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C L A S S I C S. ORIENTALISM. Edward W. Said was University Professor at Columbia University, where he has taught English and Comparative Literature. He. For generations now, Edward W. Said’s Orientalism has defined our understanding of colonialism and empire, and this Penguin Modern. Edward W. Said, in his groundbreaking book, Orientalism, defined it as the acceptance in the West of “the basic distinction between East and West as the starting.

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Finally, some academics appear to be getting over their institutional infatuation with Said and the critical tide is starting to turn. This was accomplished by grossly over-generalizing “the Other” negatively, whether with a hostile or a benignly condescending mood. I learned – and hope you do to, if you choose to pick this up – that if ideas are institutionalised, guarded as borderline law, and sustained by succeeding generations of those attached to the institutions in question, then said ideas can be perpetuated, in theory, forever.

Orientalism proposes that much of the Western study of Islamic civilization was orientalosmus exercise in political intellectualism ; a psychological exercise in the self-affirmation of ” European identity “; not an objective exercise of intellectual enquiry and the academic study of Eastern cultures. You read about American military consultants in the Middle East who don’t know the difference between Shia and Sunni. People are insanely complex and the societies they make are even more so.

Orientalism by Edward W. Said

Flaubert est un bon candidat pour cet exercice. Orientalism, in its heyday, was a branch of knowledge w.sald demanding and rigorous as its near cousin, Egyptology. To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact—and yet that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism.

With a new preface by the author. It has remained more or sdward the same throughout the centuries since the Orient is supposed to be simply incapable of change.

This is a book lauded by intellectuals and critics alike, the few “responses” to Said’s assertions would be laughable if they weren’t so lacking in credibility, written by pseudo-scholars that orientalisus ignored in academia like Ibn Warraq and Daniel Pipes but somehow get 5 stars on amazon.


And so — a terrible game of Chinese Whispers got started, and you know wonderfully good such a game is at preserving information.

What is Orientalism?

Philip Metres on Orientalism at Forty. Such a binary relation, in a hierarchy of weakness and strength, derives from the European psychological need to create a difference of cultural inequality, between West and East, which inequality is attributable to “immutable cultural w.sxid ” inherent to Oriental peoples and things.

Perhaps Selim is meditating vengeance upon one of the Hagi. Orientalism concluded that “Western knowledge of the Eastern world”, i.


This work is seminal and landmark — so it can be avoided only at your own cost. People in west still prefer reading account of their own people travelling to East or immigrants coming from East; rather than people who have lived and continue to live in these regions.

Orientalism proved intellectually, professionally, and personally controversial. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The central myth is the ‘arrested development of the semites’; Western power enables the reproduction of this myth. Its applicability goes wider than Islam-and-the-West. Who Are Arab Americans? Said notoriously got the careers and beliefs of the great Orientalists of the 18th and 19th centuries wrong, and, despite some fine writing, produced in the end a book that conflated artistic and literary visions with intelligence gathered for conquest or rule and which came close to saying that only scholarship with a “correct” political message about the Middle East could ever be acceptable.

Videos About This Book. Orientals are now educated in native lands in colonial founded underfunded universities with no good libraries and too many students. Imagining IndiaNew York: In the late s, the survey range of Orientalism did not include the genre of Orientalist painting or any other visual arts, despite the book-cover featuring a detail-image of The Snake Charmera popular, 19th-century Orientalist painting—to which the writer Linda Nochlin applied Said’s method of critical analysis “with uneven results”.

Apr 06, Michael rated it really liked it. Firstly, that Orientalism, although purporting to be an objective, disinterested, and rather esoteric field, in fact functioned to serve political ends.

Orientalism – Edward W. Said – Google Books

So why is it so shocking that in studies of the East, a minority has a more relevant view of their culture than a random who only knows of that culture through the vacuum of academia? The blonde girl next to me reading over my shoulder: Orientalism ignores class interests, political circumstances and economic factors. Yes in many ways, Said’s “Orientalism” is a classic. And like such scholarship the assumption is that the plays never change — just as it is assumed the Orient and those who live there never changes either.


It requires us to have a single notion of what a Muslim is — as if this religion covering so many millions of people and having lasted for centuries and centuries could really, somehow remain self-identical across all of that time and all of that space. She is not very attractive as to features but for all that she possessed sufficient influence over Selim to induce him to forswear his Christian faith and become a Mohammedan for her sweet sake.

It is also a book that is virtually required reading if you are going to say anything at all about post-colonialism. We live in an internet age where we can edwarv anything out if we really want to. Jan 13, Rob Salkowitz rated it it was ok. I hope someday to also join such scholars rising under its shadow like Columbia’s eminent Near Eastern professor Massoud. As Edwarf go this is undoubtedly a happy family. One last aside–I would have also liked to have seen more women writers acknowledged by him, although at least in the case of Lucie Duff Gordonhe would have been more hardpressed to criticize her as he could some of the major Orientalists.

As a public intellectualEdward Said debated Orientalism with historians and scholars of area studiesnotably, the historian Bernard Lewiswho described the thesis of Orientalism as “anti-Western”. Castes of MindPrinceton: The first intellectuals even with their preconceived ideas ofientalismus least studied the language and read the original texts, their successors need do neither but only read commentaries. In the street of Cairo at the World’s Fair there was exhibited the peculiar manners of the Egyptians, and a veiled lady was of course one of the curious objects displayed, though she did not always appear in that unsightly disguise, thus proving that she was not a slave to this requirement of all Mohammodan [sic] women.