Albert Cossery in Cairo, date unknown - Image courtesy égyptophile
CAIRO - 22 June 2017: Portraying Egypt and Arab countries in his ambitious French novels, Egyptian-French writer Albert Cossery is remembered on the day of his death, June 22, for his comparisons between poverty and wealth.
When he passed away at the age of 94, freedom-inspired writer Cossery had written eight novels over the course of 60 years in which he contrasted the powerful and the powerless in a dramatic manner. He was known for “writing mocks vanity and the narrowness of materialism and his principal characters are mainly vangrants, thieves or dandies that subvert the order of an unfair society,” according to a biography posted on Goodreads.
Born in Cairo of Greek Orthodox Syrian and Lebanese descent, Cossery was inspired by French novelist Honoré de Balzac to whom he owed a philosophical concept of life, wherein he believed that laziness was not a vice but rather “a form of contemplation and meditation.”
At the age of 27, Cossery published his first book, “Les hommes oubliés de Dieu” (“Men God Forgot”).
Later in life, the now-established author was later suspected of spying by the U.S. Secret Service, according to an article by The Guardian.
The American Secret Service was worried about is anarchist beliefs that attempted to undermine authorities. For example, in one of his novels, ”La Violence et la Dérision” (“Violence and Deception”), he depicted citizens seeking freedom by mocking and demeaning tyrannies as political methods.