This paper analyzes Najīb Maḥfuẓ's Egyptian Novel “The Beginning and The End” (1949) using the Aesthetic of Reception (or Reception Theory) its research methodology. Aesthetic of Reception Theory is a methodology of literary studies that creates a literary work with a 'writer-text-reader' format as its main elements.
Based on the theory and terminologies of the Aesthetic of Reception, this study conducted an examination of the text by dividing the analysis into the following three parts: “a Composition of Horizon of Expectations of the Author,” “the Concretization of the Source Novel Text,” and “Literary communication of the Source Novel Text”
In the first part, “a Composition of Horizon of Expectations of Najīb Maḥfuẓ,” the author directly summarizes the information on Najīb Maḥfuẓ, who wrote the text, enabling the composition expectations limits for readers and recipients. In the next part, “the Concretization of the Source Novel Text,” as a researcher and recipient capable of commanding foreign languages, improved the understanding of the text, and conducted the concretization of the text, which forms the image of characters, through the process of translating the foreign text and reading through it.
In the final part, “Literary communication of the Source Novel Text,” reading the critical review in the Arabic source language, which is the concretization outcome of the critics who used source language and are both critics and recipients, and helped form the composition of a new horizon for expectations of non-Arabic readers.
Among the theories of aesthetic reception, as a result of conducting studies with the research methodology of using “horizon of expectations” and “concretization” theory, we were able to obtain the outcome that the novel of Najīb Maḥfuẓ, one of the greatest Arabic writers, is a text with the following storyline: “The bereaved family led a difficult life following the death of the father, and end up collapsing with the death of the daughter and the youngest son of the family.”