Edward Said

Edward Said

Edward Said

Edward Said

Synopsis

Edward Said is one of the most important literary, political and cultural theorists of the contemporary world. But until now no one has attempted to assess and explain the significance of his journalism and scholarship in one accessible full-length volume.In this refreshingly clear and timely introduction to Said and his work, Bill Ashcroft and Pal Ahluwalia set out the key tenets of his position and the context out of which his work emerges.Whilst acknowledging the crucial importance of his best-known and most paradigm shifting early work Orientalism , they unravel for the first time the vital part played in his writings by the concept of 'worldliness'. They also illuminate Said's subtle demonstration of the paradoxical nature of 'identity' in the post-colonial world. Edward Said is an extremely useful and enlightening introduction to a key figure for twenty-first-century thought.

Excerpt

The books in this series offer introductions to major critical thinkers who have influenced literary studies and the humanities. The Routledge Critical Thinkers series provides the books you can turn to first when a new name or concept appears in your studies.

Each book will equip you to approach a key thinker's original texts by explaining her or his key ideas, putting them into context and, perhaps most importantly, showing you why this thinker is considered to be significant. The emphasis is on concise, clearly written guides which do not presuppose a specialist knowledge. Although the focus is on particular figures, the series stresses that no critical thinker ever existed in a vacuum but, instead, emerged from a broader intellectual, cultural and social history. Finally, these books will act as a bridge between you and the thinker's original texts: not replacing them but rather complementing what she or he wrote.

These books are necessary for a number of reasons. In his 1997 autobiography, Not Entitled, the literary critic Frank Kermode wrote of a time in the 1960s:

On beautiful summer lawns, young people lay together all night, recovering from their daytime exertions and listening to a troupe of Balinese musicians. Under their blankets or their sleeping bags, they would chat drowsily about the gurus of the time…What they repeated was largely hearsay; hence my lunchtime suggestion, quite impromptu, for a series of short, very cheap books offering authoritative but intelligible introductions to such figures.

There is still a need for 'authoritative and intelligible introductions'. But this series reflects a different world from the 1960s. New thinkers

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