Edward Said

Edward Said

Edward Said

Edward Said

Synopsis

Edward Said is perhaps best known as the author of the landmark study Orientalism, a book which changed the face of critical theory and shaped the emerging field of post-colonial studies, and for his controversial journalism on the Palestinian political situation.

Looking at the context and the impact of Said's scholarship and journalism, this book examines Said's key ideas, including:

  • the significance of 'worldliness', 'amateurism', 'secular criticism', 'affiliation' and 'contrapuntal reading'
  • the place of text and critic in 'the world'
  • knowledge, power and the construction of the 'Other'
  • links between culture and imperialism
  • exile, identity and the plight of Palestine
  • a new chapter looking at Said's later work and style

This popular guide has been fully updated and revised in a new edition, suitable for readers approaching Said's work for the first time as well as those already familiar with the work of this important theorist. The result is the ideal guide to one of the twentieth century's most engaging critical thinkers.

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

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