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About Edward W. Said
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More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic.
In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined "the orient" simply as "other than" the occident. This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as the Western powers built empires that stretched from Australia to the West Indies, Western artists created masterpieces ranging from Mansfield Park to Heart of Darkness and Aida. Yet most cultural critics continue to see these phenomena as separate. Edward Said looks at these works alongside those of such writers as W. B. Yeats, Chinua Achebe, and Salman Rushdie to show how subject peoples produced their own vigorous cultures of opposition and resistance. Vast in scope and stunning in its erudition, Culture and Imperialism reopens the dialogue between literature and the life of its time.
Said writes with great passion and wit about his family and his friends from his birthplace in Jerusalem, schools in Cairo, and summers in the mountains above Beirut, to boarding school and college in the United States, revealing an unimaginable world of rich, colorful characters and exotic eastern landscapes. Underscoring all is the confusion of identity the young Said experienced as he came to terms with the dissonance of being an American citizen, a Christian and a Palestinian, and, ultimately, an outsider. Richly detailed, moving, often profound, Out of Place depicts a young man's coming of age and the genesis of a great modern thinker.
From the Iranian hostage crisis through the Gulf War and the bombing of the World Trade Center, the American news media have portrayed "Islam" as a monolithic entity, synonymous with terrorism and religious hysteria. At the same time, Islamic countries use "Islam" to justify unrepresentative and often repressive regimes. Combining political commentary with literary criticism, Covering Islam continues Edward Said's lifelong investigation of the ways in which language not only describes but also defines political reality.
In these pieces, Said eloquently illustrates his arguments by drawing on such writers as Antonio Gramsci, Jean-Paul Sartre, Regis Debray, Julien Benda, and Theodore Adorno, and by discussing current events and celebrated figures in the world of science and politics: Robert Oppenheimer, Henry Kissinger, Dan Quayle, Vietnam and the Gulf War. Said sees the modern intellectual as an editor, journalist, academic, or political adviser--in other words, a highly specialized professional--who has moved from a position of independence to an alliance with powerful corporate, institutional, or governmental organizations. He concludes that it is the exile-immigrant, the expatriate, and the amateur who must uphold the traditional role of the intellectual as the voice of integrity and courage, able to speak out against those in power.
The Edward Said Reader includes key sections from all of Said's books, from the groundbreaking 1966 study of Joseph Conrad to his new memoir, Out of Place. Whether he is writing of Zionism or Palestinian self-determination, Jane Austen or Yeats, music or the media, Said's uncompromising intelligence casts urgent light on every subject he undertakes. The Edward Said Reader will prove a joy to the general reader and an indispensable resource for scholars of politics, history, literature, and cultural studies: in short, of all those fields that his work has influenced and, in some cases, transformed.
From its establishment to the present day, Israel has enjoyed a unique position in the American roster of international friends. In Fateful Triangle, Noam Chomsky explores the character and historical development of this special relationship. The resulting work “may be the most ambitious book ever attempted on the conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians viewed as centrally involving the United States. It is a dogged exposé of human corruption, greed, and intellectual dishonesty. It is also a great and important book, which must be read by anyone concerned with public affairs” (Edward W. Said, from the foreword).
“A devastating collection of charges aimed at Israeli and American policies that affect the Palestinian Arabs negatively.” ―Library Journal
“Brilliant and unscrupulous.” ―The Observer
“A major, timely and devastating analysis of one of the great tragedies.” ―The Tribune
“Formidable.” ―The Jewish Quarterly
As they range across music, literature, and society, they open up many fields of inquiry: the importance of a sense of place; music as a defiance of silence; the legacies of artists from Mozart and Beethoven to Dickens and Adorno; Wagner’s anti-Semitism; and the need for “artistic solutions” to the predicament of the Middle East—something they both witnessed when they brought young Arab and Israeli musicians together. Erudite, intimate, thoughtful and spontaneous, Parallels and Paradoxes is a virtuosic collaboration.
Un clásico imprescindible para comprender los eternos malentendidos sobre el mundo islámico.
En estos tiempos en que los medios de comunicación nos inundan y se ven inundados por imágenes y estereotipos que se refieren al Islam y a los musulmanes, Edward W. Said nos ofrece una descripción rigurosa y esclarecedora de la formación y desarrollo de estas «ideas recibidas» o tópicos que muchas veces impiden o sesgan nuestra visión.
En Orientalismo, Edward W. Said nos ofrece una descripción esclarecedora de la formación y desarrollo de los tópicos sobre el islam y los musulmanes, que muchas veces impiden o sesgan nuestra visión. Se nos muestra cómo estos «clichés ideológicos» obedecen a los intereses y estrategias del poder dominante y señala la dificultad para el mundo occidental de pensar sobre Oriente si antes no se logra romper esos prejuicios que distorsionan nuestra lectura. Asimismo nos muestra cómo la relación entre Oriente y Occidente es una relación de poder, construida sobre la subordinación de la idea de Oriente al fuerte imaginario occidental asentado en la superioridad centralista de un «nosotros» enfrentado a un «ellos», lo no europeo, vivido como «lo extraño».
«Una crítica lúcida como la de Said resulta más necesaria que nunca.»
Juan Goytisolo, El País