Futurities and the Urban Space in Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Modern and Toni Kan’s The Carnivorous City

  • Lola Akande
Keywords: Futurities, Urbanization, Lagos, Cairo, Postcolonial

Abstract

Urbanization is the bifurcation of space into rurality and urbanity usually brought about
by pressure of population from diverse backgrounds such that kinship ceases to be the
primary form of interrelationships. This paper examines how characters impact
environment in Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Modern (1945) and Toni Kan’s The
Carnivorous City (2016). The paper interrogates the physical environment, the
bureaucracy, and the professions, with a view to finding out if the selected novels can
provide a template for understanding how current cities anticipate the future.
Specifically, the paper aims to discover the commonalities between Cairo and Lagos in
terms of how they are advancing into the future. The concerns centre on the Postcolonial
moments in history: The problems of nation building showing how postcolonial subjects
in Egypt and Nigeria are turning Cairo and Lagos into cities of a peculiar stamp in
keeping with European models. Because of the rudimentary state of Africa’s political
culture, there is a basis for comparing Cairo of 1945 and Lagos of 2016. The social
structure of Cairo is based on the motive of corruption while Lagos is predisposed
toward violence and corruption. Future cities as conceived by postcolonial consciousness
are far removed from future cities as conceived by western imagination; hence, events in
the selected novels anticipate higher levels of corruption and violence in future Cairo and
Lagos. The attempt to build EKO Atlantic City suggests that it is imaginable that a city
can be well built. However, there is need for coercive instrument of state policing and
sufficient number of modern gadgets such as CCTV cameras to make it easier to track
offenders.

Author Biography

Lola Akande

Department of English, University of Lagos

Published
2019-12-04
How to Cite
Akande, L. (2019). Futurities and the Urban Space in Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Modern and Toni Kan’s The Carnivorous City. Unilag Journal of Humanities, 7(1), 165-181. Retrieved from http://ihafa.unilag.edu.ng/index.php/ujh/article/view/511