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Abstract

In his article "Egypt's Police State in the Work of Idris and Mahfouz" David F. DiMeo examines how two leading twentieth-century authors of politically committed fiction addressed an angry generation's confrontations with former members of the oppressive state police apparatus. Yusuf Idris's The Black Policeman (1962) and Najib Mahfouz's al-Karnak (1974) remain particularly relevant as today's Egyptian activists confront the vestiges of the former regime's security forces. Using Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of the carnival as a paradigm for analysis, DiMeo examines how both texts present sharp contrasts between hollow quests for public revenge through purges and a genuine overturning of political and social situations.