Alfred Farag and Egyptian Theater The Poetics of Disguise, with Four Short Plays and a Monologue

“There could hardly be a better symbol for the troubled existence of the creative writer in    the post-revolutionary Arab world . . . than Alfred Farag.”
—Roger Allen, from the Foreword

From Dina A. Amin,
Farag’s translator and author of “Alfred Farag and Egyptian Theater
The Poetics of Disguise, with Four Short Plays and a Monologue”,

“Farag generally concerned himself with the human condition when it is subjected to severe repression… Recurrent themes in his plays are anxiety and paranoia, which seem to stem from certain impending dangers… In his plays, the oppressor can be anything from occupation to internal corruption or personal and social coercion, but the defense is always either hiding behind masks of neutrality or playing roles to depict a changing identity… strategies adopted by the weak to survive their harsh reality.” (xxii)

“The central metaphor of The Visitor is a wish for domination… by the male subject against his female counterpart. In this play, Farag reexamines traditional categories of power, challenging preconceptions of women as being overpowered, and presenting the female character as resisting all categorizations that place her in an inferior position to the man.” (149)

The Peephole consists of a suspenseful murder mystery that none of the characters wishes to investigate. The play presents the dilemma of a wealthy upper-middle class, whose fear of being dispossessed by the poor or the volatile political system under which they live makes it willing to commit crimes to preserve the status quo.” (166)

At the Special Permission of the author and Syracuse University Press