(also spelled Mikhail Naimy
: ميخائيل نعيمة
) (b.1889 in Mount Sannine
in modern day Lebanon
, d. 1988) was a Lebanese author
of the New York Pen League
He completed his secondary education in the Baskinta school, studied at the Russian Teachers' Institute in Nazareth and the Theological Seminary in Poltava, Ukraine. He moved to the United States where he received degrees in Law and Liberal Arts at the University of Washington. After graduation he moved to New York, where along with Khalil Gibran and eight other writers he formed a movement for the rebirth of Arabic literature, the New York Pen League. He was the Vice President and Khalil Gibran was President. In 1932 he returned to Baskinta, where he lived for the rest of his life. He wrote 99 books, including drama, essays, poetry, criticism, short stories and biography, and died on March 1st, 1988.
Naimy lived in the United States for 21 years and his career as a writer began in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1919.
Naimy died in East Beirut after developing pneumonia, according to his relatives, when he was 98 years old (1988).
Among his best known books is the Book of Mirdad
, a mystical text first published in Lebanon in 1948, which was translated into English and published in London in 1962.
Mr. Naimy was a biographer and longtime associate of Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese writer, artist, poet, and philosopher and he penned the first Biography about him (first published in Arabic) in 1934. The biography was later translated into English and reprinted in 1950.
He was fluent in three languages: English, Russian and Arabic.
Critical essays on Na'ima
(from the MLA
database, March 2008)
- Abbe, Susan. "Word Length Distribution in Arabic Letters." Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 2000 Aug; 7 (2): 121-27.
- Bell, Gregory J. Theosophy, Romanticism and Love in the Poetry of Mikhail Naimy. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2002 May; 62 (11): 3804. U of Pennsylvania, 2001.
- Boullata, Issa J. "Mikhail Naimy: Poet of Meditative Vision." Journal of Arabic Literature 1993 July; 24 (2): 173-84.
- El-Barouki, Foazi. "How Arab Emigré Writers in America Kept Their Cultural Roots." Dialog on Language Instruction 1997; 12 (1-2): 31-36.
- Najjar, Nada. "Mikhael Naimy (1889-1988)." Aljadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts 2000 Summer; 6 (32): 27.
- Nijland, Cornelis. "Religious Motifs and Themes in North American Mahjar Poetry." Representations of the Divine in Arabic Poetry. Ed. Gert Borg and Ed De Moor. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi; 2001. pp. 161-81