Ask a Librarian. Said, Edward W. New York : Vintage Books, [
It is certainly no exaggeration to say, somewhat more modestly, that it changed how we see the world. One thing that often surprises readers first encountering the book is the fact that it is, in large part, a work of literary criticism. Said certainly understood that colonialism and imperialism are fundamentally political and economic phenomena.
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.
Edward Said and Orientalism. Edward Said, who recently passed away, belongs - or belonged - to a tradition of critical Marxism, which needs to be distinguished from Marxism and understood as the philosophy of historical materialism. Born to Palestian parents and brought up in Cairo, where he attended private English schools, Said was a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and one of the leading and most articulate advocates of the Palestinian cause.
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No eBook available Amazon. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. One may quibble with the title: this is a study of Islamic Orientalism solely, of Western representations of the Near East, with little or no direct reference to Persia, India, China, Japan.
Many scholars place the beginning of postcolonial studies in history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, and the arts at the publication of Said's Orientalism, published in Said focuses his attention in this work on the interplay between the "Occident" and the "Orient. According to Said, the West has created a dichotomy, between the reality of the East and the romantic notion of the "Orient.