intellectual battle of wits.  The man of thought is a writer, who lives in an "ivory tower," like Hakim himself.  He feels a special attraction for this woman, who came to him ostensibly to seek his advice on how she can learn to appreciate books.  She claims that she and her fiance are deeply in love but that she feels she can never receive all his love unless she can learn to share his interests in reading.  The problem is that she cannot stand looking at books, even for a few seconds;  but she hopes that writer will teach her how to love them.  The writer takes up the challenge after some hesitation, since this woman is so completely his opposite.  After a few lessons in reading, the girl's husband comes to visit him(for indeed the girl was married and had told the scholar a lie about her fiance).  He tells him that his wife, who had never touched books before was now avidly devouring all the books written by the writer.  The husband wishes to compliment him.  The scholar is gracious, but does not tell the husband of his wife's visits to him.  He scolds her for deceiving him when next he meets her, and tells her not to come back again.  Sorry to lose an interesting teacher, she leaves and does not return.  As the months pass, he develops a longing for her in spite of himself and begins writing imaginary letters to her, praising her virtues  and comparing her to the wives of the Prophet and other virtuous wives in history.  Later he meets the husband and is shocked to learn that the wife has been committing adultery with another man.  She has written a long, dramatic confession and glorification of her love, which the husband has found in her bedroom.  The husband wants the scholar to undertake the mission of procuring her legal signature for a divorce since he himself is too deeply wounded by her infidelity to face her himself.  The scholar undertakes his mission without enthusiasm since he, too, finds it difficult to face this woman who had turned out to be so different from his expectations.  The encounters between the wife and the scholar are delightful throughout the book, but these later dialogues are especially good.  The conservative scholar does his best to explain to the woman how important the domestic virtues are and she parries in turn with her convictions on the importance of living and loving.  The climax of the book, which the book had been working up to from the outset, comes after the wife has accepted the divorce and begins trying to seduce the scholar.  The scholar, on his part, is tempted, but his convictions that a woman is beautiful only if she is morally good prevail over her physical attractions--thanks to a telephone call which interrupts their conversation at the point where he was about to succumb.  The telephone call was from the husband telling him that his brother had committed suicide because of his wife's presumed adultery.  God bring a curse upon all women!

     In summary the story seems deceptively naive, but Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas is well written and exciting.  The dialogues are among al-Hakim's most dramatic presentations of the tensions which he felt were at the root of all human encounters.  In none of Hakim's other books is the contrast between the world of thought and the world of material things  so apparent as it is in this book.  The contrast between the letters of virtue which the scholar writes to the woman and her own confessions of her passionate love affair with the movie actor is all the more forceful because the woman's writing is so realistic.  It is in the style of an angry woman who wants to break away and live--the Leila Ba'albeki style before Leila Ba'albeki was writing.  Although it was Hakim's intention to paint the woman in a bad light, his propensity for dramatic dialogues lets the woman appear startlingly realistic and brilliantly witty.  The hero of the book, the scholar, seems pale beside her at times, although his parries and repartees are skillful too.

     The dialogue in the final chapter, where words are sometimes spoken aloud, and sometimes only thought, is one of the most exciting encounters between thought and matter which Hakim ever wrote.  Some of the speed and urgency in the dialogue can be seen in the following passage, which touches on serious matters.  They are discussing the case of Anatole France's character, the monk Paphnous, who left his hermitage in order to reform a notorious Alexandrine courtesan, but in doing so could not overcome his own attraction to her and thereby lost his salvation.  The woman, pointing out that even a monk could love a woman, says, "But the monk Paphnous didn't love the saint in her;  he loved the woman."

     To which the misogynist scholar replies, "Yes he did, unfortunately. . ."

     "But no man loves a woman for anything but the woman in her."

     "Yes, but that man brought eternal damnation on himself and lost his chance of reaching the heaven he had dedicated his whole life to. . .Every man has his particular heaven."

     "I see you take all this glorification of being a monk pretty seriously. . ."

     "Isn't it the best thing?"

     "No!" she said defiantly.

     He only shrugged his shoulders and said, "What else could one like you be expected to say?"

     "You should expect one like me to give you a bit of advice, and tell you the way things really are.  Every man who refuses love--when it comes--is completely deluded. . .The age of the blessed saints has passed. . .Come away with me now and enter the new society, so that you'll know in what age you live!. . .It astounds me that an intelligent man like you still lives with the ghosts of thoughts dead long ago, and with the superstitions of the old books!. . ."

     "I live with the thing that remains forever. . .Thought never dies."

     She laughed and said, "On the contrary, nothing dies as fast as thought.  Every generation has its thoughts just as every period has its particular clothes. . .Thoughts are the leaves of a tree which fall every autumn.  Where are the thoughts that were alive a thousand years ago?  But as for the kiss, it remains a kiss and does not lose its heat over a thousand years, since the very creation of man!  . . .And love's embrace remains and still engenders the same feelings in the mind and body as it did at the Beginning of thought itself."

     "You compare books and thoughts to kisses and embraces?. . .What a pretty comparison!"

     She smiled seductively and said, "Did you think the comparison appropriate?"

     There's no basis for comparison at all!. . ."1

The dialogue goes on in this manner, until the thinker is eventually overcome by the presence of femininity and almost succumbs to her charms.  The feeling of excitement and tension throughout this long encounter is a result of Hakim's artistry in developing the woman into a kind of intangible force which hovers over the story like a Sheherazade in the Thousand and One Nights.  The thinker is torn between succumbing to material delights or clinging to thought.  In the end he stays with thought and rejects the material, tempting though is was.  The ending accords with the author's wishes, although the telephone call which distracts him is a weak contrivance.  The important part of the book is the dialogue which precedes the outcome.  The dialogue in Al-Ribat is a wavering between thought and body.





     In Hakim's most recent novel, Bank al-Qalaq, he explores still further this wavering, now characterized by worry, and even terror.  There is no longer any discussion of the contrast between the spiritual and material.  Instead, it seems to be the final expression of a man who has been tormented by these dualities all his life and now wishes to show the overall effect of such worries.  In the first chapter of the novel, the protagonist, Adham Sulayman watches a night club scene, and thinks about qalaq(worry).  He looks at the pretty female acrobat on the cabaret stage as she perches atop a human skyscraper of men and feels a strange torn feeling(qalaq) in his mind and body because she happens to be his faithless wife, who jumps from lover to lover and comes back to him for short periods, leaving him always in doubt about where she will be next.  He looks next at the young people dancing, twisting their bodies into contorted forms and wonders what their worries are.  As he leaves the cabaret and walks along the Nile, he muses that even the lovers in the moonlight are entangling themselves in worry:1

            "The evening air was fresh outside.  It was one of those Cairene nights of May.  The stroll along the Nile "Cornish" was delightful.  The couples of lovers sat in intimacy all along its stone benches.  Every boy clung to his girl.  As Adham walked among them, he saw too clearly what their future would be:  housing crisis, crises of communication and consumer goods!. . .That is the end result of the addition, subtraction and division in love operations in our present age.  The thing that worries the lovers now is how to get together.  But when they are joined under one roof and all becomes naked between them, worry will take on a new aspect. . .

         Adham is an interesting character.  He has many worries himself, yet at the same time, as seen in the above passage, he is above the problems of others.  He founds his ridiculous "Bank" in this spirit of detachment from other people, yet he thereby becomes involved in a game which puts his own security in jeopardy.

     Bank al-Qalaq is extremely contemporary in form, perhaps in advance of its time.  Much of the novel is in the form of a dialogue.  It might be expected that Egypt's great playwright would eventually develop this new, fast-moving form for a novel:1   the Masrawiyya(play-novel), as one critic calls it.2   It is a revolutionary technique, giving the novel the same impact and double vision as can be achieved on film.  Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Bank al-Qalaq appeared about the same time as Antonioni's Blow-Up in 1966.  Both works tell much the same story.  The heroes of the novel and the film each wander through the colorful confusion of the modern world.  They exhibit a pseudo-serious approach to their surroundings, and then suddenly discover that there are terrible tragedies underneath it all.

     The author describes the characters from the outside, instead of having them speak in a straight-forward confession.  By shifting his focus from the inner to the outer, somewhat the way a cinema camera moves in on its subject and then jumps far away, Hakim can reveal a great deal about his characters.1   The treatment of Adham's thoughts as he walks along the Nile is a good example of his technique.  Furthermore, his juxtaposition of sections of pure dialogue in the text add to the shifting, cinematographic effect.  He has produced much the same atmosphere that Antonioni achieved in his film.  Antonioni uses many devices to produce an atmosphere suspended between reality and psychedelic eccentricity.  One feels this suspended atmosphere during the scenes when the casually eccentric photographer here "blows up" some pictures and discovers he had been photographing a man being killed.

     Hakim's half-novel, half-play produces the same suspended effect.  The following quotation from the end of Chapter Six and the beginning of Scene Six is a good example of Hakim's technique.  Adham's newspaper friend Mutawally is talking with Adham and Sha'ban in their newly established band.  He has noticed Sha'ban's attraction for the rich manager's niece, and Adham attempts to steer him on to a different topic before he gets too curious.  After Mutawally leaves, Adham and Sha'ban wait for their Bank of Worry clients to come.  Chapter Six, of which the last page is quoted, is a novelistic chapter, followed by a "scene" arranged like a play.

     The crafty reporter noticed Sha'ban's concern, and cast a sly glance in his direction.  Adham understood what he was after, and hastened to cover up for his friend by pointing out that all the case meant to them was an attempt to under stand her social class.  What was its actual position in this changed society?. . .Had society really changed?  From what point of view had it changed?  And how far-reaching was the extent of this change?  Was it really complete change, or merely superficial?!. . . Mutawally only shrugged his shoulders.  Suddenly he seemed tired, because everything outside the realm of pure reporting made him yawn. . . Even commentary and analysis of news bored him and made him lazy.  Whenever the course of a conversation would reach a joke or a similar triviality, he would get up and leave.  This was what he did now.  He left the two companions saying that he would return another time to get what news the bank would make. . .

     Adham and Sha'ban were left sitting ,waiting for their customers to come.  They waited until waiting lost its meaning.  And they almost forgot that they were waiting for anyone or anything. . .

     Then, when the doorbell rang they took no notice of it.  Or rather, they noticed it, but did not believe it.  But it was really ringing. . .



Scene Six

(Adham is sitting stiffly at his desk.

Sha'ban is in front of him.  The

Doorbell is ringing. . .)

Sha'ban:  Is it really ringing?

Adham  :  Or. . .do you think we're dreaming?

Sha'ban:  And is it really a customer?

Adham  :  That is what we will know when you open the door.

Sha'ban:  Am I the one who is supposed to open the door?

Adham  :  Of course, who else?

Sha'ban:  Why don't you open it?

Adham  :  Because I am the director.

Sha'ban:  And I am the treasurer.

Adham  :  There is no treasurer any more.  We did away with that office because the rich "Bek" handles all financial transactions now.

Sha'ban:  Then there is also no longer any office of director.

Adham  :  How do you mean?

Sha'ban:  Because the rich "Bek" also handles general administration. You're no more than a simple employee here, with a desk in room number one.

Adham  :  By this reasoning, you, too, are just another employee and your desk is in room two.

Sha'ban:  Precisely:  In other words, there is no difference between you and me.  Therefore when the bell rings, one of us must answer.

Adham  :  It must be you who answers because your are number two and I am number one.   Number one is better than number two.

Sha'ban:  It's stopped ringing.  It seems that the customer has left. . .1

     The dialogue continues in this vein until the customers come in and begin to recount their problems to Adham and Sha'ban.  As seen in the part quoted, Bank al-Qalaq alternates between the novelistic form and the dialogue without underlying rationale.  There is no particular reason the author could not have put what the newspaper reporter said into the dialogue form.  The play chapter comes as an interlude to the text.  The text merges with the play, giving the novel an ethereal quality, especially since the dialogues are slightly absurd.  The reader of Bank al-Qalaq is suspended like the characters themselves.  His attitude alternates between the intense participation of the playgoer and the detached feeling of the omniscient observer in a novel.2

     The whole middle section of the novel takes on this somewhat ethereal duality as customers come one by one to tell their worries.  The dialogues are not completely absurd:  Hakim does not lose opportunities for some humorous observations on society and the new politics.  But the effect is to suspend the story until the final, tragic display of a woman with a real worry.  Fatimah has been compelled to conceal a painful secret all her life, because of a moment of passion in her youth.  As the novel closes and the Bank is about to dissolve into nothingness again, the author gives a flashback on the scene that torments this woman.  She had committed adultery with her own sister's husband and had driven her sister insane.  She had watched the scene of her sister igniting her sleeping husband with kerosene and trying to die with him because she loved him, in spite of his adultery.  The husband had saved his wife from the flames by pushing her away, but he himself could not escape:  thus his wife saw her own husband burn to death.  The terror drove her insane.  Fatimah, as atonement for her part in the affair, devoted herself to bringing up her sister's daughter without telling her the tragedy, but every day brings fearful memories to her.

     The protagonists of the novel never discover the whole inner tragedy of this woman, whose niece had been one of the "clients" associated with the Bank.  Their concern at the end of the book is to extract themselves from their Bank, which might result in disaster for them if they are caught.  Their discovery that their playful Bank idea had been financed by an illegal conspiracy shows them that the ground they tread on is paper thin and in danger of tearing and letting them drop into the world of terror.

     Bank al-Qalaq ends on a serious note.  Like the heroes of some of Hakim's other novels, Adham and Sha'ban are left suspended, almost as failures.  What will happen next?  One wonders.  In 'Audet al-Ruh Muhsin discovered a faith in Egypt, but at the end of the novel he is in prison, not working for his faith.  He has won a victory in his mind, but not in reality.

     The fantasy in Bank al-Qalaq, on the other hand, never was in the realm of the real.  It takes place in the absurd;  and when the real enters in, the absurd must collapse:  the Bank of Worry disappears.  The Absurd in Bank al-Qalaq is nothing more than a modern expression for the mystical ideas by which men in the Middle East have found meaning for ages.  For a while, Adham and Sha'ban found meaning in their absurd idea and could even make money out of it, but they soon were caught in the reality it created:  the suspect affairs of their patron.  At the end of the book, they must extract themselves before reality overtakes them.  But one wonders if they merely move off, or whether they keep their fertile imaginations intact.  Will they keep striving to devise more supra-worldly jobs like the Worry Bank for themselves?  Or will they give up and live with reality.  Probably they will be as Hakim himself seems to be; neither a complete mystic, nor a realist, but caught, unbalanced, in between.







     Tawfiq al-Hakim is now seventy years old and has the reputation of being one of Egypt's foremost men of letters.  He still wears the French beret which he must have bought in Paris as a student.  He will never forget his years in France and all he learned there about art.  But, nevertheless, he has dedicated himself to his own literature.  He has made a conscious effort to produce an indigenous Arab literature, using techniques from the heritage of his past.  He uses the techniques of Sheherazade in his Maze of Justice for example.  He has given consideration to the themes which face the intellectuals of his society and made them understood by all his readers.  He dealt with the problems of facing the West, and of raising one's spirit above disappointment and sad reality.  The characters in his early novels tried to find consolation in higher ideals.  Those of his later novels begin to feel a frustration in face of the overpowering forces of reality, but they cling to their imagination and humor.

     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 lived with the people.  Even his novels which developed out of his actual experiences lack the tragic realism of younger Egyptian writers.  He views all situations from a detached, aristocratic point of view.  Nevertheless, he feels emotions strongly and is able to put these emotions into writing--whether they be emotions of national identity, of anti-feminism, of mystical questing, or of the terror of living dualistic lives.

     He has introduced an effective writing style for the novel in Arabic:  it is simple and unadorned.  The power of his writing lies in his ability to present thoughts quickly and concisely.  He used the colloquial language in his dialogues and even at certain times in his text.  A colloquial word or expression often speaks more forcefully than the classical, since the reader will have heard it used.  But Hakim is against total reliance on the colloquial.  Outside of his dialogues he always observes the rules of the classical, making skillful use of its sophistication.  Some of his ideas about a "third language" in the theater have spilled over into his novels.  The "third language" is a language which is grammatically correct, yet can be spoken by porters.  In Bank al-Qalaq, the dialogues are in this "third language."  The classical has a colloquial ring about it.

     Hakim is equally well known in his country outside of literary circles.  He has a large following among common people from all walks of life, not merely intellectual.  It might be an exaggeration to say that he is the pulse-beat of his country, but he does strike common chords in the hearts of millions of Arabs.  His 'Audet al-Ruh(Return of the Spirit) has probably been one of the most important books of pre-revolutionary, and post-revolutionary Egypt.  The fact that it influenced President Nasser is of considerable significance.  It is the literary spirit behind the revolution.

     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 Maze of Justice and Bank al-Qalaq, he keeps a satiric vein, poking fun at people and at the government.  The satire is subtle enough not to offend or insult--which makes 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(as it was for Aqqad and Taha Hussein).  He is the complete artist, and 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 a great many people in his own country, and in other Arab countries.  He has given the Arabic novel a basis for existing on its own, with its own concerns and methods.  The Arabic novel need no longer be ashamed of itself for being a western technique.  With Hakim, it has become Arab as well.
















Adham, Isma'il.  Tawfiq al-Hakim, al-Fannan al-Ha'ir("Hakim, an artist in turmoil") Cairo;  Dar Sa'ad Misr lilTiba'at wa al-Nashr, 1945(first published 1939).  Standard book on Hakim;  unfortunately the biography has been built solely from the stories of Muhsin in 'Audet al-Ruh and 'Usfour min al-Sharq, and is colored by a Freudian interpretation.  The book gives accurate dates for time of writing of Hakim's early books.

Badr, 'abd al-Muhsin Taha. Tatawwur al-Riwaya al-'Arabiya al-Haditha fi Misr.  Cairo;  Dar al-Ma'arif, 1963.  A good summary of Hakim's life and split personality,  pp. 372-397.

Dayf, Shawqi.  Al-Adab al-Arabi al-Mu'asir fi Misr.  Cairo;  Dar al-Ma'arif, 2nd ed., 1961.  Excellent short biography of his life and works.

Hakim, Tawfiq al-.  Sijn al-'Umr("Life's Prison")Cairo;  Maktabat al-Adab, 1964.  Autobiographical account of his early childhood, showing his struggle to associate himself with artists even at an early age when writing plays for the Akasha theater in Cairo.

_________.  Zahrat al-'Umr("Flower of Life")Cairo;  Maktabat al-Adab, 1965(first pub. 1943)

*Ziadeh, Farhat.  A Reader in Modern Literary Arabic(Princeton; P.U. Press, 1964.  On page 279 is a paragraph on Hakim's life.




Wahby, Samir.  "Bain Tawfiq al-Hakim wa Yahya Haqqi"("A comparison between T. al-Hakim and Y. Haqqi") Al-Fikr al-Mu'asir. Dec. (1965), pp. 82-92.  Recounts some early impressions of Hakim as observed by Y. Haqqi, his colleague in Law School.  Discusses Hakim's experience in the country as an assistant to the Deputy Prosecutor.







Adham, Isma'il.  Tawfiq al-Hakim.  Cairo:  Dar Sa'ad Misr lil-Tiba'at wa al-Nashr, 1945(first published 1939).  Standard work on Hakim's early novels(and plays).  Criticizes discrepancy between the symbolic and the real stories in 'Audet al-Ruh.  Praises Yomiyat for its concern with issues.  Compares his novels to certain European novels.  The second chapter of part two, pp. 114-131 is especially good.

Badr, Abd al-Muhsin Taha.  "'Audet al-Ruh wa Tawfiq al-Hakim" in his Tatawwur al-Riwaya al-Arabiyya al-Haditha fi Misr, Cairo:  Dar al-Ma'arif, 1963.  pp. 372-397.  Good literary criticism of 'Audet al-Ruh.

*Berque, Jacques.  Les Arabes d'Hier à Demain.  Paris:  Editions du Seuil, 1960.

*Gabrielli, F.  Storia della Litteratura Araba. Milan:  Nuova Acedemica Editrice, 1962, p. 350.

*Gibb, H.A.R.  "'Arabiyya" in Encyclopedia of Islam New Edition.   Leiden:  1954  ff., pp.597-598.  One of the greatest authorities in Arabic literature makes some comments about Hakim's novels in relation to the development of Modern Arabic Literature.

Hakim, Tawfiq al-.  Ash'ab.  Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1964(first published 1949).  In the introduction, the author expresses his desire to revitalize history in this novel.

________.  Lailat al-Zifaf("The Wedding Night").  Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1966(first published 1949).  In the introduction, Hakim expresses his feeling about the importance of the short story in this age of speed where people do not have time to read novels.

________.  "Les Lettres Arabes à Travers ce Dernier Quart de siecle" in L'Islam et L'Occident.  Vienne:  Cahiers du sud, 1947.  One of the most important essays concerning Hakim's view of Arabic literature and its relation to the past.

________.  "Khalq"(Character) chapter in Taht Shams al-Fikr.  Cairo:  Matba'at lajnat al-Ta'lif wa al-Tarjuma, 1938.  Interesting for Hakim's views on the character of the Egyptian spirit.  He feels that the Egyptian has a deep desire for permanency, not change and worry.  A combination of Egyptian permanency and Arab speed is what is needed to bring a harmony of material and spiritual.(p.70)

Haqqi, Yahya. Khatawat fi al-Naqd(Footsteps in Criticism).  Cairo:  Dar al-'Arabah, 1961.  In a chapter called "Hakim between Hope and Fear," Haqqi criticizes his symbolism in 'Audet al-Ruh.  pp. 93-107.

Jundi, Anwar al-.  Al-Qissah al-'Arabiya al-Mu'asirah("The Modern Arabic Novel").  Cairo:  Dar al-Qaumiya li-al-Taba'at wa al-Nashr, 1964. 

________.  Min A'lam al-Fikr wa al-Adab("Some Great Thinkers and Writers").  Cairo:  Dar al-Qaumiya l-al-Taba'at wa al-Nashr, 1964.  In a short chapter on Hakim, he discusses his attitude toward women, Sufism, and art.

*Makarius, Raoul et Laura.  Anthologie de la littérature arabe contemporaine.  Vol. 1, Le roman et la nouvelle.  Paris, 1964.  Short paragraph on Hakim introducing a translation of his short story "Les Estivants enchainés."

*Monteil, Vincent.  Les Grands Courants de la littérature arabe contemporaine.  Beirut:  Cenacle Libanais, 1959.  Mentions Hakim's contribution to symbolism, pp. 11-12.

Mustafa, Ahmad al-Rahim.  Tawfiq al-Hakim, Afkaruh, Atharuh("T. al-Hakim, his thought and influence".  Cairo, 1952.  This book lacks originality, but the author has collected a great deal of information on Hakim's thoughts from his essays.

*Nagy, O.  "Un representant du modernism dans la litterature egyptienne:  Tawfiq al-Hakim"  Studia et Acta Orientalia 1.  Bucharest, 1958, pp. 333-338.  Discusses French influences on Yomiyat.

Ra'i, 'Ali al-.  Dirasat fi al-Riwaya al-Misriya.  Cairo:  al-Mu'assasat al-Misriya al-'Azma, 1964.  Discussion of 'Audet al-Ruh and Hakim's technique.

*Veglieri, L. and Rubinacci, R. "Al-Qasr al-Mashour"("The Enchanted Castle") in Naples, Instituto Orientale, Taha Hussein.  Naples, 1964.  Review and summary of Al-Qasr al-Mashour in Italian.

*Wiet, Gaston.  Introduction a la Litterature Arabe.  Paris:  UNESCO et G.P. Maisonneuve et Larose.  Excellent short appraisal of Hakim and his modern work  pp. 290-291.








Abd Allah, Muhammad Abd al-Halim.  "Hadith ma' Mu'allif 'Audet al-Ruh, Tawfiq al-Hakim"("Interview with the author of 'Audet al-Ruh, T. al-Hakim"), al-Qissah, no. 5(May 1963), pp. 5-13.  Interview with Hakim discussing his inspiration for 'Awdet al-Ruh, his preference for play writing, and his respect for authors like Graham Greene who spent time out of their counties before writing.

Barakat, 'Ali.  "Masrawiya Tawfiq al-Hakim, Bank al-Qalaq" Al-Fikr al-Mu'asir, April 1967 no. 26, pp. 105-109.  Excellent article on Hakim's preoccupation with qalaq, the worries of the modern world.  Compares Hakim's new play-novel form to the cinema and to the Greek tragedy with its chorus and actors.

*Barbour, Nevill.  "'Audet al-Ruh, An Egyptian Novel"  Islamic Culture no. 9(1935).  pp. 487-492.  Written in English, this is also one of the most sensitive understandings of 'Audet al-Ruh and Hakim's use of the colloquial language in the dialogues.

Dwarah, Fu'ad.  "Tawfiq al-Hakim wa al-Wilayat al-Muttahida"("T. al-Hakim and the U.S.A."), Al-Majallah, August 1967, p. 95.  Some anti-American quotations from Hakim's essays pointing to the fact that we supposedly have no culture, except that of the Dollar.  Interesting only as an example of the prestige Hakim has in his country as an authority on culture.

Hilal, Al-. September 1964:  book review of his new "Rihlat al-Rabi'a wa al-Kharif"("Spring and Autumn Journey").

Idris, Suhail.  "Al-Butulah fi al-Riwaya al-'Arabiya al-Haditha"("Heroism in Modern Arabic Novels"), Al-Fikr no. 5(Feb. 1959), pp. 53-67.  Excellent essay on patriotic novels in the Middle East:  'Audet al-Ruh is dealt with in detail from this point of view.

Rushdy, Rashid.  "Ma' T. al-Hakim wa Mahmoud Teymour" al-Katib Feb. 1962, pp. 21-29.  Review of Hakim's new play about wavering:  "The Confused Sultan."

*Sfeir, George N.  "The Contemporary Arabic Novel" Daedalus vol. 95(Fall 1966), pp. 941-960.  One of the most recent articles surveying modern Arabic literature from a Western point of view.  Hakim's concerns are discussed.

Toukhy, 'Abd Allah al-.  "Al-Usfour 'ala 'ard al-'Abath"("The Bird at his tricks").  Rose al-Yousef, July 12, 1964.  Article praising Hakim's new experiments in the theater of the absurd:  "The Tree Climber" and "Journey of Spring and Fall."

Wahby, Samir.  "Bain Tawfiq al-Hakim wa Yahya Haqqi" Al-Fikr al-Mu'asir, Dec. 1965, pp. 82-92.  Excellent comparative study of Hakim and Haqqi.  Discussion of Yomiyat and the influence of Sayyida Zeinab and elementary mysticism in some of their works.







Balzac, Honore.  Le Lys dans la Vallee.  This great novel of first love may have influenced Hakim's 'Audet al-Ruh.

France, Anatole.  Thais.  Hakim's Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas developed out of this novel, the story of a hermit who loses his soul for the desires of the flesh.

Gibb, H.A.R.  Arabic Literature Second Edition.  Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1963.

________.  "Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature," in his Studies on the Civilization of Islam.  Boston:  Beacon Press, 1962.  This essay first appeared in 1933, and does not mention Hakim.

Grunebaumm, G.E. Von.  Islam(especially the chapter entitled "Self Interpretation in Contemporary Islam").

Rosenthal, F.  "Ash'ab" in Encyclopedia of Islam new edition.

Steinbeck, John.  Of Mice and Men. 1937.  The effect of this is comparable to Hakim's Bank al-Qalaq.

Zeine, Zeine N.  Arab-Turkish Relations and the Emergence of Arab Nationalism, 1958.





Heyworth-Dunne, J. "Society and Politics in Modern Egyptian Literature"  Middle East Journal,  July 1948, pp. 306-309.




Cassell's Dictionary of Literature Vol. II

al-Kashaf al-Tahlili lil-Suhuf wa-al-Majallat al-'Arabiyah("Analytical Index for Arabic Newspapers and Magazines").  Cairo:  May 1962-Jan. 1968 ff.  Consult under Tawfiq al-Hakim for articles on him in magazines and newspapers.  There is a great deal written on him every month in Egypt.

Pearson.  Index Islamicus.





Works Inspired by his Paris and Egyptian Country Periods


Paris 1925-1928

Country 1929-1934


first pub.          Title      Publisher of New Ed.    Typt of Work



Ahl al-Kahf("The Men from the Cave"

Maktabat al-Adab, 1965




'Audet al-Ruh("Return of the Spirit")

Maktabat al-Adab, 196-?





M. al-Adab, 1952







French trans.  Hakim, T. Theatre Arabe Paris:  Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1950







Ahl al-Fann("The Arty People")

Matba'at al-Hilal, 1943

(3 short stories)














French trans.  "Montmartre vue par un poete Oriental," in Hakim, T. Souvenirs d'un Magistrat-Poete. Paris:  Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1961.



M. al-Adab, 19--?



Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf

M. al-Adab


English trans.  Hakim, T. Maze of Justice, A.S. Eban trans.  London: Harvill Press, 1947.

French trans.  Hakim, T. Journal d'un Substitut de Campagne, Wiet and Hassan, trans.  Le Cairo:  Editions de la Revue du Caire, 1942.


Al-Qasr al-Mashour("The Enchanted Castle")

Dar al-Nashr al-Hadith, 1936

(dialogue with T. Hussein and "Sheherezade")


'Usfour min al-Sharq("Bird from the East")

M. al-Adab, 196-?


French trans.  Hakim, T.  L'Oiseau d'Orient.  Paris:  Nouvelles Eds. Latines, 1960.
















Second Period


Ministry of Education and Social Guidance 1933-1943.


Ahd al-Shaytan("The Age of Satan")

M. al-Adab, 1964

(philosophical short stories)



M. al-Adab, 1964



Masrahiyat ("Plays")


(early plays)

These are now collected in Hakim's Masrah al-Munawa'a.  M. al-Adab, 1966.


Taht Shams al-Fikr("Under the Sun of Thought")

M. al-Adab, 1965

(essays on art, culture)


Raqisat al-Ma'bad("Dancer of the Temple")

Matba'at al-Tawkil, 1939



Himar al-Hakim("Hakim's Donkey")

M. al-Adab, 1965

(stories of a philosophical donkey)


Sultan al-Zalam("Ruler of Darkness")

3rd. e. M. al-Adab, 1963

(essays on modern man)


Sulayman al-Hakim("King Soloman")

French trans. in Theatre Arabe

M. al-Adab, 1948



Third Period

1934-196-  Government appointments and honorary posts in National Library, High Council of the Arts, UNESCO.


Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas("The Holy Bond")

M. al-Adab, 1965

(anti-feminine novel)


Al-Malik Oudib("Oedipus the King")

M. al-Adab, 1965



Lailat al-Zifaf("The Wedding Night")

M. al-Adab, 1966

(short stories)

     French trans. of some of them in Souvenirs d'un Magistrat-Poete.


Masrah al-Mujtama' ("Social Theater")

M. al-Adab. 1952



'Arni Allah("Show me God")

M. al-Adab. 1954

(short stories)

     English trans. of "Miracles for Sale" in Johnson-Davies, D.  Modern Arabic Short Stories. Oxford:  University Press, 1967.



M. al-Adab, 1955



Al-Safqa("The Deal")

M. al-Adab, 1956



Al-Masrah al-Munawwa'("Selected Plays")

M. al-Adab, 1956



Al-Sultan al-Ha'ir("The Confused Sultan")

M. al-Adab, 1960



Ya Tali'a al-Shajara("The Tree Climber")

M. Al-Adab, 1963


     English trans. The Tree Climber, Johnson-Davies trans.  Oxford Univ. Press, 1965.


Al-Ta'am li kul Fam("Food for Every Mouth")

M. al-Adab, 1963




Rihlat al-Rabi'a wa al-Kharif("Spring and Autumn Journey")

Dar al-Ma'arif, 1964



Bank al-Qalaq("Bank of Worry")

Dar al-Ma'arif, 1966









1969 Senior Thesis submitted in April, 1969 for the BA degree at Princeton University in the Oriental Studies Department.

In this retyping to computer compatible text, the original typed manuscript has been adhered to, with some exceptions due to the inability of the computer to put dots under "velarized" Arabic transliterations, like the Ta, Sad, etc.  The Arabic script, handwritten in the original thesis, was set in SimpleText Arabic(for the Macintosh™), screen shot to the clipboard, and then pasted into Microsoft Word™ English.   

@Copyright Denis Hoppe and Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, 65 Olden Street, Princeton, NJ 08544.  Tel. 609 258-6345



























































































1 The basis for this chapter is Sayf, Shawqi, al-Adab al-Arabi al-Mu'asir(Cairo:  Dar al-Ma'arif, 1961),  pp. 288-293.

1 Wahby, Samir, "Bain Tawfiq al-Hakim wa Yahya Haqqi"(T. al-Hakim and Y. Haqqi:  a comparison), Fikr al-Mu'asir(December 1965), pp83-84. .


1 Adham, Isma'il, Tawfiq al-Hakim(Cairo:  Dar Sa'ad Misr li al-Tiba'at wa al-Nashr 1945, first published 1939), p. 94.

2 Montmartre vu par un poete oriental apres la premiere guerre mondiale" in Souvenirs d'un Magistrat-Poete(Paris:  Nouvelles editions Latines 1961), p. 88.

3 This funny play can be found in Hakim, T. al-Masrah al-Munawwa'(Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab 1956).

1 Hakim, T.  The Maze of Justice. trams. A.B. Eban.

2 Hakim, T.  Souvenirs d'un Magistrat-Poete, first nine stories are from al-'Adalah wa al-Fann.

1 Hakim, T.  Masrah al-Mujtama'(Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1950).

1 Hakim, T.  'Arni Allah(Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1952), pp.119-130.

1 cf, Nagy, O.  "Un representant du modernisme dans la litterature Egyptienne:  Tawfiq al-Hakim" in Studia et Acta Orientalia I(Bucharest, 1958), pp. 333-338.  He suggests specific French influences for Yomiyat:  E. Zola's Verite and H. Bordeaux's Le Carnet d'un Stagiare.

2 Hakim, T.  "Les Lettres Arabes a Travers ce Dernier Quart de Siecle," L'Islam et l"Occident(Vienne, France:  Cahiers du Sud, 1947), pp. 246-247.

1 Hakim, T.  Yomiyat Na'ib fil Aryaf(Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1956 ed.), p.

1 Hakim, T.  Yomiyat(Cairo:  Maktabat al-Adab, 1965 ed.), p. 63 in Oct. 15 chapter.

2 Hakim, T.  Yomiyat...p. 156 in Oct. 22 chapter.

1 Hakim, T.  Yomiyat. . . . p. 86-91  Oct. 17 chapter.

1 Hakim, Taht Shams al-Fikr(Cairo:  M. al-Adab, 1965), p. 108.

1 Veglieri, Laura and Rubinacci,  Roberto.  "Al-Qsr Al-Mashour" in Naples, Instituto Orientale, Taha Hussein(Naples, 1964), pp. 93-113.

1 Hakim, Laylat al-Zifaf(Cairo:  M. al-Adab, 1966 new ed.). pp. 136-154.


2 Hakim, Laylat al-Zifaf . . . .pp. 173-193.  French trans. in Hakim, Souvenirs d'un Magistrat:  "La Barque du Soleil," pp. 173-193.


1 Hakim, Ash'ab or Tarikh hayat Ma'ida(Cairo, 1938).  Variously called "history of a Stomach" and "King of the Vagabonds."


2 Introduction to the new edition of Ash'ab(Cairo:  M. al-Adab, 1962).

1 Encyclopedia of Islam, New Ed.(Leiden, 1954 ff.) pp. 690-691


1 Hakim, Bank al-Qalaq(Cairo:  Dar al-Ma'arif, 1965), p. 224.

1 Samir Wahby has made an interesting comparison between Bank al-Qalaq and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men(1937).  Both are novels about two happy people who get into tragic situations.

2 Hakim, The Tree Climber(Oxford:  1966) Johnson-Davies, trans. cf. Introduction.

1 St. John, Robert, The Boss, p. 89.

2 Berque, Jacques.  Les Arabes d'Hier a demain(Paris:  Seuil ed., 1960), pp. 182-183.

1 Von Grunebaum, Gustave.  Islam, p. 220.

2 Barbour, N. "Audet al-Ruh, an Egyptian Novel"  Islamic Culture 9(1935), p. 492.

1 "Hakim sends his protagonist on a journey to the national past of his own land."  Sfeir, George.  "The Contemporary Arabic Novel"  Daedelus vol.  95(Fall 1966), pp. 441-460.


2 Suhail, Idris.  "Al-Butula fi al-Riwaya al-Arabiya al-Haditha"  Al-

Fikr no. 5(Feb. 1959), pp. 53-67.


3 'Awad, Tawfiq Yusuf, Al-Raghif("The Bread"), 5th ed., Maktabat Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 1978.

1 Heyworth-Dunne, J.  "Society and Politics in Modern Egyptian Literature"  Middle East Journal  1948, July, p. 310.

1 Heyworth-Dunne, "Society and Politics . . .," p. 313.

1 Gibb, H.A.R. "'Arabiyya" New Encyclopedia of Islam p. 598.

2 Sfeir, G.  "The Contemporary Arabic Novel"  Daedalus  Fall 1966, p. 943.


1 Haqqi, Y. Khutuwat fi al-Naqd(Footsteps in Criticism), (Cairo:  Dar al-Arabah, 1961?), p. 106.

2 Hakim, T. Yomiyat . . ., p. 112.

1 Adham, I.  Tawfi al-Hakim, p. 180.

2 Ibid.

3 Wahby, S. "Bain Tawfiq al-Hakim wa Yahya Haqqi" Al-Fikr al-Mu'asir(Dec., 1965), p. 89.

1 Hakim, T.  Audet al-Ruh (Cairo:  M. al-Adab, 196? new ed.), pp. 254-255.

1 Hakim, T.  Yomiyat. . . . ., p. 139.

1 Hakim, T.  Yomiyat . . . . . , p. 125.

1 Hakim, T.  Bank al-Qalaq(Cairo:  Dar al-Ma'arif, 1966), p. 125.

1 For a further discussion of Hakim's views of women, see Mustapha, Ahmad al-Rahim, Tawfiq al-Hakim(Cairo:  1952), p. 69.  Hakim felt that the Egyptian woman had emerged too suddenly from her position as an object of sensuous pleasure to a member of society.

1 Wahby, S.  "Bain T. al-Hakim wa Y. Haqqi"al-Fikr al-Mu'asir(Dec., 1965), pp.  89-90.

2 Wahby, S.  op. cit., p. 90.

1 Hakim, T.  Al-Ribat al-Muqaddas(Cairo:  M. al-Adab, 196? new ed.), pp. 280-281.

1 Hakim, T.  Bank al-Qalaq(Cairo:  Dar al-Ma'aarif, 1966) pp. 17-18.

1 Hakim never felt at home in the novel because the novelist must take an overly active part in the development of the story, whereas in a play, the dialogue carries its own thoughts, and the author's manipulation is minimal.  cf.  Abd Allah, Muhammad.  "Hadith ma' Tawfiq al-Hakim" Al-Qissah, May 1963, pp. 5-13.

2 Barakat, Ali.  "Masrawiyat T. Al-Hakim" Al-Fikr al-Mu'asir(April 1967), p. 108.

1 Barakat, A.  "Masrawiat T. al-Hakim"  Al-Fiker al-Mu'asir(April 1967), p. 108.

1 Hakim, Bank al-Qalaq. . ., pp. 127-129.

2 Barakat, Ali.  "Masrawiyat T. al-Hakim"  op. cit., p. 109.

1 Entries are in Arabic unless marked with an asterisk.*