Waguih Ghali’s Archive..

So Waguih Ghali’s unpublished work is available online at ghali.library.cornell.edu/, I never knew that. What a happy find!

Ghali is most famous for “Beer in the Snooker Club”. The papers might be  a treasure for people who need to work with alternative archives, particularly when it comes to historicising the left in Egypt, I guess. A friend of mine is already working on that in her MA dissertation, and I can’t wait to read it.

Apparently the digitised collection is very recent. It dates back to 2013. Obviously Deborah Starr took permission from Diana Athill, Ghali’s editor. The collection contains letters (a bulk of which are to Athill, his Diaries, and some incomplete manuscripts.

Looking at the story of digitising the collection is again a sad reminder of how bureaucratically alienated we are from our history by the inadequacy of the archive. Granted, in Ghali’s case, it is the Novel that plays the enigmatic role of fictive/narrative/auto,semi, biographical source. But simply by looking into the story Starr recounts, one is reminded by how accidental it is to just have access..

Arabic Literature (in English)

In January 2017, AUC Press is set to bring out the first volume of The Diaries of Waguih Ghali, from entries 1964-66, edited by May Hawas:

ghaliMuch of Waguih Ghali’s (1930-1969) unpublished work is available online at ghali.library.cornell.edu/. This includes unpublished papers, diaries from the 1960s, and manuscript fragments from the iconic Egyptian author of the cult classic Beer in the Snooker Club.

According to AUC Press:

Covering the last four years of his life, Ghali’s Diaries offer an exciting glimpse into London’s swinging sixties. Volume 1 tells of Ghali’s life in Rheydt, West Germany, providing unique insights from the perspective of an Egyptian immigrant on postwar Germany and shedding light on Ghali’s own writing and personality when he was at the peak of his depression. This volume also includes his reminiscences of his childhood in Alexandria and Cairo, drawing in bittersweet nostalgia a picture of a bygone era in Egypt. Meanwhile, in the background…

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