Just finished Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy.

All 1312 pages of it. Masterful and at times greatly inspiring.

Some quotes from the book

“These people are talking about beauty. What do they know about its essence? They like certain colours, the whiteness of ivory and gold of precious ingots. If you ask me about beauty I won’t speak of a pure bronze complexion, tranquil black eyes, a slim figure, and Parisian elegance. Certainly not! All those are pretty but they’re nothing but lines, shapes and colours subject to investigation by the senses and open to comparison. Beauty itself is a painful convulsion in the heart, an abundance of vitality in the soul, and a mad chase undertaken by the spirit until it encounters the heavens. Tell me about this, if you can…”

“Life consists of work, marriage and the duty incumbent upon each person claiming human status. This is not an appropriate occasion. to discuss an individual’s responsibilities toward his profession or spouse. The duty common to all human beings is perpetual revolution, and that is nothing other than an unceasing effort to further the will if life represented by its progress to an ideal.

I believe in life and in people. I feel obliged to advocate their highest ideals as long as I believe them to be true, since shrinking from that would be a cowardly evasion of duty. I also see myself compelled to revolt against ideals I believe to be false, since recoiling from this would be a form of treason. This is the meaning of perpetual revolution.”


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