RIP Naguib Mahfouz
I'm not going to pretend to have a graduate degree in anything that would allow me to grasp just how cool Naguib Mahfouz was, but I studied enough of him in my undergrad years to be able to say that his voice was a very special and important one, and will be missed gravely.
I have Professor Roger Allen - who boldly stepped outside the uppity professor box to be both a great professor and inspiring teacher and educator to lowly undergrads like myself at the U of P -- to thank for many things, but today I gotta give him his propers for nominating this guy for that um, nobel prize he won (impressive, huh?)...and for filling our bright eyed and bushy-tailed minds with little perspective on the whole east-west-whatever hullaballo courtesy of Mahfouz and his Cairo Trilogy...among other things. I'm a lot wiser courtesy of these these fellas.
Did you know that there's a poem that if you recite it on a plane in an arab country (and if you're a man, I'm assuming), passengers on the plane will be compelled to stand up an applaud? I know this, thanks to Roger Allen. He's so cool.
Catch Prof. Allen on NPR talk of the nation (audio available at 5pm ET ) the Lehrer news hour tonight at 6:49pm ET! I always wanted Prof. Allen to be all over the pundits, but his priority is obvi teaching and not spotlight seeking...still I wonder what he'll have to say tonight. Talk about a guy who knows things about things (and still manages to be a pleasantly eccentric british bloke) Did I mention how cool this guy is? mm hm.