Critics

These are short extracts out of some of the numerous articles, studies or recorded sayings written and said about Youssef Ezeddin Eassa, by great analysts, thinkers, eminent writers and critics of the age. .Some of them are about Eassa the writer, others are about the scientist and professor and other comments are about him as a person . The references to all such comments are stated and are also available in archives and at Youssef Ezeddin Eassa’s office.

The comments are not in chronological order, but  are arranged in an order that would bring the reader closer to Eassa and his world. The last are not least, but are a most interesting end to a beginning..


~~'He paid no attention to the minor details of daily life, nor to everyday trivialities. He was not fooled by the outside frame neither did he attempt to explain the behaviour of mankind on surface level. He did not look into common for granted matters, but he focused on humanitarian horizons, searching for the truth and seeking a vision of the world with thoughtful eyes. He created a merge between the open mindedness of a creative thinker, and the objectivity of a scientist'.. Sanaa Soleha, Head of  Al Ahram Literary page, Al Ahram Newspaper, 15/10/2002

' Prof. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa's work is symbolic, and rich with insinuations. Its events take place in worlds of dreams and awakenings.'  Mostafa Abdul Ghani, Al Ahram, 1/12/81

' Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa's art is immortal, for nobody had ever borne the theme of death in literature, the way he has.'   Mahmoud Kassem, writer & critic, ‘Al Youm’ Newspaper, 1997

'Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is an artist who writes humanitarian literature, bearing all credentials which make it worthy of the Nobel Award.' Mohamad Ghoneim, Deputee Head of Ministry of Culture, TV Program, 'Pioneers', September 1991


'The French researcher of Eastern Literature, Fernando Lesly, called him 'The Genius' and has set a file on Eassa in his magazine "The Pioneers"... Lesley said about Eassa's short story, "A Number of Poor People'' when it was translated to French, "this story is the character of Egypt , in which Eassa summarizes the dreams of a socially lost generation. However this generation is not lost on the humanitarian level ."  Fernando Lesley, French Researcher of Eastern Literature, in magazine, “The Pioneers’’, narrated by critic Nashed, Analyst, Al Wafd Newspaper, 1/10/2002

It has a classical structure, written in a global language, that expresses the attitude of man towards the universe..'   Prof. Nabil Ragheb, Accademy, English Depart., "With Critics", Radio Interview, 2nd program, 1982


'Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa's novel, 'The Façade', with all its daring implications and selectivity of form, is a work which bears all the characteristics of a novel that is up to global ranks, portrayed throughout three hundred and thirty pages of fascination at the full. We see it like a surreal painting where realism and beyond realism, are intermingled, in a united work of fine art; such a perfect structure that is rare to find in a novel that long. Being such a great work of art and one of the greatest and most original Egyptian modern novels, "The Façade" ought to be translated by the Egyptian cultural authorities in the near future.'   Saeed Salem, Writer, Al Ahram, 1982


'Selecting Professor Youssef Ezeddin Eassa for the National  Prize of Letters is undoubtedly an honour for the prize. He is a living example of the writer who has chosen by his own free will to live away from the noise and glamour of the capital. This outstanding writer has brilliantly floated over the ocean of our modern life, with all its vicious tides, … He was able to maintain an amazing balance between the scientific mind and the imagination of art, and has managed to grab the prize from the grip of the Cairo Writers.'    Prof. Ikbal Baraka, Sabah Al Khair, 15/9/1988


'If the great writer "Kafka" is the creator of the character of 'K', we then have to give credit to Eassa who undoubtedly was ahead of his time when he created the character of 'M.N.', in 'The Façade'. The 2 letters 'M' and 'N', put together (in Arabic) would make the word, "mann", meaning "who''. Thus the name itself is a question about man's identity. Furthermore, the novel begins with the word ''Not" (when translated to English though, it becomes, " does not"). 'Not' (the negative start) expresses all the writer's feelings of resentment towards the ugliness of reality. It also shows his lashing irony. Alongside with the writer's irony, there is a sympathy towards mankind and a desire to grant man all what man has been deprived of, such as freedom and the chance of savouring beauty.. the writer thus touches the very soul of man'   Prof. Zakareya Anany, PH.D. Sorbon University, Arabic Literature Depart., TV "Salon Program", 2002


'..A university professor… a great writer, moreover, one of the greatest researchers. Just talking to him is a joy to the mind and soul..'  Mostafa Sami, Analyst, Al Dawleya Magazine, 31/5/1993


'I've always known Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa to be a unique personality with non-conventional ideas. His elegance and gracefulness as a thinker are reflected upon his works. His ideas and themes have broad meanings, which cannot be confined to small issues. The depths he touches are rich with beauty.'  Sanaa Fatehalla,  Writer and Drama Critic, Al Akhbar Newspaper, 17/10/2002


'Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is a writer who respects a reader's mentality.. He is a special writer who has this ability to move feelings and he writes with such genius at a time when we do miss having real writers of novel.'    Zaghloul Abdul Hamid Abdullah, Analyst, Al Ahram, 24/7/1984

‘The hero in Youssef Ezeddin Eassa’s work is the idea; he uses symbol, science, imagination, sarcasm, and even dreams, as his tools to present his idea – in order to express the human existence.’  Youssef El Sharouni, TV Prog. “Host”, 2003
                      
'The House and other Stories' is a selection of short stories, which makes you read and meditate at the same time. You are faced with a storyteller who does not tell you a conventional story. After you're done with reading it… you are overcome by his amazing joy of art and see matters through a philosophical vision. You, then, try to find answers to all the question marks that appear in your head and afterthen, you are overwhelmed by the joy of searching for the unknown.'   Maamoun Gharib, Analyst, Akher Saaha Magazine, May, 1994


' ..."Urgent Surgery" the short story, though written by the brilliant Professor Youssef Ezeddin Eassa back in 1985, yet it feels like he were living among us now, describing the how-abouts of our country in his most unique style and simple phrases.  "Urgent Surgery" is a painting pulsating with life. We feel the ticking of the heart; hear the peritonial membrane; the kidneys can sense their own swelling!.. Fantasy and symbol are equally balanced to tackle the most complicated of all matters: the life of a nation.'  Prof. Jailan Hamza, Cairo University, Al Ahram, 14/ 9/2001


'You could disagree with him in opinion, but his real gift lies in his acceptance to hear the other side, welcoming the differences.. because he believed that to be the core of intimacy between people…'   Sanaa Fatehalla, Al Akhbar, 17/10/2002


' In the philosophical novels of Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa, we are faced with the writer's amazing ability to create a reality which is actually a "Magical Reality." His imagination breaks the tediousness of the dull reality.. The novels,  "The Façade", and "The Man who Sold his Head." represent the "possibility of the impossible. They are the first origins of a literary form called," Fiction of the Absurd ", a term previously known to the theatre world.'  Prof. Zakareya Anany, TV "Salon Program", 2002


'The language in Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa's works, has a magical rhythm, flowing with spontaneous ease in its poetic nobility.'  Prof. Saeed Al Warakhy,  Head of Arabic Department, Al Ahram, 11/1/81

'Dr. Eassa was a gifted writer, essayist, poet and scientist. I think most of all, he was a humanist: a man concerned with the interests and welfare of humanity. He brought a scientist’s discipline for observation to the study of the human condition and revealed in his writings what lies often at the depths of human consciousness..'  Justin Siberell, Presentation, at American Cultural Center, April 18th, 2006


'..talking about Eassa, we must never forget his amazing sense of humour and laughter. He spontaneously left a wonderful impression upon anybody he talked to. He was an attractive and pleasant personality; also extremely modest, together with having this gift of, respect for others..'  Amal Sarhan, American Center Ex, Head Librarian & Program Specialist, American Center Presentation, April the 18th, 2006.


‘.. he introduced enormous activities at the University and what he was able to plant in his students was incredible .. he was an amazing personality on both the scientific and cultural levels .. students loved the wonderful way he gave his lectures, the humour, wit and fun in his talks.. they admired him deeply as a prof., writer and as a creative person .. he was actually captivating!’   Prof. Youssef Riad, Faculty of Science, TV Prog. Al Manara Channel,  “ Youssef Ezeddin Eassa: the scientist & the artist.”  2005.


‘..with him time flies; the hour and a half ‘train-chat’, becomes five minutes!’  Prof. Ismael Sadek, Depute-Head, Faculty of Science, TV program “Youssef Ezeddin Eassa: The Scientist & The Artist.”, 2005


‘One of the reasons that Gabriel Garcia Marquis obtained the Nobel Prize for, was his ability to create a merge between imagination and reality in a poetic atmosphere. Well, Youssef Ezeddin Eassa has been doing that for more than 30 years!’   Saeed Salem, Writer and Analyst, ‘Pioneers’ TV Prog., 1991.


‘Youssef Ezeddin Eassa was an Egyptian artist, an Alexandrian, but his writing speaks to all people. He was a Cal man, a Berkeley alumni and (today) we celebrate his contribution for all human kind’.   Justin Siberell, ”Journey through a Creative life”, presentation at American Center, Alexandria, April, 18th, 2006.

 'The works of Youssef Ezeddin Eassa are pieces of outstanding quality. They're characterized by an originality of ideas and a variability of themes. There is a beauty in their structure; they are unique and highly creative.’    Prof. Mohamad Fatehy Bek, Head of The Egyptian Radio Station & Drama Corporation, ‘The Radio Magazine’, 1945, quoted by announcer, A. Abdul Rashid, radio prog. ‘With Writers’, 4/16/1983


'.. Eassa has touched depths in the human nature and has uncovered all its drifts and strives, that have bewildered those who have dedicated their lives to the study of "psychology.'   Prof. Helmy Salam, Editor of ‘Al Fagr’ magazine, ‘Al Fagr’, 27/7/75. '

'Prof. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa's writings are characterized by a special flavor, his dialogues bear a dramatic tune, revealing an intellectual background about art and about life.'  Khairy Shalaby, Head of Egyptian Cultural Palaces, writer, thinker & critic, ‘The Radio & Television Magazine’, 17/1/76

‘..I remember well when I was playing the role of,'Sawsan', in his radio drama, ''Bitter Honey" (1958). Prof. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa attended all rehearsals. He used to give us long talks about the work so we could understand, absorb and live our roles. Streets were empty of people at noon during its broadcast period. Most women at that time, who had baby girls, named them, 'Sawsan' . Karima Mokhtar, Movie & TV Star, TV. Program, 'Salon', November,1999 ‘..

 'Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is the real master of wonderful ideas .. He would just take a few smokes from his pipe and then come up with the most original outstanding theme..!’   Hussein Gomea, Drama Director, Cultural Palace (Sidi Gaber), Talk, July, 28th, 2006


‘If you read Youssef Ezeddin Eassa’s ‘The Façade’, you will never be the same person again..’   Prof. Abdul Aziz Sharaf, Arabic Depart., Cairo Univ., Head of Literary page in Al Ahram, 1981.

 

The Façade by Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is the most beautiful book’  Naguib Mahfouz, Nobel Awarded Egyptian Writer, 31/12/1981, published ‘Al Akhbar’, 1/1/1982

‘Dr. Youssef has fluttered high and far, reaching horizons which none had reached. He does that with such daringness and honesty. Thus, we can say that we have a giant global artist, who is worthy of admiration. For his sake, grief should be abolished from our world.'   Ahmad Zaki Abdul Halim, writer & critic, ‘Hawaa’ Magazine, 19/12/1981

'The House and other Stories' is a volume of short stories, which makes you read and meditate at the same time. You are faced with a storyteller who does not tell you a conventional story. After you're done with reading it, you see things through a new vision. You, are then, overwhelmed by the joy of searching for the unknown!'   Maamoun Gharib, critic & writer ‘Akher Saeh’ magazine, 1994.

' …in this magnificent piece "The House", every line bears depths, meanings and great significances. The writer gradually moves with symbols into events that have realistic implications.. We feel with the main character, the love for life and the ability to enjoy beauty .. also the everyday spinning of life that has eaten up his days… Sentences have subtle dimensions; like a dagger, piercing in.. slowly and soundly .. and no doubt, reaching the core...
..phrases are arranged like they were selected from underneath a microscope Yet they seem so spontaneous, simple and beautiful. They fill up our thoughts … How was Youssef Ezeddin Eassa able to live with all such radiance inside his head??!!’
    Prof. Jailan Hamza,, from ‘ Life and the House in the Works of Youssef Ezeddin Eassa’, Al Ahram’, 6/7/2001

’..he possessed the honesty necessary to reveal truths of our anxieties, fears, and short-comings. This is a theme you read about with many great writers, their dedications to the truth, to let the story and its characters go where they may without limits.’   Justin Siberell, USA Cultural Director,  Seminar at The American Cultural Center, Alexandria, April 18th, 2006


‘..’The Grand Hall’ is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read.. it all takes place in a corridor leading to the Grand Hall. However, you are fascinated all the way by the symbol and abstract devices used by the writer… Meanings are intensified within events that take place together with the pieces of poetry pouring out like music throughout the story...’   Prof. Aboul Hassan Salam, Faculty of Arts, Drama Depart., TV. Prog. “Host”, 1/29/2005


‘ .. ‘In ‘The Grand Hall’, published after his passing away, the story pours out with pain and despair as it touches the idea of the creative thinker’s chance of achieving the high rank he deserves in life. To reach this rank, he is supposed to enter through the back doors so as to reach the Grand Hall in which there was a ceremony held to honor him. The writer, thus, indicates that there are paths and means, other than real creativity and talent, that can lead one to glory.’    Prof. Ahmad Owain, Arabic Literature Department,  Book,“The Narrative Aspect in the Works of Youssef Ezeddin Eassa”. Published November, 2000

‘There is certainly an element of surrealism in his work.. there is the sensation of a dream when reading his words, but his humanism comes out in a deep sympathy for his subjects. As a reader you are both drawn in and made to wonder..’    Justin Siberell, The American Cultural Centre Seminar ‘Journey through a Creative Life, Youssef Ezeddin Eassa’, Alexandria, April 18th, 2006

' In "A Selection of Short Stories" the stories uncover a lot about his world of art. .. Moreover, Eassa never falls into the vicious circle of the limited materialistic world. He runs down his pen, analyzing events that are closest to fantasy yet not really far from reality.’   Sanaa Soleha, ‘Al Ahram’, 15/10/2002

‘ "The Façade" is a remarkable book, which drew me in after the first chapter.  I suspect it was not an easy book to translate ..because of .. the consistency of style and voice over the course of the text.  It clearly works both as a piece of political allegory and as science fiction. There were echoes, for me, of Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984, as well as some other dystopian fiction; but the sustained dreamlike quality struck me as wholly original, both compelling and disturbing. The novel clearly deserves to be better-known globally, and the translation will hopefully go a long way towards achieving this.’    Martin Lewis, Head of Sheffield University Library, 2015

‘ What do these stories tell us? Are they simply bizarre tales? I find them deeply meaningful, revealing our innermost anxieties. And this is where I really admire Youssef Ezeddin Eassa. I believe above all, he was an incredibly honest writer and analyst of the human condition. .. By reading his works you also get a sense of his love of beauty; his love for life; his humour. Many of his stories include a man contemplating life from a balcony, reading quietly and observing. Through this, I think we get something of an idea what this wonderful man was like.’   Justin Siberell, Cultural Director of American Centre, ”American Centre Seminar, April, 18th, 2006 ‘Journey Through a Creative Life, Youssef Ezeddin Eassa’.

' … The 12 short stories translated to English in the book "A Selection of Short Stories" uncover a lot about his world of art, and stages in writing. The scientist and artist become one.. ..The mind and the soul come together in his works, dealing with the human nature, with all its mysteries, without forgetting its strives and its deepest secrets. Moreover, Eassa never falls into the vicious circle of the limited materialistic world. All such things have granted the scientific artist a courage and an ability to run down his pen, analyzing events that are closest to fantasy and far from reality..
Fantasy is used in his works as a device to express real problems and philosophical causes. Causes such as the thin line between choice and fate; between loving and possessing… the thrill of unraveling the unknown … the disappearance of conscience.. Devices of symbolism; of using dreams and even science, are among his tools to find a world of his own. A world that bears his creativity and his philosophical touch. That philosophical touch, perhaps, together with the urge to seek the truth about life and the meaning of life are most evident in his last writing phase..'
 .Sanaa Soleha, Al Ahram, 15/10/2002


'Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is an artist, a scientist and a thinker. His writings are characterized by an originality, a depth, a variability of themes, together with a humanitarian touch. He is able, through the seminars he holds, to plant in the young generation, the love for thought and intellect. He is a man who combines both, the depth of a researcher and the sensitivity of an artist .'   Maamoun Gharib, Akher Saeha Magazine, 3/7/1991

'Professor Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is one of the most prominent stars amongst Arab scientists and he has shone on the same level in the field of writing. He has touched depths in the human nature and has uncovered all its drifts and strives, that have bewildered those who dedicated their lives to the study of psychology.'   Dr. Helmy Salam, Editor of Al Fagr Magazine, Al Fagr Magazine, 27/7/75


'Man, with all his psychological and philosophical worries, disregarding time and place, has always been the center of the writer's interest. Eassa's causes were not limited local causes, but global ones and that explains the absence of names in many of his writings and the usage of symbolical terms. His ability to choose his words and idioms and to elevate a dialogue in a natural spontaneous manner reaches a peak, especially in his short story, 'Urgent Surgery.'  Sanaa Soleha, Al Ahram, 15/10/2002

 'Dr. Youssef has fluttered high and far, reaching horizons which none has reached. He does that with such daringness and honesty. Thus, we can say that we have a giant global artist, who is worthy of admiration. For his sake, grief should be abolished from our world.'   Ahmad Zaki Abdul Halim, Hawaa, 19/12/1981


'The novels of Prof. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa are top pieces of Arabic Creative Literature, and they are a good basis to the intellectual novel, of which we only have a few.'   Prof. Zakareya Anany, Al Ahram, 1989


' In the short story, 'The House', for example,.. life keeps falling down in pieces, one bit after another. In the novel, "The Façade" and "The Man who Sold his Head" the writer presents the case of a perfect world or the imaginary Utopia, which exists only in the illusions of mankind.. for man is always hanging between destiny and choice. There's that attempt of running away from one's fate.. Moreover, with man's daily rotation in the grindstone of life, man gradually loses the ability to see the truth. Symbol, a significant part of Eassa's style throughout his life; has yet become a most dominant factor in his last works, evident in "The Grand Hall,'' for example.. where it, (symbol),..'   Sanaa Soleha, Al Ahram, 15/10/2002

'If literary art were to be a mark of a nation, and if science were to be a factor of enhancing and developing it, then Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is the finest example. He is the kind of scientist, enriched with philosophy, and the kind of writer, in touch with science. He is like Professor Dr. Mostafa Mosharafa, or like Aldous Huksly and George Orwal. He molds both, the artistic talent and the vision of a rational mind. Thus, he has become, in his writings, a witness of his time, bearing at heart, the soul, the conscience and the essence of our modern age.'   Galal Al Ashry, Al Ahram 3/7/1984

'Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is a scientist who has worshiped art, and an artist who has worshiped science. I've come to realize that the secret of his success and the popularity of his works lie in the heart of his humanitarian broadmindedness, merged with the bewilderment of a scientist, and his interest in the unknown. From this magnificent combination the writer is able to uncover horizons, covered by nobody else, on both scales, the psychological and the humanitarian.'  Sanaa Soleiha, Al Ahram, 27/9/1999


' The essence of the creative vision in the works of Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa, is maintaining the balance between truths, the scientific truth and the artistic one. He does it in a manner that comes only to the selective few great writers. He uncovers insights, which his creative vision is known for. Such creative visions that had been formed through a deep understanding of both the Arabic culture, the humanitarian as well.'    Dr. Abdul Aziz Sharaf, Al Ahram, 7/11/1982


'This artist, Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa, despite living in Alexandria , was able to find himself a unique place in the writers' necklace of pearls. Moreover, he surpasses them all by practicing both science and literature.'   Ibrahim Abdul Aziz, Radio &Television Magazine, 2/6/97


 'Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is one of our writers who has given literature global themes. His main concern in his works is the philosophical idea, and he depicts it in a pattern closest to imagination…'   Adel Nashed, Al Kuwait Magazine, Sept. 1988


'When we are about to enter the world of Dr. Youssef Ezeddin Eassa, we have to be very careful to spot the reality of the atmosphere, the fictitious imagination, and the insinuations of the artistic dimension, which is the solid bridge between his creativity and the mind of the reader.'   Sabry Abdullah Kandil, Al Gomhoreya newspaper, 17/10/86


'Professor Ahmad Zowel has given the world of science the femto-second, and Professor Youssef Ezeddin Eassa has given it to the world of literature, evident in plays like, "In a Drop of Water", and "Visitors", where events take place in the literary femto-second.'   Dr. Ahmad Aboul Azm, Faculty of Science Celebration, 1999


'Stories written in Eassa's last phase not only reflect the philosophical visions of the scientist and his feelings, but also unravel other feelings about the writer himself; feelings that he's packing his stuff and ready to leave.. Such feelings are, no doubt global elements.. They also enlighten readers who are tracing the works of the artist throughout different stages of his literary career, to make sure that, if Youssef Ezeddin Eassa is gone from our life, yet his words still inspire us with the secret of real art. His works take us away, even for moments, far from the trivialities and minorities of daily life, leaving us to ourselves with question marks wondering about the truth of man, the secret of life.. such questions which the writer has spent a lifetime searching for answers to. Perhaps, someday, some of his forgotten papers would tell us if he has found the answers to all his questions and sorrows ..'  Sanaa Soleha, Al Ahram, 15/10/2002

‘How could this little head carry all those ticking bombs of creative ideas and thought without exploding like a volcano?!' Tawfik Al Hakim, Egyptian Great Writer, Petro Seminar, 1974, narrated by Mohamad Ghoneim on TV program, Salon, 2003

'As a matter of fact, this head, loaded with all such thought, philosophies, sciences and art did not explode! Instead, it has found peace in writing and in the world of imagination and intellect.'   Mohamad Ghoneim, 'Salon' TV Program, 2003

'I have married science and fallen in love with art.'   Youssef Ezeddin Eassa, Akher Saeha magazine, 1994