Edward Said

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Edward Said
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EDWARD SAID: THE LEGACY OF A PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL>YEAR=2007ISBN=9780522853575EDITOR=NED CURTHOYS, DEBJANI GANGULY, | influenced = Homi K. Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Hamid Dabashi, Robert Fisk, Christopher Hitchens, Rashid Khalidi}}Edward Wadie Said ({{IPAc-en|s|ɑː|ˈ|iː|d}}; {{IPA-ar|wædiːʕ sæʕiːd|}}, {{transl|ar|Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd}}; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies.Robert Young, White Mythologies: Writing History and the West, New York & London: Routledge, 1990. A Palestinian American born in Mandatory Palestine, he was a citizen of the United States by way of his father, a U.S. Army veteran.Educated in the Western canon, at British and American schools, Said applied his education and bi-cultural perspective to illuminating the gaps of cultural and political understanding between the Western world and the Eastern world, especially about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; his principal influences were Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Michel Foucault, and Theodor Adorno.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Said, Edward, Ian Buchanan, A Dictionary of Critical Theory, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010,weblink subscription, As a cultural critic, Said is known for the book Orientalism (1978), a critique of the cultural representations that are the bases of Orientalism—how the Western world perceives the Orient.BOOK, Ferial Jabouri Ghazoul, Edward Saïd and Critical Decolonization,weblink 19 November 2011, 2007, American University in Cairo Press, 978-977-416-087-5, 290–, Edward W. Saïd (1935–2003) was one of the most influential intellectuals in the twentieth century., {{Citation|last=Zamir|first=Shamoon|contribution=Saïd, Edward W.|year=2005|title=Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition|editor-last=Jones|editor-first=Lindsay|volume=12|pages=8031–32|publisher=Macmillan Reference USA, Thomas Gale|quote= Edward W. Saïd (1935–2003) is best known as the author of the influential and widely-read Orientalism (1978) ... His forceful defense of secular humanism and of the public role of the intellectual, as much as his trenchant critiques of Orientalism, and his unwavering advocacy of the Palestinian cause, made Saïd one of the most internationally influential cultural commentators writing out of the United States in the last quarter of the twentieth century.}}BOOK, Joachim Gentz, Keywords re-oriented,weblink 18 November 2011, interKULTUR, European-Chinese intercultural studies, Volume IV, 2009, Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 978-3-940344-86-1, 41–, Orientalism/Occidentalism, Edward Saïd's influential Orientalism (1979) effectively created a Discourse, discursive field in cultural studies, stimulating fresh critical analysis of Western academic work on "The Orient". Although the book, itself, has been criticized from many angles, it is still considered to be the seminal work to the field., BOOK, Richard T. Gray, Ruth V. Gross, Rolf J. Goebel, Clayton Koelb, A Franz Kafka encyclopedia,weblink 18 November 2011, 2005, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-30375-3, 212–, In its current usage, Orient is a key term of cultural critique that derives from Edward W. Saïd's influential book Orientalism., Said's model of textual analysis transformed the academic discourse of researchers in literary theory, literary criticism, and Middle-Eastern studies—how academics examine, describe, and define the cultures being studied.Stephen Howe, "Dangerous mind?", New Humanist, Vol. 123, November/December 2008."Between Worlds", Reflections on Exile, and Other Essays (2002) pp. 561, 565. As a foundational text, Orientalism was controversial among scholars of Oriental Studies, philosophy, and literature.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Mark, Sherry, Said, Edward Wadie (1935–2003), The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, John R. Shook, Continuum, Oxford, 2010,weblink subscription, As a public intellectual, Said was a controversial member of the Palestinian National Council, because he publicly criticized Israel and the Arab countries, especially the political and cultural policies of Muslim régimes who acted against the national interests of their peoples.Andrew N. Rubin, weblink" title="">"Edward W. Said", Arab Studies Quarterly, Fall 2004: p. 1. Accessed 5 January 2010. Said advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state to ensure equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return to the homeland. He defined his oppositional relation with the status quo as the remit of the public intellectual who has "to sift, to judge, to criticize, to choose, so that choice and agency return to the individual" man and woman.In 1999, with his friend Daniel Barenboim, Said co-founded the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, based in Seville, which comprises young Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab musicians. Besides being an academic, Said was also an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), a compilation of their conversations about music.Democracy Now!, "Edward Saïd Archive" {{webarchive |url= |date=8 November 2009 }},, 2003. Accessed 4 January 2010. Said died of leukemia on 24 September 2003.WEB,weblink Interview with Edward W. Said, David, Barsamian, 16 November 2001,,

Life and career

Early life

File:SaidSis.jpg|thumb|right|400px|alt=A photo of Edward Said and his sister as children, dressed in Arab-style clothing.|Edward Said and his sister, Rosemarie Said (1940)]]Edward Wadie Said was born on 1 November 1935, to Hilda Said and Wadie Said, a businessman in Jerusalem, then part of British-governed Mandatory Palestine (1920–48).MAGAZINE, Robert, Hughes, Envoy to Two Cultures,weblink Time, 1993-06-21, 2008-10-21, Wadie Said was a Palestinian man who soldiered in the U.S. Army component of the American Expeditionary Forces (1917–19), commanded by General John J. Pershing, in the First World War (1914–18). Afterwards, that war-time military service earned American citizenship to Said père and his family. Edward's mother, Hilda Said was born Lebanese and raised in Nazareth, Ottoman Empire.Ihab Shalback, 'Edward Said and the Palestinian Experience,' in Joseph Pugliese (ed.) Transmediterranean: Diasporas, Histories, Geopolitical Spaces, Peter Lang, 2010, pp. 71–83In 1919, in partnership with a cousin, Wadie Said established a stationery business in Cairo. Like her husband, Hilda Said was an Arab Christian, and, although the Said family practiced the Protestant Christianity,Edward Said: 'Out of Place' 14 November 2018, Accessed 7 February 2019Edward Wadie Said a political activist literary critic 27 September 2003, The Independent. Accessed 7 February 2019 Edward was agnostic.{{citation needed|date=March 2018}} Moreover, his sister Rosemarie Saïd Zahlan (1937–2006) also pursued an academic career.BOOK, Edward Saïd: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation, 2010, University of California Press, 978-0-520-24546-4, Adel Iskander, Hakem Rustom, [Edward Wadie] Saïd was of Christian background, a confirmed agnostic, perhaps even an atheist, yet he had a rage for justice and a moral sensibility lacking in most [religious] believers. Saïd retained his own ethical compass without God, and persevered in an exile, once forced, from Cairo, and now chosen, affected by neither malice nor fear., BOOK, Newman's Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint, 2010, Continuum International Publishing Group, 9781441150844, John Cornwell, 128, A hundred and fifty years on, Edward Saïd, an agnostic of Palestinian origins, who strove to correct false Western impressions of 'Orientalism', would declare Newman's university discourses both true and 'incomparably eloquent'. . . ., BOOK, Palestine, Joe Sacco, 2001, Fantagraphics, Amritjit Singh, Interviews With Edward W. Saïd (Oxford: UP of Mississippi, 2004) pp. 19, 219.Edward Saïd, Defamation, Revisionist Style {{webarchive |url= |date=10 December 2002 }}, CounterPunch, 1999. Accessed 7 February 2010.


Said lived his boyhood between the worlds of Cairo and Jerusalem; in 1947, he attended St. George's School, Jerusalem, a British school of stern Anglican Christian cast. About being there, Said said:By the late 1940s, Edward's schooling included the Egyptian branch of Victoria College, Alexandria (VC), where classmates included (King) Hussein of Jordan, and the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, and Saudi Arabian boys whose academic careers would progress to their becoming ministers, prime ministers, and leading businessmen in their respective countries.BOOK, Said, Edward W., 1999, Out of Place, Vintage Books, NY, 201, In that colonial time and place, the function of a British colonial school, such as VC, was to educate selections of young men from the Arab and Levantine ruling classes, to become the Anglicized post-colonial administrators who would rule their countries, upon British decolonization. About Victoria College, Edward said:In 1951, Victoria College expelled Edward, who had proved a troublesome boy, despite being a student of great intelligence and much academic achievement; he then attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, Massachusetts, a socially élite, college-prep boarding-school where he lived a difficult year of social alienation. Nonetheless, the student Edward excelled, and achieved the rank of either first (valedictorian) or second (salutatorian) in a class of one hundred sixty students.In retrospect, being sent far from the Middle East (Egypt) he viewed as a parental decision much influenced by "the prospects of deracinated people, like us the Palestinians, being so uncertain that it would be best to send me as far away as possible." The realities of peripatetic life—of interwoven cultures, of feeling out of place, and of homesickness—so affected the schoolboy Edward that themes of dissonance feature in the work and worldview of the academic Said. At school's end, he had become Edward W. Said—a polyglot intellectual (fluent in English, French, and Arabic) who had earned a Bachelor of Arts (1957) degree at Princeton University, and Master of Arts (1960) and Doctor of Philosophy (1964) degrees in English Literature from Harvard University.Saïd, Edward. Out of Place, Vintage Books, 1999: pp. 82–83.Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Edward Saïd, accessed 3 January 2010.


In 1963, Said joined Columbia University, as a member of the English and Comparative Literature faculties, where he taught and worked until 2003. In 1974, he was Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard; during the 1975–76 period, he was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, at Stanford University. In 1977, he became the Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and subsequently was the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities; and in 1979 was Visiting Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.LA Jews For Peace, The Question of Palestine by Edward Saïd. (1997) Books on the Israel–Palestinian Conflict – Annotated Bibliography, accessed 3 January 2010.Said also worked as a visiting professor at Yale University, and lectured at other universities.Dr. Farooq, Study Resource Page {{webarchive|url= |date=9 June 2009 }}, Global Web Post, accessed on 3 January 2010. Said lectured at more than 200 universities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.Omri, Mohamed-Salah, "The Portrait of the Intellectual as a Porter" In 1992, Said was promoted to "Professor", the highest-rank academic job at Columbia University.Columbia University Press, About the Author: Humanism and Democratic Criticism, 2004. Editorially, Prof. Edward Said served as president of the Modern Language Association; as editor of the Arab Studies Quarterly in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; was on the executive board of International PEN; and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Royal Society of Literature, the Council of Foreign Relations the American Philosophical Society.Moustafa Bayoumi and Andrew Rubin, Eds., The Edward Saïd Reader, Vintage, 2000, p. xv. In 1993, Said presented the BBC's annual Reith Lectures, a six-lecture series titled Representation of the Intellectual, wherein he examined the role of the public intellectual in contemporary society, which the BBC published in 2011.WEB, The Reith Lectures: Edward Saïd: Representation of the Intellectual: 1993, BBC,weblink 13 Nov 2011,

Literary production

File:Joseph Conrad.PNG|thumb|right|150px|alt=A photo of Joseph Conrad|The 19th-century novelist Joseph ConradJoseph ConradSaid's first published book, Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (1966), was an expansion of the doctoral dissertation he presented to earn the PhD degree. Moreover, in Edward Saïd: Criticism and Society (2010), Abdirahman Hussein said that Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness (1899) was "foundational to Said's entire career and project".Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (1966).BOOK, McCarthy, Conor, The Cambridge Introduction to Edward Said,weblink 27 February 2013, 2010, Cambridge UP, 9781139491402, 16–, Afterwards, Said redacted ideas gleaned from the works of the 17th-century philosopher Giambattista Vico, and other intellectuals, in the book Beginnings: Intention and Method (1974), about the theoretical bases of literary criticism.Edward Saïd, Power, Politics and Culture, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2001: pp. 77–79. Said's later works include The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983), Nationalism, Colonialism, and Literature: Yeats and Decolonization (1988), Culture and Imperialism (1993), Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures (1994), Humanism and Democratic Criticism (2004), and On Late Style (2006).


Said became an established cultural critic with the book Orientalism (1978) a critique (description and analyses) of Orientalism as the source of the false cultural representations with which the Western world perceives the Middle East—the narratives of how The West sees The East. The thesis of Orientalism proposes the existence of a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo–Islamic peoples and their culture", which originates from Western culture's long tradition of false, romanticized images of Asia, in general, and the Middle East, in particular. That such cultural representations have served, and continue to serve, as implicit justifications for the colonial and imperial ambitions of the European powers and of the U.S. Likewise, Said denounced the political and the cultural malpractices of the régimes of the ruling Arab élites who have internalized the false and romanticized representations of Arabic culture that were created by Anglo–American Orientalists.Windschuttle, Keith. "Edward Saïd's 'Orientalism revisited'", The New Criterion 17 January 1999. weblink" title="">Archived 1 May 2008, at the Internet Archive, accessed 23 November 2011.File:Jean-Léon Gérôme - Le charmeur de serpents.jpg|thumb|300px|alt=This painting shows the back side of a naked man standing with a snake wrapped around his waist and shoulders. The man is lifting up the head of the snake with his left hand. Another man to his right is sitting on the ground playing a pipe. A group of 10 men are sitting on the floor facing the snake handler with their backs against an ornate blue mosaic wall decorated with Arabic calligraphy.|The cover of the book Orientalism (1978) is a detail from the 19th-century Orientalist painting The Snake Charmer, by Jean-Léon GérômeJean-Léon Gérôme}}Orientalism proposed that much Western study of Islamic civilization was political intellectualism, meant for the self-affirmation of European identity, rather than objective academic study; thus, the academic field of Oriental studies functioned as a practical method of cultural discrimination and imperialist domination—that is to say, the Western Orientalist knows more about the Orient than do the Orientals.Saïd, Edward. Orientalism, Vintage Books: New York: 1979 p. 12.That the cultural representations of the Eastern world that Orientalism purveys are intellectually suspect, and cannot be accepted as faithful, true, and accurate representations of the peoples and things of the Orient; that the history of European colonial rule and political domination of Asian civilizations, distorts the writing of even the most knowledgeable, well-meaning, and culturally sympathetic Orientalist.(File:Anonymous Venetian orientalist painting, The Reception of the Ambassadors in Damascus', 1511, the Louvre.jpg|thumb|right|300px|alt=Bustling city scene of men dressed in turbans outside the walls of an Oriental city. An official appears to be holding court at the gate, reclining on a red sofa with two individuals facing him (perhaps parties to a dispute). Others observe the proceedings—many men on foot, two men on camel-back, and one on horse-back. A monkey, a male deer and a female deer are also present in the crowd.|The idealized Oriental world of The Reception of the Ambassadors in Damascus (1511))That since Antiquity, Western Art has misrepresented the Orient with stereotypes; in the tragedy The Persians (472 BCE), by Aeschylus, the Greek protagonist falls, because he misperceived the true nature of The Orient.Said, Edward. Orientalism, pp. 56–57. That the European political domination of Asia has biased even the most outwardly objective Western texts about The Orient, to a degree unrecognized by the Western scholars who appropriated for themselves the production of cultural knowledge—the academic work of studying, exploring, and interpreting the languages, histories, and peoples of Asia; therefore, Orientalist scholarship implies that the colonial subaltern (the colonised people) were incapable of thinking, acting, or speaking for themselves, thus are incapable of writing their own national histories. In such imperial circumstances, the Orientalist scholars of the West wrote the history of the Orient—and so constructed the modern, cultural identities of Asia—from the perspective that the West is the cultural standard to emulate, the norm from which the "exotic and inscrutable" Orientals deviate.Said, Edward. Orientalism, pp. 38–41.The thesis of Orientalism concluded that the West's knowledge of the Orient depicts the cultures of the Eastern world as an irrational, weak, and feminized non–European Other, which is the opposite of the West's representations of Western cultures as a rational, strong, and masculine polity. That such an artificial binary-relation originates from the European psychological need to create a "difference" of inequality, between the West and the East, which inequality originates from the immutable cultural essences innate to the peoples of the Oriental world.Said, Edward. Orientalism, pp. 65–67.

Criticism of Orientalism

Orientalism provoked much professional and personal criticism for Said among academics.Kramer, Martin. "Enough Said (Book review: Dangerous Knowledge, by Robert Irwin)", March 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2010. Traditional Orientalists, such as Albert Hourani, Robert Graham Irwin, Nikki Keddie, Bernard Lewis, and Kanan Makiya, suffered negative consequences, because Orientalism affected public perception of their intellectual integrity and the quality of their Orientalist scholarship.Lewis, Bernard. "The Question of Orientalism", Islam and the West, London: 1993. pp. 99, 118.Irwin, Robert. For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies London:Allen Lane: 2006.{{#tag:ref|Martin Kramer said that "Fifteen years after [the] publication of Orientalism, the UCLA historian Nikki Keddie (whose work Saïd praised in Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World) allowed that Orientalism was 'important, and, in many ways, positive' "."Said's Splash" Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, Policy Papers 58 (Washington, D.C.: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001).}} The historian Keddie said that Said's critical work about the field of Orientalism had caused, in their academic disciplines:In Orientalism, Said described Bernard Lewis, the Anglo–American Orientalist, as "a perfect exemplification [of an] Establishment Orientalist [whose work] purports to be objective, liberal scholarship, but is, in reality, very close to being propaganda against his subject material."Said, Edward Orientalism, p. 315.Lewis responded with a harsh critique of Orientalism accusing Said of politicizing the scientific study of the Middle East (and Arabic studies in particular); neglecting to critique the scholarly findings of the Orientalists; and giving "free rein" to his biases.WEB, Lewis, Bernard, The Question of Orientalism,weblink New York Review of Books, 17 December 2017, June 24, 1982, Said retorted that in The Muslim Discovery of Europe (1982), Lewis responded to his thesis with the claim that the Western quest for knowledge about other societies was unique in its display of disinterested curiosity, which Muslims did not reciprocate towards Europe. Lewis was saying that "knowledge about Europe [was] the only acceptable criterion for true knowledge." The appearance of academic impartiality was part of Lewis's role as an academic authority for zealous "anti–Islamic, anti–Arab, Zionist, and Cold War crusades."Saïd, Edward Orientalism (1978), p. 315; "Orientalism Reconsidered" (1985), p. 96.Edward Saïd, "Orientalism Reconsidered", Cultural Critique magazine, No. 1, Autumn 1985, p. 96. Moreover, in the Afterword to the 1995 edition of the book, Said replied to Lewis's criticisms of the first edition of Orientalism (1978).Said, Edward Orientalism: pp. 329–54

Influence of Orientalism

File:William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Motherland (1883).jpg|thumb|right|300px|alt=A seated woman surrounded by 9 children who seem dependent upon her.|The Motherland and her dependent colonies are the subjects of Post-colonial studies. (William-Adolphe BouguereauWilliam-Adolphe BouguereauIn the academy, Orientalism became a foundational text of the field of Post-colonial studies, for what the British intellectual Terry Eagleton said is the book's "central truth ... that demeaning images of the East, and imperialist incursions into its terrain, have historically gone hand in hand."Eagleton, Terry. Eastern Block (book review of For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, 2006, by Robert Irwin) {{webarchive |url= |date=18 November 2009}}, New Statesman, 13 February 2006.Said's friends and foes acknowledged the transformative influence of Orientalism upon scholarship in the humanities; critics said that the thesis is an intellectually limiting influence upon scholars, whilst supporters said that the thesis is intellectually liberating.Martin Kramer. Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (2001)Andrew N. Rubin, "Techniques of Trouble: Edward Saïd and the Dialectics of Cultural Philology", The South Atlantic Quarterly, 102.4 (2003). pp. 862–76. The fields of post-colonial and cultural studies attempt to explain the "post-colonial world, its peoples, and their discontents",Emory University, Department of English, Introduction to Postcolonial Studies for which the techniques of investigation and efficacy in Orientalism, proved especially applicable in Middle Eastern studies.As such, the investigation and analysis Said applied in Orientalism proved especially practical in literary criticism and cultural studies, such as the post-colonial histories of India by Gyan Prakash,JOURNAL, Prakash, Gyan, Gyan Prakash, April 1990, Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World: Perspectives from Indian Historiography, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 32, 2, 383–408, 10.1017/s0010417500016534, 178920, Nicholas DirksNicholas Dirks, Castes of Mind, Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. and Ronald Inden,Ronald Inden, Imagining India, New York: Oxford UP, 1990. modern Cambodia by Simon Springer,Simon Springer, "Culture of Violence or Violent Orientalism? Neoliberalisation and Imagining the 'Savage Other' in Post-transitional Cambodia", Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34.3 (2009): 305–19. and the literary theories of Homi K. Bhabha,Homi K. Bhaba, Nation and Narration, New York & London: Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 1990. Gayatri Chakravorty SpivakGayatri Chakravorty Spivak, In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics, London: Methuen, 1987. and Hamid Dabashi ((Iran: A People Interrupted), 2007).In Eastern Europe, Milica Bakić–Hayden developed the concept of Nesting Orientalisms (1992), derived from the ideas of the historian Larry Wolff (Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment, 1994) and Said's ideas in Orientalism (1978).BOOK, John E Ashbrook, Buying and Selling the Istrian Goat: Istrian Regionalism, Croatian Nationalism, and EU Enlargement,weblink 2008, Peter Lang, New York, 978-90-5201-391-6, 213599021, 22, Milica Baki–Hayden built on Wolff's work, incorporating the ideas of Edward Saïd's "Orientalism", The Bulgarian historian Maria Todorova (Imagining the Balkans, 1997) presented the ethnologic concept of Nesting Balkanisms (Ethnologia Balkanica, 1997), which is derived from Milica Bakić–Hayden's concept of Nesting Orientalisms.BOOK, Ethnologia Balkanica,weblink 1995, Prof. M. Drinov Academic Pub. House, Sofia, 41714232, 37, The idea of "nesting orientalisms", in Baki–Hayden 1995, and the related concept of "nesting balkanisms", in Todorova 1997. ..., In The Impact of "Biblical Orientalism" in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Palestine (2014), the historian Lorenzo Kamel, presented the concept of "Biblical Orientalism" with an historical analysis of the simplifications of the complex, local Palestinian reality, which occurred from the 1830s until the early 20th century.JOURNAL, Kamel, Lorenzo, 2014, The Impact of "Biblical Orientalism" in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Palestine,weblink New Middle Eastern Studies, 4, Kamel said that the selective usage and simplification of religion, in approaching the place known as "The Holy Land", created a view that, as a place, the Holy Land has no human history other than as the place where Bible stories occurred, rather than as Palestine, a country inhabited by many peoples.The post-colonial discourse presented in Orientalism, also influenced post-colonial theology and post-colonial biblical criticism, by which method the analytical reader approaches a scripture from the perspective of a colonial reader. See: The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-colonialism in Palestine–Israel (2007).BOOK, The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-Colonialism in Palestine–Israel, Masalha, Nur, Zed Books, 2007, New York, Another book in this area is Postcolonial Theory (1998), by Leela Gandhi, explains Post-colonialism to how it can be applied to the wider philosophical and intellectual context of history.BOOK, Postcolonial Theory, Gandhi, Leela, Columbia University Press, 1998, New York,


(File:Palestinian Cultural Mural Honoring Dr. Edward Said.jpg|thumb|350px|Palestinian cultural mural honoring Said)In 1967, consequent to the Six-Day War (5–10 June 1967) the academic Edward Said became a public intellectual when he acted politically to counter the stereotyped misrepresentations (factual, historical, cultural) with which the U.S. news media explained the Arab–Israeli wars; reportage divorced from the historical realities of the Middle East, in general, and Palestine and Israel, in particular. To address, explain, and correct such Orientalism, Said published "The Arab Portrayed" (1968), a descriptive essay about images of "the Arab" that are meant to evade specific discussion of the historical and cultural realities of the peoples (Jews, Christians, Muslims) who are the Middle East, featured in journalism (print, photograph, television) and some types of scholarship (specialist journals)."Between Worlds", Reflections on Exile, and Other Essays (2002) pp. 563.In the essay "Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims" (1979), Said argued in favour of the political legitimacy and philosophic authenticity of the Zionist claims and right to a Jewish homeland; and for the inherent right of national self-determination of the Palestinian people.Edward Saïd, "Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims" (1979), in The Edward Saïd Reader, Vintage Books, 2000, pp. 114–68. Said's books about Israel and Palestine include The Question of Palestine (1979), The Politics of Dispossession (1994), and The End of the Peace Process (2000).

Palestinian National Council

From 1977 until 1991, Said was an independent member of the Palestinian National Council (PNC).Malise Ruthven, "Edward Said: Controversial Literary Critic and Bold Advocate of the Palestinian Cause in America," The Guardian 26 September 2003; accessed 1 March 2006. In 1988, he was a proponent of the two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict (1948), and voted for the establishment of the State of Palestine at a meeting of the PNC in Algiers. In 1993, Said quit his membership to the Palestinian National Council, to protest the internal politics that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 1993), which he thought had unacceptable terms, and because the terms had been rejected by the Madrid Conference of 1991.Said disliked the Oslo Accords for not producing an independent State of Palestine, and because they were politically inferior to a plan that Yasir Arafat had rejected—a plan Said had presented to Arafat on behalf of the U.S. government in the late 1970s.Edward Saïd, "The Morning After". London Review of Books Vol. 15 No. 20. 21 October 1993. Especially troublesome to Said was his belief that Yasir Arafat had betrayed the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their houses and properties in the Green Line territories of pre-1967 Israel, and that Arafat ignored the growing political threat of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories that had been established since the conquest of Palestine in 1967.(File:Zones A and B in the occupied palestinian territories.svg|thumb|right|300px|alt=A map of the West Bank and Gaza strip highlighting administrative domains of the Palestinian authority in red.|The administrative domains of the Palestinian Authority (red))In 1995, in response to Said's political criticisms, the Palestinian Authority (PA) banned the sale of Said's books; however, the PA lifted the book-ban when Said publicly praised Yasir Arafat for rejecting Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offers at the Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David (2000) in the U.S.Michael Wood, "On Edward Said", London Review of Books, 23 October 2003, accessed 5 January 2010.Edward Said, "The price of Camp David", Al Ahram Weekly, 23 July 2001. Accessed 5 January 2010.In the mid-1990s, Said wrote the Foreword to the history book (Israel Shahak#Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years|Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years) (1994), by Israel Shahak, about Jewish fundamentalism, which presents the cultural proposition that Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians is rooted in a Judaic requirement (of permission) for Jews to commit crimes, including murder, against Gentiles (non-Jews). In his Foreword, Said said that Jewish History, Jewish Religion is "nothing less than a concise history of classic and modern Judaism, insofar as these are relevant to the understanding of modern Israel"; and praised the historian Shahak for describing contemporary Israel as a nation subsumed in a "Judeo–Nazi" cultural ambiance that allowed the dehumanization of the Palestinian Other:Werner Cohn: What Edward Said knows Page accessed 2012-06-15.In 1998, Said made In Search of Palestine (1998), a BBC documentary film about Palestine past and present. In the company of his son, Wadie, Said revisited the places of his boyhood, and confronted injustices meted out to ordinary Palestinians in the contemporary West Bank. Despite the social and cultural prestige usual to BBC cinema products in the U.S., the documentary was never broadcast by any American television company.WEB,weblink In Search of Palestine (1998), BFI, Culture and resistance: conversations with Edward W. Said By Edward W. Said, David Barsamian, p. 57 In 1999, the American monthly Commentary cited ledgers kept at the Land Registry Office in Jerusalem during the Mandatory period as background for his boyhood recollections.JOURNAL, WEINER, JUSTUS REID, 'My Beautiful Old House' and other Fabrications by Edward Said, Commentary, 1 September 1999, 108, 2, 32,weblink 31 January 2017, 0010-2601,

In Palestine

On 3 July 2000, whilst touring the Middle East with his son, Wadie, Edward Said was photographed throwing a stone across the Blue Line Lebanese–Israel border, which image elicited much political criticism about his action demonstrating an inherent, personal sympathy with terrorism; and, in Commentary magazine, the journalist Edward Alexander labelled Said as "The Professor of Terror", for aggression against Israel.Julian Vigo, "Edward Saïd and the Politics of Peace: From Orientalisms to Terrorology", A Journal of Contemporary Thought (2004): pp. 43–65. Said explained the stone-throwing as a two-fold action, personal and political; a man-to-man contest-of-skill, between a father and his son, and an Arab Man's gesture of joy at the end of the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (1985–2000): "It was a pebble; there was nobody there. The guardhouse was at least half a mile away."Dinitia Smith, "A Stone's Throw is a Freudian Slip", The New York Times, 10 March 2001.(File:BlueLine.jpg|thumb|right|375px|alt=A map showing a light blue and a dark blue line between Lebanon and Israel.|For throwing a stone at an Israeli guardhouse across the Blue Line Lebanese–Israeli border, Commentary magazine labelled Edward Said "The Professor of Terror" in 2000.)Despite having denied that he aimed the stone at an Israeli guardhouse, the Beirut newspaper As-Safir (The Ambassador) reported that a Lebanese local resident reported that Prof. Said was at less than ten metres (ca. 30 ft.) distance from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers manning the two-storey guardhouse, when Said aimed and threw the stone over the border fence; the stone's projectile path was thwarted when it struck the barbed wire atop the border fence.Sunnie Kim, Edward Said Accused of Stoning in South Lebanon, Columbia Spectator, 19 July 2000. Nonetheless, in the U.S., despite a political fracas by right-wing students at Columbia University and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith International (Sons of the Covenant), the university provost published a five-page letter defending Prof. Said's action as an academic's freedom of expression: To my knowledge, the stone was directed at no-one; no law was broken; no indictment was made; no criminal or civil action has been taken against Professor Saïd."NEWS,weblink Columbia Debates a Professor's 'Gesture', The New York Times, Karen W. Arenson, Karen W. Arenson, 19 October 2000, Nevertheless, Said endured political repercussions, such as the cancellation of an invitation to give a lecture to the Freud Society, in Austria, in February 2001.Edward Saïd and David Barsamian, Culture and Resistance – Conversations with Edward Said, South End Press, 2003: pp. 85–86 The President of the Freud Society justified withdrawing the invitation by explaining to Said that "the political situation in the Middle East, and its consequences" had rendered an accusation of anti-Semitism a very serious matter, and that any such accusation "has become more dangerous" in the politics of Austria; thus, the Freud Society cancelled their invitation to Said in order to "avoid an internal clash" of opinions, about him, that might ideologically divide the Freud Society. In Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward Saïd (2003), Said likened his political situation to the situation that Noam Chomsky has perdured as a public intellectual: "It's very similar to his. He's a well-known, great linguist. He's been celebrated and honored for that, but he's also vilified as an anti–Semite and as a Hitler worshiper. ... For anyone to deny the horrendous experience of anti–Semitism and the Holocaust is unacceptable. We don't want anybody's history of suffering to go unrecorded and unacknowledged. On the other hand, there's a great difference, between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people."Edward Saïd and David Barsamian, Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward Saïd, South End Press, 2003: pp. 85, 178

Criticism of U.S. foreign policy

In the revised edition of (Covering Islam|Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World) (1997), Said criticized the Orientalist bias of the Western news media's reportage about the Middle East and Islam, especially the tendency to editorialize "speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings, sabotage commercial airliners, and poison water supplies."Martin Kramer, Enough Said review of Dangerous Knowledge, by Robert Irwin, March 2007. He criticized the American military involvement in the Kosovo War (1998–99) as an imperial action; and described the Iraq Liberation Act (1998), promulgated during the Clinton Administration, as the political license that predisposed the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003, which was authorised with the Iraq Resolution (2 October 2002); and the continual support of Israel by successive U.S. presidential governments, as actions meant to perpetuate regional political instability in the Middle East.In the event, despite being sick with leukemia, as a public intellectual, Said continued criticising the U.S. Invasion of Iraq in mid-2003;Democracy Now!, "Syrian Expert Patrick Seale] and Columbia University Professor Edward Said Discuss the State of the Middle East After the Invasion of Iraq"],, 15 April 2003. Accessed 4 January 2010. and, in the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper, in the article "Resources of Hope" (2 April 2003), Said said that the U.S. war against Iraq was a politically ill-conceived military enterprise:, Al-Ahram Weekly, 2 April 2003, accessed April 26, 2007.}}

Under surveillance

In 2003, Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Ibrahim Dakak, Mustafa Barghouti, and Said established Al-Mubadara (The Palestinian National Initiative), headed by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a third-party reformist, democratic party meant to be an alternative to the usual two-party politics of Palestine. As a political party, the ideology of Al-Mubadara is specifically an alternative to the extremist politics of the social-democratic Fatah and the Islamist Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement). Said's founding of the group, as well as his other international political activities concerning Palestine, were noticed by the U.S. government; in 2006, the anthropologist David Price obtained 147 pages of the 283-page political dossier that the FBI had compiled on Said, begun in 1971, four years into his career as a public intellectual active in U.S. politics.David Price, "How the FBI Spied on Edward Said," {{webarchive |url= |date=16 January 2006 }} CounterPunch 13 January 2006, accessed 15 January 2006.


File:Diván Este-Oeste 2005.jpg|thumb|right|350px|alt=Photo of an orchestra playing in casual dress.|The harmonious Middle East: the West-Eastern Divan OrchestraWest-Eastern Divan OrchestraBesides having been a public intellectual, Edward Said was an accomplished pianist, worked as the music critic for The Nation magazine, and wrote four books about music: Musical Elaborations (1991); Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), with Daniel Barenboim as co-author; On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (2006); and Music at the Limits (2007) in which final tome he spoke of finding musical reflections of his literary and historical ideas in bold compositions and strong performances.Ranjan Ghosh, Edward Said and the Literary, Social, and Political World {{webarchive|url= |date=10 July 2011 }}, New York: Routledge, 2009: p. 22.Columbia University Press, Music at the Limits by Edward W. Saïd'', accessed 5 January 2010.Elsewhere in the musical world, the composer Mohammed Fairouz acknowledged the deep influence of Edward Said upon his works; compositionally, Fairouz's First Symphony thematically alludes to the essay "Homage to a Belly-Dancer" (1990), about Tahia Carioca, the Egyptian terpsichorean, actress, and political militant; and a piano sonata titled Reflections on Exile (1984), which thematically refers to the emotions inherent to being an exile.Rase, Sherri (8 April 2011), Conversations—with Mohammed Fairouz {{webarchive |url= |date=22 March 2012 }}, [Q]onStage, retrieved 2011-04-19"Homage to a Belly-dancer", Granta, 13 (Winter 1984)."Reflections on Exile", London Review of Books, 13 September 1990.In 1999, Edward W. Said and Daniel Barenboim co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which is composed of young Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab musicians. They also established The Barenboim–Said Foundation in Seville, to develop education-through-music projects. Besides managing the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Barenboim–Said Foundation assists with the administration of the Academy of Orchestral Studies, the Musical Education in Palestine Project, and the Early Childhood Musical Education Project, in Seville.Barenboim–Saïd Foundation, official website {{webarchive |url= |date=27 October 2009 }}, Accessed 4 January 2010.

Honors and awards

Besides honors, memberships, and postings to prestigious organizations worldwide, Edward Said was awarded some twenty honorary university degrees in the course of his professional life as an academic, critic, and Man of Letters.The English Pen World Atlas, "Edward Said" {{webarchive |url= |date=27 July 2011 }}, accessed on 3 January 2010. Among the honors bestowed to him was the Bowdoin Prize by Harvard University. He twice received the Lionel Trilling Book Award; the first occasion was the inaugural bestowing of said literary award in 1976, for Beginnings: Intention and Method (1974). He also received the Wellek Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, and was awarded the inaugural Spinoza Lens Prize.Spinozalens, Internationale Spinozaprijs Laureates {{webarchive |url= |date=5 August 2008 }}, accessed on 3 January 2010. In 2001, Said was awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2002, he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord. He was the first U.S. citizen to receive the Sultan Owais Prize (for Cultural & Scientific Achievements, 1996–1997).Columbia University Press, "About the Author", Humanism and Democratic Criticism, 2004. The autobiography Out of Place (1999) was bestowed three awards, the 1999 New Yorker Book Award for Non-Fiction; the 2000 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction; and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award in Literature.The English Pen World Atlas, Edward Said {{webarchive |url= |date=27 July 2011 }}, accessed on 3 January 2010.

Death and legacy

File:Poster of Edward Said.jpg|thumb|right|300px|alt=Tattered poster on wall, partially covered by graffiti.|In Memoriam Edward Wadie Saïd: a Palestinian National Initiative poster at the Israeli West Bank wallIsraeli West Bank wallOn 24 September 2003, after enduring a twelve-year sickness with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Edward W. Said died, at 67 years of age, in New York City.NEWS,weblink Edward W. Said, Literary Critic and Advocate for Palestinian Independence, Dies at 67, Bernstein, Richard, 26 September 2003, The New York Times, 23, 6 June 2013, He was survived by his wife, Mariam C. Said, his son, Wadie Said, and his daughter, Najla Said.NEWS,weblink Obituary: Edward Said, Ruthven, Malise, 26 September 2003, The Guardian, 6 June 2013, NEWS,weblink Columbia Community Mourns Passing of Edward Said, Beloved and Esteemed University Professor, 26 September 2003, Columbia News, 6 June 2013, NEWS,weblink Edward Said, critic, scholar, Palestinian advocate; at 67, Feeney, Mark, 26 September 2003, The Boston Globe, 6 June 2013, The eulogists included Alexander Cockburn ("A Mighty and Passionate Heart");Alexander Cockburn, "A Mighty and Passionate Heart" {{webarchive |url= |date=27 September 2003 }}, Counterpunch Seamus Deane ("A Late Style of Humanism");'A Late Style of Humanism', Field Day Review 1 (Dublin: 2005),weblink Christopher Hitchens ("A Valediction for Edward Said");Christopher Hitchens, "A Valediction for Edward Said" Slate, September 2003 Tony Judt ("The Rootless Cosmopolitan");Tony Judt, weblink" title="">"The Rootless Cosmopolitan", The Nation Michael Wood ("On Edward Said");Michael Wood, On Edward Said, London Review of Books, 23 October 2003, accessed 5 January 2010. and Tariq Ali ("Remembering Edward Said, 1935–2003").Tariq Ali, "Remembering Edward Said (1935–2003)" {{webarchive |url= |date=15 September 2008 }}, The New Left Review In November 2004, in Palestine, Birzeit University renamed their music school the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.Birzeit University, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.The tributes to Edward Said include books and schools; such as Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward W. Said (2008) features essays by Akeel Bilgrami, Rashid Khalidi, and Elias Khoury;"Conference: Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward Said." {{webarchive |url= |date=13 February 2010 }} 25–26 May 2007. Bogazici University. European Journal of Turkish Studies. Accessed 5 January 2010.Jorgen Jensehausen, "Review: 'Waiting for the Barbarians'" Journal of Peace Research Vol. 46 No. 3 May 2009. Accessed 5 January 2010. Edward Said: The Charisma of Criticism (2010), by Harold Aram Veeser, a critical biography; and Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representations (2010), essays by Joseph Massad, Ilan Pappé, Ella Shohat, Ghada Karmi, Noam Chomsky, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Daniel Barenboim; and the Barenboim–Said Academy (Berlin) was established in 2012.(File:Edward Said.jpg|thumb|Edward Said’s gravestone)

See also





  • BOOK, Barsamian, David, Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward W. Said,weblink 2003, Pluto, 9780745320175,
  • BOOK, Cornwell, John, Newman's Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint, 2010, Continuum International, 9781441150844,
  • BOOK, Joachim Gentz, Keywords re-oriented,weblink 18 November 2011, interKULTUR, European-Chinese intercultural studies, Volume IV, 2009, Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 978-3-940344-86-1, 41–, Orientalism/Occidentalism,
  • BOOK, Ghazoul, Ferial Jabouri, Edward Said and Critical Decolonization,weblink 19 November 2011, 2007, American University in Cairo Press, 978-977-416-087-5, Edward W. Said (1935–2003) was one of the most influential intellectuals in the twentieth century.,
  • BOOK, Gray, Richard T., Gross, Ruth V., Goebel, Rolf J., 3, Koelb, Clayton, A Franz Kafka encyclopedia,weblink 18 November 2011, 2005, Greenwood, 978-0-313-30375-3,
  • BOOK, Iskander, Adel, Rustom, Hakem, Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation, 2010, University of California Press, 978-0-520-24546-4,
  • BOOK, McCarthy, Conor, The Cambridge Introduction to Edward Said,weblink 2010, Cambridge UP, 9781139491402,
  • BOOK, Said, Edward W., Orientalism,weblink 1979, Knopf Doubleday, 9780394740676,
  • BOOK, Said, Edward W., Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process,weblink 1996, Vintage Books, 9780679767251,
  • BOOK, Singh, Amritjit, Johnson, Bruce G., Interviews with Edward W. Said,weblink 2004, UP of Mississippi, 9781578063666,
  • BOOK, Turner, Bryan S, Rojek, Chris, Society and Culture: Scarcity and Solidarity,weblink 2001, SAGE, 9780761970491,
  • BOOK, Zamir, Shamoon, Said, Edward W., 2005, Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition, Jones, Lindsay, 12, 8031–32, Macmillan,

Further reading

  • BOOK, Prasad, Pannian, Edward Said and the Question of Subjectivity,weblink New York and London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-01-20, 9781137548641, en, {{Google books|_WEkswEACAAJ|Edward Said and the Question of Subjectivity}}.
  • Valerie Kennedy Edward Said: A Critical Introduction. Key Contemporary Thinkers. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2000.
  • Conor McCarthy The Cambridge Introduction to Edward Said. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Andrew N. Rubin, editor, Humanism, Freedom, and the Critic: Edward W. Said and After. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2005.

External links

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