Edward Said

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Edward Wadie Said (November 1, 1935September 24, 2003) was a literary theorist, critic and Palestinian activist.

Sourced[edit]

  • Ideas, cultures, and histories cannot seriously be understood or studied without their force, or more precisely their configurations of power, also being studied.
    • Orientalism (1978)
  • The Orient that appears in Orientalism, then, is a system of representations framed by a whole set of forces that brought the Orient into Western learning, Western consciousness, and later, Western empire.… The Orient is the stage on which the whole East is confined. On this stage will appear the figures whose role it is to represent the larger whole from which they emenate. The Orient then seems to be, not an unlimited extension beyond the familiar European world, but rather a closed field, a theatrical stage affixed to Europe.
    • Orientalism (1978)
  • Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.
    • Orientalism (2003), "Preface (2003)"
  • [An elaborated culture has a] density, complexity, and historical-semantic value that is so strong as to make politics possible... Gramsci's insight is to have recognised that subordination, fracturing, diffusion, reproducing, as much as producing, creating, forcing, guiding, are necessary aspects of elaboration.
    • Quoted in Richard Middleton, Studying Popular Music (Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1990, ISBN 0-335-15275-9), p. 248
  • Theory is taught so as to make the student believe that he or she can become a Marxist, a feminist, an Afrocentrist, or a deconstructionist with about the same effort and commitment required in choosing items from a menu.
    • Culture and Imperialism (1993), Chap 4, Sect 2
  • The history of other cultures is non-existent until it erupts in confrontation with the United States.
    • Culture and Imperialism (1993), Chap 4, Sect 2
  • The central fact for me is, I think, that the [role of the] intellectual... cannot be played without a sense of being someone whose place it is publicly to raise embarrassing questions, to confront orthodoxy and dogma (rather than to produce them), to be someone who cannot easily be co-opted by governments or corporations, and whose raison d'etre is to represent all those people and issues that are routinely forgotten or swept under the rug.
    • Representations of the Intellectual (1994)

External links[edit]

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