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Voci italiane ed egiziane da Alessandria d’Egitto: un dialogo tra Fausta Cialente e Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ

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The city of Alexandria has always been a source of inspiration for many writers, poets and novelists, Western and Eastern. We may think of the works of Kavafis, the poems of Ungaretti and the novels of Lawrence Durrell. In addition to its historical value and its oriental charm, Alexandria remained in the collective memory as a multiethnic city par excellence in the first half of the Twentieth Century. After the coup of 1952, Alexandria has become a city-symbol of the Revolution of the Free Officers. There was born Ǧamāl ʿAbd el-Nāṣer and from its squares, he announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal. This article considers these two historical moments in order to analyse two novels, Cortile a Cleopatra by the Italian writer Fausta Cialente and Miramar by the Egyptian novelist Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ, both set in Alexandria, but in two different eras. The literary analysis focuses primarily on the realistic descriptions of the multi-ethnic society Cialente’s work and on the symbolism, which typifies Miramar. The result is a dialogue between two perspectives: one is Italian; the other is Egyptian, both choose Alexandria, however, as a stage of the drama of human experience.

Affiliations: 1: Department of European Languages ‒ The University of


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