In Respected Sir, Mahfouz retells a familiar theme—vaulting ambition—in a powerful and religious metaphor. Othman Bayuumi's humble origins do not stop him from coveting the Director-Generalship of the governmental department he has entered as an archives clerk. It is a vision that becomes a lifelong pursuit, superseding all other interests or people in his life. What is essentially a prosaic experience becomes—in Mahfouz's hands—a beautifully crafted story of an exalted and arduous holy quest. From the Trade Paperback edition.