Said, Edward W.
Edward W. Said 1935–2003
The following entry presents an overview of Said's career through 1996.
Palestinian-born American critic and essayist.
A Palestinian refugee in his youth and a respected though controversial professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, Said (pronounced sah-EED) is an influential and often polemical cultural critic. Said is a public intellectual who frequently writes about the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East and actively supports the cause for Palestinian national rights. His most celebrated and contentious work, Orientalism (1978), which examines Western representations of Middle Eastern societies and cultures, established his reputation for innovative and provocative explorations of the interrelationships between texts—literary and otherwise—and the political, economic, and social contexts from which they emerged. In his writings Said adopts a Continental, interdisciplinary approach to literary criticism and uses the principles of phenomenology, existentialism, and French structuralism to make connections between literature and politics. Although his theories and methods have exerted a profound influence on the American academy, especially on literary theory and cultural studies, Said often is the target of phone threats and hate letters, principally for his unwavering advocacy of Palestinian political and cultural rights in the Middle East. "Said occupies a unique place in contemporary literary criticism," wrote John Kucich. "He is a much-needed link among humanistic values and traditions, theories of textuality, and cultural politics. His work is … a careful integration from these various positions and an original prescription for the renovation of literary and cultural study."
Said was born November 1, 1935, in Jerusalem in what was then Palestine. The only son of Wadie and Hilda Musa Said, prominent members of the Christian Palestinian community, he was baptized as an Anglican and attended St. George's, his father's alma mater. In December, 1947, his family fled to Cairo, Egypt, to avoid the turmoil surrounding the establishment of Israel as a nation. In Cairo, Said studied at the American School and Victoria College, the so-called "Eton of the Middle East," before he completed his secondary education at a preparatory school in Massa-chusetts. Said became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1953. After graduating from Princeton University in 1957, he undertook graduate studies in comparative literature at Harvard University, where he earned his M.A. in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1964. His dissertation on the psychological relationship between Joseph Conrad's short fiction and his correspondence became his first published book, Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (1966). Hired as an instructor in English at Columbia University in 1963, Said became a full professor by 1970; his distinguished teaching career at Columbia included two endowed chairmanships in the 1980s and 1990s. Said enhanced his growing reputation for literary scholarship with Beginnings (1975), which won Columbia's Lionel Trilling Award in 1976. During the 1970s Said actively involved himself in the Palestinian cause by writing numerous essays for scholarly journals and independent publications. From 1977 to 1991 he belonged to the Palestinian National Council, the Palestinians' parliament in exile, meeting Yasir Arafat many times and helping to draft the Palestinian declaration of statehood in 1988. Said pursued his work following the groundbreaking Orientalism, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, with the publication of two "sequels," The Question of Palestine (1979) and Covering Islam (1981); the essay collection, The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983); and a meditative essay on Palestinian identity featuring the photographs of Jean Mohr, After the Last Sky (1986). During the 1980s and 1990s, Said was named to several visiting professorships and lectured extensively on both literary and political themes. In 1991 he published Musical Elaborations, a volume of original music criticism that grew out his lifelong fondness for playing the piano. Said was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. His subsequent works—Culture and Imperialism (1993), The Politics of Disspossession (1994), Representations of the Intellectual (1994), and Peace and Its Discontents (1995)—continue to provoke controversy.
Said's writings cover diverse topics, but at their center lies a concern for the multiple relationships between the act of writing and cultural politics, language and power. Beginnings theorizes about the reasons several writers begin their works the way they do, demonstrating that prevailing cultural ideas of the beginning act change and limit a writer's choice to begin. Orientalism reveals how Western journalists, fiction writers, and scholars helped to create a prevalent and hostile image of Eastern cultures as inferior, stagnant, and degenerate, showing the extent to which these representations permeate Western culture and have been exploited to justify imperialist policies in the Middle East. Orientalism provides much of the theoretical and thematic groundwork for many of Said's subsequent works, and it contains the dictum of orientalism: "They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented." The Question of Palestine outlines the history of the Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict, describing the opposition between an Israeli world informed by Western ideas and the "oriental" realities of a Palestinian culture. Covering Islam, elucidating the themes of Said's previous books in more practical terms, investigates the influence of orientalist discourse on the Western media's representation of Islamic culture. Written between 1968 and 1983 on wide-ranging literary and political topics, the twelve essays comprising The World, the Text, and the Critic offer an assessment of contemporary criticism and scholarship in the humanities, highlighting Said's notions of "antithetical knowledge" and the synthesis of literary and political writing. Culture and Imperialism examines how imperialism, the "culture of resistance," and postcolonialism helped to shape the French and English novel, exemplified by close, provocative readings of Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Albert Camus, W. B. Yeats, and Jane Austen. The essays in The Politics of Dispossession critique the Islamic revival, Arab culture, Palestinian nationalism, and American policy in the Middle East, revealing a moderating stance toward Israel and a distancing from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.L.O.). Representations of the Intellectual is a case study of the intellectual persona.
Owing partly to the nature of his thought and partly to his allegiance to the Palestinian cause, Said has generated controversy upon publication of nearly every book. Despite his persistent denials, he has been questioned about terrorism throughout the course of his career. Robert Hughes has reported that "none of Said's political foes have been able to cite a single utterance by him that could be construed as anti-Semitic or as condoning either tyranny or terrorism." Most scholars, however, have recognized the extent to which his oppositional criticism has influenced debate beyond literary issues and cultural politics, especially Orientalism, which has been cited as often as criticized by literary theorists, historians, anthropologists, and political scientists—the book even has spawned a new subdiscipline, the cultural study of colonialism. "The Orient was a product of the imagination," opined Albert Hourani of that book, "and Mr. Said's delicate and subtle methods of analysis are good tools for laying bare the structure of the literary imagination." Dinitia Smith remarked that Orientalism "has changed the face of scholarship on the Arab world and the Third World in general." Although many critics have praised the study, some have focused on imperfections in the argument of Orientalism, accusing Said of perpetuating the same Eastern stereotypes for which he had faulted the Western imperialist. Some critics have noted that although many of Said's writings have been translated into many different languages, his books on Palestinian affairs had not been published in Arabic by 1994. Robert Hughes has described Said as "a scholar and humanist,… the controversial voice of Palestine in America and an eloquent mediator between the Middle East and the West."
Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (criticism) 1966
Beginnings: Intention and Method (criticism) 1975
Orientalism (criticism) 1978
The Question of Palestine (criticism) 1979
Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World (criticism) 1981
The World, the Text, and the Critic (criticism) 1983
After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives (essay) 1986
Blaming the Victims (criticism) 1988
Musical Elaborations (criticism) 1991
Culture and Imperialism (criticism) 1993
The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1989–1994 (criticism) 1994
Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures (criticism) 1994
Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process (criticism) 1995
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SOURCE: "The Road to Morocco," in The New York Review of Books, Vol. 26, March 8, 1979, pp. 27-30.
[In the following review, Hourani details the principal arguments of Orientalism, discussing their strengths and weaknesses.]
The theme of this powerful and disturbing book [Orientalism] is the way in which intellectual traditions are created and transmitted. They do not simply arise, Edward Said argues, in the solitude of a thinker's or a scholar's mind. The scholar may "attempt to reach a level of relative freedom from … brute, everyday reality," but he can never quite escape or ignore his "involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances."
… the possibilities for work present in the culture to a great and original mind are never unlimited…. The work of predecessors, the institutional life of a scholarly field, the collective nature of any learned enterprise: these, to say nothing of economic and social circumstances, tend to diminish the effects of the individual scholar's production. A field like Orientalism has a cumulative and corporative identity … the result has been a certain consensus: certain things, certain types of statement, certain types of work have seemed for the Orientalist correct.
"Orientalism" is the example Mr. Said uses to illustrate his theme, and by it he means something precise....
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SOURCE: A review of Orientalism, in The New Republic, Vol. 180, No. 14, April 7, 1979, pp. 27-33.
[In the harsh review below, Wieseltier demonstrates how politics inform many of Said's arguments in Orientalism, suggesting that "the methodological gadgetry and 'iconoclastic' analysis of his book issue in little more than the abject canards of Arab propaganda."]
Edward Said's angry book [Orientalism] is about a collusion of knowledge with power. The knowledge is Orientalism and the power is imperialism. Said contends that images of the Orient in the West's traditions of learning and literature are of a piece with the institutions of conquest and administration that it loosed upon the East. Fictions about Islam and the Arabs were manufactured to justify, and even exalt, Europe's rapacious political and cultural designs. In Said's account the self-serving misperceptions appear already in Aeschylus (Peter Brown once called this sort of thing "the Plato-to-NATO" school of intellectual history); Said lingers, too, over hostile caricatures of Muslims in Dante's Inferno, as if Christians in 13th-century Arab works fared any better. But it is with Napoleon that his arraignment of the Orientalist abuse gets fully underway. Napoleon's campaign in Egypt was, according to Said, the first of many colonial enterprises under-written by the expertise of scholars and writers on the Orient:...
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SOURCE: "On Palestinian Identity: A Conversation with Edward Said," in Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981–1991, Granta Books, 1991, pp. 166-84.
[In the following interview which took place at the PEN Congress in New York in 1986, Said discusses the identity of the Palestinian conscious based on historical and literary themes in his writings.]
For those of us who see the struggle between Eastern and Western descriptions of the world as both an internal and an external struggle, Edward Said has for many years been an especially important voice. Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia and author of literary criticism on, among others, Joseph Conrad, Edward has always had the distinguishing feature that he reads the world as closely as he reads books. We need only think of the major trilogy which precedes his new book, After the Last Sky. In the first volume, Orientalism, he analysed 'the affiliation of knowledge with power', discussing how the scholars of the period of Empire helped to create an image of the East which provided the justification for the supremacist ideology of imperialism. This was followed by The Question of Palestine, which described the struggle between a world primarily shaped by Western ideas—that of Zionism and later of Israel—and the largely 'oriental' realities of Arab Palestine. Then came Covering Islam, subtitled...
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SOURCE: "Arafat's Man in New York," in New York, Vol. 22, No. 4, January 23, 1989, pp. 40-6.
[In the essay below, Smith provides an overview of Said's life and career.]
On the afternoon of December 14, a Columbia University professor returning home from London, where he'd delivered a lecture on Yeats, pushed open the door of his Morningside Heights apartment and found his wife and two children gathered around the television set. History was being made.
It was history that Edward Said, a Palestinian-born professor of English and comparative literature, had helped create. Said joined his family around the TV and listened as Secretary of State George P. Shultz announced that the United States—after years of refusing to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization—would begin talks with the group's representatives in Tunis. Said sank into a chair. "The taboo has been lifted," he said.
For years, the Palestinians, Israel, and the United States had been caught in a deadlock over the future of Israel. Now some of the old assumptions had begun to change—though how much is not yet clear. With prodding from the Americans, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat had finally made statements at a press conference, declaring Israel's right to exist and renouncing terrorism. The Palestinian National Covenant—the PLO charter—still pledges to "liquidate the Zionist presence in...
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SOURCE: "Criticism, Culture, and Performance," in Performing Arts Journal, Vol. 1, No. 37, January, 1991, pp. 21-42.
[In the following interview, which originally took place in March, 1989, Said speaks out about his music criticism, the role of the public intellectual, the significance of performance of drama and music, and the influence of "interculturalism" on the construction of artistic canons.]
[Bonnie Marranca:] Since you write on music performance, tell us how you feel about this activity in your life, and how it is perceived by others in the literary world.
[Edward Said:] I think the isolation of musical culture from what is called literary culture is almost total. What used to be assumed to be a kind of passing knowledge or literacy on the part of literary people with regard to music is now non-existent. I think there are a few desultory efforts to be interested in the rock culture and pop music, that whole mass culture phenomenon, on the part of literary intellectuals. But the world that I'm interested in, the music of classical performance and opera and the so-called high-culture dramas that have persisted largely from the nineteenth century, is almost totally mysterious to literary people. I think they regard what I do as a kind of lark. I've demonstrated my seriousness by giving a series of lectures last spring, the Wellek Lectures...
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SOURCE: "Off the Edge," in London Review of Books, Vol. 13, No. 21, November 7, 1991, pp. 3-4.
[In the following review, Kermode discusses the musical and political themes of Musical Elaborations.]
The Wellek Library Lectures at the University of California, Irvine, are meant to be about Critical Theory, and up to now they have, for good or ill, been faithful (in their fashion) to that intention: but it was an enlivening idea to ask Edward Said to talk about music as well, or instead. Said is a good enough pianist to understand what the professionals are up to. He knows a great deal more about music than most amateurs, and argues persuasively that it should not be left entirely to the rigorous mercies of the musicologists. The result is this very interesting, excited, crammed little book [Musical Elaborations], in which admirable and questionable propositions jostle one another so bewilderingly that it isn't always easy to know exactly where one is, or what might come next, rather as in a late Beethoven quartet.
There are really two principal subjects, and they remain somewhat at odds with one another. The first is a dutiful act of loyalty to the fashionable notion that works of art must be removed from the sphere of aesthetics for subjection to cultural-historical analysis. The most illuminating sort of writing about music, Said says, is 'humanistic' rather than merely aesthetic...
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SOURCE: "A Whole New Approach," in Times Literary Supplement, November 29, 1991, p. 8.
[In the review below, Bowie praises Said's diverse insights and ideas about music in Musical Elaborations, concluding that the book enriches yet further problematizes music criticism.]
Let it not be said that writers on music cannot write, for some of them certainly can. Here is Gerald Abraham, for example, discussing Chopin as melodist in A Hundred Years of Music:
He had an instinct amounting to genius for inventing melodies that would be actually ineffective if sung or played on an instrument capable of sustaining tone but which, picked out in percussive points of sound each beginning to die as soon as born, are enchanting and give an illusion of singing that is often lovelier than singing itself.
The contrast between the continuous cantilena of, say, Bellini's melodies and the broken continuity of Chopin's has found its way into Abraham's syntax and given his sentence its own tune. He works hard to combine the technical description of sound-production with a lively account of musical pleasure being sought and found. But writing about music often goes awry when this sort of equilibrium is lost. Music criticism as a humanistic discipline is threatened on the one hand by technical analysis far in excess of its occasion and, on the...
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SOURCE: "Imperial Masquerade," in National Review, Vol. XLV, No. 8, April 26, 1993, pp. 48-50.
[In the review below, Kelly blasts Said's representations of the British empire in Culture and Imperialism.]
In the beginning was the word. Impérialisme was coined 150 years ago, during the period of the July Monarchy in France, as a label for the attempts being made within the country to reclaim Napoleonic ideas and to reimpose the former imperial system. Passing into English as "imperialism," it was employed by British political writers in the 1850s and 1860s to describe the principles, imperial rather than republican, upon which Louis Napoléon sought to organize the government of France after he assumed the title of Emperor in 1852. The word had no connection at the time with what was later to be known as "the British Empire." Indeed, even so scathing a critic of Britain's acquisition of overseas territories as Richard Cobden never employed the word in his diatribes against imperial rule.
Only in the last quarter of the century did "imperialism" come into use to denote, usually with a degree of disapprobation, the process of imperial expansion. It was used by the Liberal leader William Gladstone in the aftermath of the Eastern Crisis of 1877–78 to condemn the conduct of the Tory prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, in moving the British fleet to the Dardanelles, dispatching Indian...
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SOURCE: "Envoy to Two Cultures," in Time, Vol. 141, No. 25, June 21, 1993, pp. 60-2.
[In the following essay, Hughes summarizes the controversies and achievements of Said's life.]
Huge as American academe is, it has few public intellectuals—men or women whose views carry weight with general readers off-campus. Near the top of any list of such people is a tall, elegantly tailored, 57-year-old American of Palestinian descent who for the past 30 years has taught English and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York City: Edward Said.
Said (pronounced Sigh-eed) owes his fame partly to his cultural criticism, notably his 1978 book Orientalism, a study of how ideas and images about the Arab world were contrived by Western writers and why. Now comes Culture and Imperialism. A plum pudding of a book, with excursions on such matters as Irish-nationalist poetry and the building of an opera house in Cairo for the launch of Verdi's Aida, it is the product of a culturally hypersaturated mind, moving between art and politics, showing how they do or might intermesh—but never with the coarse ideological reductiveness of argument so common in America nowadays. Said's theme is how the three big realities of empire—imperialism, "native" resistance, decolonization—helped shape, in particular, the English and French novel. Culture and Imperialism...
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SOURCE: "Lost Paradises," in New York Review of Books, Vol. 41, March 3, 1994, pp. 44-7.
[In the following review, Wood appraises the strengths and weaknesses of Culture and Imperialism, linking its ideas to Said's earlier writings.]
What redeems certain empires, or perhaps only the British, according to Conrad's Marlow, what saves them from mere rapacity, from being "just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale," is "the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea—something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to." At this point in Heart of Darkness Marlow is said to break off. It is "only after a long silence" and "in a hesitating voice" that he speaks again, and starts to tell the story of his journey to Africa and his meeting with the mysterious and dying Kurtz.
Marlow stops speaking, presumably, because he is troubled by the metaphor he has stumbled into. Bowing down and offering a sacrifice don't sound like the activities of an organized and enlightened Western mind. They sound like idolatry, even if the recipient is an idea rather than a barbarous deity. The very thing that (perhaps genuinely) distinguishes the British from the ancient Roman and the modern Belgian empires identifies it with the supposed savages it is unselfishly dispossessing of their...
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SOURCE: "From a Wellspring of Bitterness," in The New York Times Book Review, Vol. 99, June 26, 1994, pp. 9-10.
[In the following review, Shipler expresses mixed emotions for the themes of The Politics of Dispossession.]
Quite some time ago, in what I believe was my only encounter with Edward W. Said, we compared notes on where we lived in Jerusalem—he as a Palestinian boy until 1947, I as a correspondent for The New York Times more than 30 years later. It turned out that both our homes were in the lovely, quiet neighborhood of Talbiya, an elegant quarter where well-to-do Arab families earlier in this century built houses with thick stone walls, now covered with flowering vines of bougainvillea. The places where Mr. Said and I lived were separated by a few blocks, a few decades, a few wars and the great divide of dispossession.
Talbiya's Arab residents began fleeing in 1947, just ahead of the warfare that engulfed Arabs and Jews as Israel struggled to be born. Jews quickly occupied the abandoned houses, making Talbiya a mixed, and tense, neighborhood until February 1948, when Jewish troops used a sound truck to threaten the remaining Arabs into leaving. Since then, Talbiya has been populated almost entirely by Israeli Jews, which has made Mr. Said's truncated childhood in Jerusalem a wellspring of bitterness.
This may be important in understanding why a man of...
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SOURCE: "The Broken Promised Land," in The Observer, No. 10578, July 10, 1994, p. 16.
[Below, Gilmour sympathizes with Said's attitude about the Palestinian issues discussed in The Politics of Dispossession.]
The most remarkable feature of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been not the great military and political success of the state of Israel or the hardship and misery imposed on the Palestinian people, but the West's heaping of praise and reward on the oppressors, and blame and penalty on the victims—a stark contrast to South Africa. Europe has for some time been more even-handed; not so the United States.
The struggle for Palestine is often thought to be one between two rights: both Arabs and Jews have a right to the land, But, initially at least, that was far from true. As late as 1917, Palestine was 90 per cent Arab. There had long been a small Jewish presence there, but by no stretch of imagination did the Jews have a secular right to Palestine. Hence, God had to be invoked.
The difficulty was that religious Jews did not believe in political Zionism—which means the turning of Arab land into Jewish, and the substitution of Jews for Arabs—and political Zionists did not believe in God. Virtually all leading Zionists had been non-believers. The founder of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, was so little guided by the Old Testament that he would have been happy to...
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SOURCE: "What Nations Are for," in London Review of Books, Vol. 16, No. 17, September 8, 1994, pp. 7-8.
[In the following review, Narin relates the dual themes of dispossession and nationalism of The Politics of Dispossession and Representations of the Intellectual to Said's politics and personal philosophy.]
The politics of dispossession is nationalism—an overgeneralisation which at once calls for precise qualification. It is quite true that not all nationalists are dispossessed: possessors have their own (often strident) variations on the theme. It is also true that nationality politics did not originate among the crushed and uprooted: indeed its primary source was the nouveaux riches or upwardly mobile of Early Modern times, in Holland, England and France.
However, their national-state politics only became nationalism later on, when these entrepreneurial societies inflicted their success on the rest of the world in the 19th century.
This infliction was Progress, which caused the un-progressed to feel for the first time dispossessed in the general and inescapable sense which amounts to an '-ism'. And it was out of that sense that the storm of modernisation emerged. The rest of humanity's patchwork-quilt could neither evade industrialisation nor put up with it on the imperial terms initially offered. The result was a counter-blast aiming at...
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SOURCE: "Edward Said on Contrapuntal Reading," in Philosophy and Literature, Vol. 18, No. 2, October, 1994, pp. 265-73.
[In the following review, Wilson examines Said's notion of "contrapuntal reading" exemplified by Said's close reading of Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park in Culture and Imperialism.]
Edward Said's rich and powerful new book, Culture and Imperialism, offers, as one strand of its multifaceted discussion, methodological reflections on the reading and interpretation of works of narrative fiction. More specifically, Said delineates and defends what he calls a "contrapuntal" reading (or analysis) of the texts in question. I am sympathetic to much of what Said aims to accomplish in this endeavor, but I am also puzzled about some key aspects of his proposal. I will begin by presenting a brief sketch of my understanding of what a contrapuntal reading involves, and I will then explain some of the doubts and puzzlement I feel. Unfortunately, there is much that Said says about even this limited topic that I will have to by-pass, but I hope to say enough to initiate some helpful discussion of the issues. I should note that although the topic of "contrapuntal reading" recurs with significant emphasis throughout his book, Said's direct explication of the enterprise is scattered across several chapters, and the relevant remarks tend to be, in each instance, fairly brief. Given this...
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SOURCE: A review of Culture and Imperialism, in World Literature Today, Vol. 68, No. 1, Winter, 1994, pp. 229-30.
[Below, Afzal-Khan favorably reviews Culture and Imperialism, noting the lucidity of Said's prose style.]
Edward Said's latest book, Culture and Imperialism, is, as the title more or less announces, a study of the ways in which the culture of imperialism preceded and undergirded the colonial enterprises of the big European powers of yesteryear, England and France, and, in today's world, how the same process continues with America playing the role of imperial giant. In many ways, the book is a continuation of the kind of "worldly" scholarly criticism Said inaugurated in his groundbreaking study, Orientalism, and in both books he is at pains to show how "great" works of Western literature have not been produced in a sociopolitical vacuum dubbed "objective art" but rather have been cultural expressions of the age's zeitgeist. Such a thesis allows Said to proffer what he himself calls "situated" or "contrapuntal" readings of texts as varied as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, and Kipling's Kim. Thus, he is able to show how the so-called domestic novel of manners—of which Mansfield Park is such a typical example—derives from and is dependent for much of its value-coding on Britain's imperial activities abroad, a...
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SOURCE: "After Oslo," in The New York Times Book Review, Vol. 101, January 28, 1996, p. 19.
[In the review below, Smith generally praises the themes and tone of Peace and Its Discontents but notes that "the articles are dated."]
An intellectual, says Edward W. Said, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, must be a rebel against prevailing ideas. In Peace and Its Discontents he follows his own precept well: few can match the pungency with which he challenges conventional wisdom on the Middle East peace process—the belief that it is an ineluctably good thing, threatened by self-evidently bad extremists.
Mr. Said mounts his challenge from high moral ground, having long favored a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the Oslo compromise he finds contemptible. His people, the Arab-American argues fiercely, have been gulled into giving away their trump—Israeli desire for Arab recognition—for little more than a pat on the back from the United States. The interim argument leaves residents of the West Bank and Gaza subservient to Israel, and also subject to the petty dictatorship of Yasir Arafat, a leader he finds beyond redemption.
A fatal weakness of the peace agreement, he argues, is that it squanders the gains and sacrifices of the intifada without getting in return any commitment from Israel on...
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Alexander, Edward. "Professor of Terror." Commentary 88, No. 2 (August 1989): 49-50.
Alleges Said's role in PLO activities, vilifying Said as "a literary scholar and ideologue of terrorism."
Bové, Paul. "Mendacious Innocents, or, The Modern Genealogist as Conscientious Intellectual: Nietzsche, Foucault, Said." In Why Nietzsche Now?, edited by Daniel O'Hara, pp. 359-88. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
Discusses the function of the intellectual figure in Nietzche's Genealogy of Morals, Foucault's Discipline and Punish, and Said's Orientalism.
Brombert, Victor. "Orientalism and the Scandals of Scholarship." The American Scholar 48 (Autumn 1979): 532-42.
Finds Orientalism "provocative," but suggests Said's fervent polemicism "colours" the book's arguments.
Brooks, Peter. "The Modern Element." Partisan Review XXXV, No. 4 (Fall 1968): 630-38.
Brief analysis of Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography, concluding that the book seems "dangerously to encourage psychological platitude."
Davis, Robert Con. "Theorizing Opposition: Aristotle, Greimas, Jameson,...
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