[Reading] ➶ Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient ➽ Edward W. Said – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient

  1. says:

    The following is a true story Me, in a San Franscisco bar reading Orientalism.The blonde girl next to me reading over my shoulder So what s Orientalism I explain as best I can in a couple sentences Her There are so many isms in Asia like Buddhism and Taoism You know what book you should read The Tao of Poo It s sooo good It s, like, the perfect way to teach Americans about Eastern Religion Horrified, I look back to my book and take a sip of beer.


  2. says:

    There s a curious double standard between what we expect from White guy authors compared to authors of any other background When an author is a Native American, for example, we tend to expect their books to deliver to us the Native American experience If the author is a woman, we tend to expect that her book will show us the female perspective to the degree that female authors who write stories about men are forced to take on a masculine or nondescript name, like J.K Rowling.So we get Western educated authors like Achebe, Hosseini, and Momaday who write thoroughly traditional novels in the Western style and then place a thin veneer of their own ethnic background onto those stories, and are praised for it in academia, because their work meets expectation delivering to The West a simplified and pre colonized version of foreignness.As a White male author, on the other hand, the expectation is that you won t stick to your own cultural identity, but will instead attempt to explore the breadth and depth of human experience through characters of many backgrounds and why not White guys have been doing it for centuries, and we love them for it.In fact, the problem here is not that White guys are encouraged to take on other roles, its that non White, non male folks are discouraged from doing so As Said points out it is not only Black people who are capable of writing about Black people, or only Arabs about Arabs, or only Whites about Whites we all need to explore similarities and differences in our fellow humans.So here I am White guy, trying to explore humanity, writing a bit of fiction about Colonialism, about the English rule in Egypt and India, featuring characters of different backgrounds but it s daunting I don t want to do it thoughtlessly, and though I take a great deal of inspiration from Haggard, Kipling, Conrad, and Burton, I don t want to incidentally adopt their shortcomings along with the interesting bits.So I thought I might combat their prejudices by taking in the most notable and talked about book on interactions and stereotypes between The West and The East However, Orientalism was not what I expected but then again, it wasn t what Said expected, either He didn t intend to write The Book on East West interaction, his work is much narrower in scope.The whole of the book is Said looking closely at a dozen authors, mostly French and English, some academics, some fiction writers, and giving examples of a number of quotes for each where they talk about The East in ways that demonstrate a certain bias That s pretty much it, all four hundred pages Why spend that long on such a specific topic Because this book was meant for a small academic publication, and that s what specialized academics do.Now, if you ve read any of the other reviews of this book on GR, you d get the impression that Said is an enraged polemicist who spends the whole book denigrating The West and praising The East It s inexplicable to me that any person with the most basic reading comprehension could come away from Said with this view Indeed, once I realized the scope of this work and that it wasn t likely to help with my specific writing concern , I almost abandoned it, but I wanted to get to the angry Said part where he defames Western civilization, just to see how bad it got.It never came Said s tone throughout the book is exceedingly dry and cautious too much so, for my taste, I ve been known to enjoy a good diatribe so any prejudicial anger a reader might find in this book is only what they brought in with them The notion that Said is anti Western or Pro Islam is such a bizarrely inexplicable misreading that the only reason a reader could come away from the book with that belief is if they brought in a huge set of prejudices and then ignored everything Said actually wrote.First, they must assume that East and West are terms that have well defined geographical and social meanings, and then ignore the fact that Said repeatedly states that, to him, East and West are just convenient ideas, not real, solid entities that it is ridiculous to talk about India, China, and the Middle East as if they were one culture, or even to lump in the various Arab states with one another, when they each have very different histories and values There is no unity between all Islamic nations than there is between all Christian nations.Trying to place a line between Greece and Turkey and claiming these are separate cultures is artificial Lest we forget Troy was in Turkey, when the Roman Empire died in Italy it continued in Istanbul as Edith Hamilton points out Roman rule was always Persian than Greek , Southern Europe was long ruled by Moors, and as Ockley s 1798 History of the Saracens contentiously point out, nearly everything Europe knows of Greek philosophy and mathematics came from Islam.Then, the ignorant reader would have to assume that when Said points out a specific trend in some authors of the West , that this constitutes an attack on The West as an entity which Said denies exists This despite the fact that Said explicitly holds many of these Western authors in high regard and specifically states that there s nothing wrong with cultures having interdependent relationships The Arab world today is an intellectual, political, and cultural satellite of the United States This is not in and of itself something to be lamented the specific form of the satellite relationship, however, is The reader would then have to assume that this perceived attack on a fictional Western Culture was the same thing as an uplifting of the East , even though Said often speaks about how many Eastern states are damaged and without a modern intellectual tradition to train its members to do the work of improving them, and that all the great centers of study and economic control for Islam are located in England or America.But then, the fact that there are prejudiced readers is hardly surprising the world is full of people trying to divide everything up between us and them I get comments from people who don t realize that Islam is an Abrahamic religion sharing the same holy books, prophets, and god as Christianity and Judaism people who aren t aware that a fatwa just means any public statement by a scholar You read about American military consultants in the Middle East who don t know the difference between Shia and Sunni Very few these days would connect this quote The ink of the scholar is precious than the blood of the martyr with Mohammed.How easily we forget that Athens is closer to Marrakesh, Tunis, Cairo, and Baghdad than it is to Paris, Berlin, or London.I remember seeing a supposedly humorous map where the Middle East was replaced by an impact crater, with the words Problem Solved beneath it, completely ignoring the fact that the reason there is constant conflict there is because powerful First World countries have gone in, supplied both sides with cheap guns, made Opium the only profitable crop for farmers to grow, and set up regimes whose sole purpose is to funnel money and natural resources out of those countries and into multinational banks any region is going to be politically unstable under those conditions.Indeed, Said openly admits that there is much wrong in the Arab world, that it is full of turmoil and violence and lack of education, and that it is all too easy to paint it as a fallen culture when compared to the heights of sophistication and science it once enjoyed, which sparked off the Renaissance in Europe Of course, the way Arabs are commonly typified as backward is the same way people typify ant outgroup the cliches of American rednecks and hippy dippy liberals are the same as the cliche Arab ignorant, sectarian, ever feuding, following charismatic leaders into reactionary movements We can point to Religious Fundamentalists, Tea Party Yokels, Ron Paul Libertarians, Militant Feminists, and Black Muslim Brotherhood members and find the same clannish human system at play.I was constantly struck by the fact that the separation Said depicts between the ideas of East and West were not specific to that cultural conflict, but were the same generic type of power separation laid out by Marx a dominating power structure versus the population whom they control and profit from They operate off of the same self serving justifications for their rule that the population is childlike and irrational, easily manipulated, and in need of governance Very little of Said s analysis was specific to the conflict between the East and West which may have been deliberate on his part but I think it would have made his neutral stance clearer if he had expressed outright that he was making a generalized argument about all power dynamics Extending the narrow focus of his argument and showing that this is how power works everywhere, at all times, would have made his work stronger, overall.As I read, it seemed that what Said was saying was clearly true, but not in a revelatory way I found myself comparing it to Angela Carter s The Sadeian Woman , my high water mark for social criticism, where her statements are inescapably true, but in a way you never realized until you saw it written out I kept waiting for Said to take it to the next level, to elevate these basic, naked observations to some profound and insightful conclusion Of course European, Christian powers would mythologize and simplify Islam, of course they would make a phantom enemy of it, while at the same time trading, allying, and sharing sources of inspiration with it that is no than differing cultures have always done, as Said points out What great insight into this system is meant to shock me Am I simply too much the postmodern, atheistic American to see what he says as anything but basic and inescapable I came to this book looking to find something insidious, some system by which these cultures interact uniquely, but what I got was most people are ignorant, dominating forces produce propaganda, Europe vs Islam edition Of course we are all Quixote and Pangloss making ourselves heroes of a fantastical narrative and creating enemies to blame because we are too weak to do anything other than maintain that flattering fiction But, even if we are all human, and all power structures operate in the same ways, there should still be some specifics which set this incidence apart.I was waiting for Said to do some serious unpacking It s not enough to show a passage of Renan s and demonstrate that his Semites are sterile I want to know how that construction is achieved, why it is important, how it operates culturally and psychologically, how it offers an important and vital insight into the grander cultural interaction And yet, just as he seems to be reaching a kind of specificity, he breaks off Why the Orient seems still to suggest not only fecundity but sexual promise and threat is something on which one could speculate it is not the province of my analysis here, alas, despite its frequently noted appearance So then, if not that, what is the province of his analysis It isn t until his conclusion that he lays out his purpose and helps us to understand why he never extends to these sorts of specific conclusions, which made me wish that he had made his conclusion his introduction, so I wouldn t have spent four hundred pages wondering why he keeps stopping just when it was starting to get interesting.This is an academic work with a very narrow scope It is meant to give a view of a very specific trend in Orientalist criticism amongst a group of authors, and not to force on the reader any specific conclusion about what this trend means, or how it operates on a minute level, except to point out that it does in fact exist, and that it represents familiar power dynamics That is the purpose and the effect of this book, and it invites the reader to use it to extend these examples into specific arguments and observations of their own, to use the general roadmap provided as a guide for their own work The fact that it has become the central text on the subject is an accident of time and place, for that was not the author s purpose, nor is this a transformative, revelatory work that sets out a specific theory of analysis for looking at Orientalist works as I wish it had been.In the end, Said s Orientalism is not a primer, but an experiment which is incomplete without further scholarship on the part of the reader Since Said is not specific, we cannot know just how accurate his analysis is unless we can compare it to our own readings of the same works, so it can only be a companion to our studies and not a work which, on its own, develops a unique view which we can use, as scholars, going forward.


  3. says:

    This is a fascinatingly interesting book It is also a book that is virtually required reading if you are going to say anything at all about post colonialism Whether you agree or disagree with the central theme of the book is almost beside the point This work is seminal and landmark so it can be avoided only at your own cost.I ll get to the central idea of the book in a second, but first some advice for people thinking of reading it I think, if I only wanted to get an idea of what the book was about, but didn t have time to read 305 pages or so, that I would read the preface to the 2003 edition and then read the afterword actually, you could probably read those the other way around if you wanted, that would probably make even sense The point being that he is so clear and so summary in these two parts of the book that as an overview and a way to get at the meat of his argument you would struggle to get a better grounding than those parts of his book The rest of the book is a bit for the kind of person who likes completeness Look, it is all beautifully written and utterly fascinating too but like I said, life is short and this is the sort of book that covers ground that you might feel you really need covered.So, what s it all about Well, Orientalism probably doesn t mean what you might first think You might assume that it has something to do with China which isn t quite where he is coming from Said is tracing the history of an idea and in that idea the exotic East was the Middle East long before it was the Far East That is what makes this book essential reading If there is one thing that is increasingly being used to define our understanding of the world today in the way that the Cold War defined our world for large parts of the 20th Century it is the relationship between the West and Islam We are constantly told that Islam is monolithic, that Islamofascists are wanting to impose Sharia Law on a hapless and too democratic for our own good West That we are pluralistic, they are clones The main lesson of this book is to beware as soon as anyone starts using the word WE It can be the most dangerous word in the language But the similarities between the pluralist US and the monolithic THEM so reminded me of the East West cold war that it was terrifying.The Orient has long been a place where Westerners have projected their lusts, their dreams and their nightmares Much of what is said about the East in this book by Orientalists confirms masturbatory desires on behalf of the Orientalists themselves than it says about life in the Middle East.In fact, Orientalism says infinitely about the West than it does about whatever we choose define as the Orient The problem is one of essentialism East is East and West is West and neither the twain shall meet but not only is this geographically stupid, for it to be true in any sense it relies on a definition of the two diametrically opposed opposites that must be taken as being real and total explanations before you start It requires us to have a single notion of what a Muslim is as if this religion covering so many millions of people and having lasted for centuries and centuries could really, somehow remain self identical across all of that time and all of that space Such an idea ought to be utterly ludicrous after a moment s reflection not that such ideas ever really get even a moment s reflection but our desire for a simple and clear and easily defined enemy is such that we lump together Seventh Century Arabs with Twenty First Century Indonesians as if they were all identical.And it gets worse Not only are they all the same, but they are also too stupid to even understand the first thing about themselves It is only because of we remarkably generous Westerners being able to explain their history to them, their language, society and character, that they have any ideas about themselves at all This is the role of the Orientalist, a role he and from what I can gather from this book it does seem to virtually always be a he has played rather consistently over the centuries.What is particularly interesting here is that Said says Orientalists don t really treat the Orient as if it was a place, in space or time, but rather as a text written once and then indelible The Orient really reached its glory days a long time ago you have to remember that much of our mathematics and virtually all of our Classical Philosophy came from Islamic scholars So, to explain this we need to see Islam and the Orient as a culture in decay, a culture that is degenerating But still a text nonetheless And a text that can only be read by a properly schooled Western scholar And what is the appropriate schooling for such a scholar Well, not necessarily Oriental texts, as you might think but rather texts about the Orient by previous Oriental scholars This is like an entire school of Shakespeare scholarship that never actually refers to any of the poems or plays, but rather discusses previous works of scholarship on Shakespeare And like such scholarship the assumption is that the plays never change just as it is assumed the Orient and those who live there never changes either You can understand the Muslim mind by reading the Koran in a way that you can t understand the Western mind by reading the Bible.Of course, our television makes this unity of the Orient something that is self evident Other than Israel, the rest of the region is self identical This was made particularly clear during the so called Arab Spring when an image of an Arab in headgear shaking his fist could have been someone revolting in Libya, or Tunisia, or Egypt, or Syria and fortunately from our perspective in the West all of these countries were identical and had identical problems and were resolving those identical problems in exactly the same way Through unreason and violence that is, a particularly Oriental and non Western way.If this book is anything, it is a plea for us to recognise the humanity of the other of the Arab other in this case One of the things I ve become increasingly concerned about is what I call aggregated facts For example, when I hear that the USA spends on healthcare than any other nation or how much an average Australian spends on education, I become worried People who talk in averages are not to be trusted there, a generalisation you can rely on in a review telling you not to rely on generalisations What people who talk in averages are about to say next is generally a lie How can there be a problem when America already spends on healthcare than any other nation on earth How can Australia need the Gonski Report, we already spend a fortune on education But averages mask how much is going to some people and how little is going to others Averages are lies told in numbers Aggregating humans as if all you need to say about them is that they are Arabs or Americans or Australians and then thinking that is somehow all you needed to say, that a single label can explain entire human cultures, is the stuff of racist fantasy That so many otherwise rational and intelligent people have fallen into this trap yes, I m looking at you Hitchens but not only you and have done so repeatedly is to all of our shame.Unfortunately, the work of learning about other cultures cannot be done by pouring them into a single bucket and giving them a single name People are insanely complex and the societies they make are even so To imagine for a second that by calling a society Arabic or Islamic suddenly makes it any easier to understand says far about the person pointing their finger and calling names than it does about those on the receiving end.Of course this doesn t only go for Arabs or even just those living in Asia but this is a common theme for all people who we think of as being different from ourselves and so group into a single mass This book is a mirror held up before us whoever that US is we should have the courage to look squarely into that mirror and learn the lesson it is trying to teach us.Highly recommended, essential reading.


  4. says:

    Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn t trust the evidence of one s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice The truly terrifying thing about such Empires is how much they genuinely believe their own discourses in this regard yes, they also profit from the subjugated people yes, they do exploit them for their own ends, but they do actually believe they are doing some good in the process They think that superimposing their ways, their systems of politics and culture, is actually going to benefit others So they force it on people they make them adapt to their ways and engage in a mode of totalitarian control that does nothing but destroy individualistic culture and history thus, unfolds the history of mankind Edward Said keeps his arguments relatively in the present, at least, from the perspective of the way the current eyes of the Occidental view the Oriental He mainly discusses how the legacies of fairly recent Empires, namely the British powers, have contributed to this lasting effect Though I d argue this is nothing relatively new Man has been doing this sort of thing for the last 2 3 thousand years it just means now he has the media and literary power to make such racial stereotypes and prejudices widely known, however accidental or purposeful Orientalism can be recorded effectively When reading books such as this I find it hard not to fall into misanthropy, as I look at the current political climate the world faces ultimately, asking myself the question will man ever learn I digress here the point is Said captures an argument vital to comprehending the way the world, unfortunately, works It saddens me deeply that such things aren t taught in schools How many people will actually read this in their lifetime How many people have even heard of it The truth of the matter is this is a deeply important book it demonstrates how the West has created this fog like gaze when it looks at the East Whilst trying not to sound too general here, what it sees is an image of falsehood It doesn t see the East as it is, but instead sees a version of it that has been embedded into its subconscious by countless generations of inaccurate representation followed by further inaccurate re representations To demonstrate here, I ve included this image from a cover poster of a funfair James Joyce s short story Araby is based upon Please note, Joyce is but one example of countless Don t let this put you off him I offer no excuses for the representation, but know that many authors in the cannon did things very similar And here is a direct quote from Said it literally sums up this picture Arabs, for example, are thought of as camel riding, terroristic, hook nosed, venal lechers whose undeserved wealth is an affront to real civilization Always there lurks the assumption that although the Western consumer belongs to a numerical minority, he is entitled either to own or to expend or both the majority of the world resources Why Because he, unlike the Oriental, is a true human being It s almost laughable how ridiculous such a thing is Here we have an Arab riding a camel waving a rifle in the air like a lunatic The problem is it that many people didn t have access to knowledge bases We live in an internet age where we can find anything out if we really want to But go back a hundred years and the general person reading this story and seeing this poster would have taken it for fact Granted, the educated and perhaps even pseudo educated may have had qualms with it, but the average reader would have seen it and believed it Again, this is but one example Imagine it duplicated ten fold, seen in every Western representation of the East and you have cultural conditioning that leaves the populace with this false notion of the Oriental world And then it is passed on through the years leaving the lasting impression of racist stereotypes The sad thing is, as I write this, this sense of Orientalism is still in the world today I ve seen it It s still out there amongst the Western populace Sure, it may not be as bad, but it is bad enough Said wasn t the first to suggest these ideas, they are not just his arguments, but he was the first to write an entire book describing Western to Eastern perceptions And he really did need to write it, to help educate people on their own folly But, again, not many outside the realms of scholarship, arguably the ones most likely to manifest these false perceptions, will actually read it Simply put, this is a complex book My review scarcely scratches the surface in regards to the depth of some of these arguments This is a book for the relatively well read I tried it a few years ago during the first year of my undergraduate degree and was overwhelmed by some of the prose Even now as I read it I find the arguments complex and warranting a second read The point is, this book portrays an erudite scholarly voice Although these arguments are vital, the book can be daunting at times for those new to literary criticism and cultural analysis For me, this a book to work up to rather than dive into, and for students of postcolonial theory it is a book that simply must be finished even if it takes you a year as it has in my case


  5. says:

    An amazing classic book from the late Edward Sa d about the origins of the Western view of the Orient that shaped literature and music in the 17th 20th century It is a penetrating view of various racial stereotypes of Arab peoples dressed in sheets smoking hookahs and generally under educated and prone to laziness and violence that pervades all levels of society and served the interests of colonialism to appease consciences of all the violence and subjugation that occurred in China, India the Middle East and Northern Africa Particularly in these troubled times with racial slurs against Muslims becoming common currency amd electoral policy , it remains relevant and eye opening Highly recommended along with its sequel, Culture and Imperialism.


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  8. says:

    Obviously this is a must read, which has been much drawn on and critiqued by later post anti colonial writers I have just read the copious notes I made when I read it in 2007 sort of ironic that I read a westerner s gloss rather than re reading the original and noted some points of particular interestJohn of Segovia proposed a conference with Islam designed to produce mass conversion even if it were to last ten years it would be less expensive and damaging than war To me this is a perfect example of the assumption that in an objective rational comparison Islam the Orient will be found inferior to Christianity the West It sounds absurd, yet the same attitude is reproduced constantly, including by mainstream feminists I think non Muslim Arab Oriental folk should put the question to ourselves whenever considering or discussing Islam or the Middle East am I being John of Segovia European Orientalism produced a very rich sophisticated body of knowledge Said stresses at the outset that his text is not about comparing this construct to reality that produced ideas it is the corporate institution for dealing with the Middle East Arab Muslim world henceforth, problematically, the Orient politically useful to European imperialist powers henceforth, problematically, and including the USA, the West Insofar as it studied Oriental texts, it interpreted them according to sweeping generalisations, never the human particular The words of an ancient poet would be used as the foundation for foreign policy.Visitors to the actual geographical Middle East were disappointed not to find the world described in classic orientalist texts, and interpreted this as the further, because orientalist dogma starts from an assumption of faded glory degeneration of the Orient Confrontation with reality has not disrupted the othering construction of orientalism everything is digested and processed by it.For example, by 1955 the Orient described by 17th 18th century texts could not be recognised anywhere Yet since one of the dogmas of orientalism is that the Orient cannot change, this new and strange place is out of order, full of pathological dis orientals and, I might cheekily offer, rogue states which we have lost National liberation movements shattered the image of passive, fatalistic subject populations, but they were replaced with the image of extremists who were not true to their real passive fatalistic natures Anticolonial movements are interpreted as insults to Western democracy.H.A.R Gibb argued that Islam is fundamentally flawed, yet cannot change Any attempt to change it is a betrayal.Orientalism ignores class interests, political circumstances and economic factors There is only the unchanging oriental character to consider.To conquer the Orient is to liberate it, because Arabs, especially Muslims know nothing about liberty Islam is structurally favourable to fundamentalism this is the argument made by new atheist critics like Dawkins and Grayling Latent orientalism the distillation of ideas about the Orient orientals eg sensuality, femininity Said points out that orientalism is a masculinist perspective , despotism, passivity, indifference, inaccuracy, backwardness, is distinguished from manifest orientalism stated views about oriental history, society, literature, land and identifications with other philosophies Any change in knowledge of orientalism takes place in the latter category, never deconstructing the former.American orientalism is even reductive, with none of the imaginative investment of European orientalism, but with the same cultural hostility and imperial projects Arabic is studied for policy objectives.The liberal veneer we study others to get to know them, understand their cultures, so we allow them to represent themselves within the confining space of orientalism Principle dogmas of orientalism 1 The West is rational, developed, humane, superior while the Orient is underdeveloped, aberrant, inferior 2 Abstracts are always preferable to direct evidence since Orientals cannot be trusted 3 The Orient is uniform and unchanging, incapable of self definition, and the generalised and systematic vocabulary of orientalism used to describe it is entirely objective 4 The Orient is to be feared, pacified by research and development, preferably occupied.The central myth is the arrested development of the semites Western power enables the reproduction of this myth.Methodological failures of orientalism cannot be accounted for by saying the real Orient is different from orientalist portrayals or that orientalists, being Westerners, can have no inner sense of what the Orient is all about Orientals are now educated in native lands in colonial founded underfunded universities with no good libraries and too many students The USA is seen as the source of all learning, so students go there learn orientalist dogma.Said asks How does one represent another culture What is another culture Is the notion of a distinct culture race religion civilization useful or does it always get involved in self congratulation or hostility aggression Construction of identity never natural stable is bound up with power and powerlessness in each society For example, in Shalimar the Clown Rushdie presents a complex and shifting picture of religious identity in Kashmir Islam is complicated by context and is not at all the same everywhere Cultures are so inter related and interdependent that unitary simply delineated descriptions of their individuality are junk Scholars deny, suppress or distort the context of power that produces their systems of thought to maintain the fiction of scholarly disinterest now we acknowledge and apologise for them, but proceed with our imperialism Western civilization is an ideological fiction, implying detached superiority of a handful of values ideas meaningless outside the history of conquest immigration travel mingling of peoples that gave western nations their present mixed identities The USA for example is a palimpsest of different races cultures sharing problematic histories of conquest, exterminations and major cultural political achievements.Said s aim is not to paraphrased dissipate difference the constitutive role of national cultural differences in relations between people can t be denied but to challenge the notion that difference implies hostility and the frozen, reified set of opposed essences adversarial knowledge built out of these things We need new way of conceiving the separations conflicts that stimulated generations of hostility war imperial control Animosities inequalities represent not an eternal order, but a historical experience whose end may be at hand.


  9. says:

    Yes in many ways, Said s Orientalism is a classic And he s right about some things Western art and literature created a whole fantasy world about the Orient which included the Balkans and Russia over the last few centuries Western scholarship about North Africa or the Middle East or India could be and was used by colonial powers But as critics especially Bernard Lewis and Robert Irwin have pointed out, Said took a handful of serious ideas and created his own fantasy world of Orientalism destroying, as Lewis lamented, a perfectly honorable scholarly term Said and his followers very nearly argue that any Western study of the Orient is invalid and nefarious from the start, and that any scholarship by Westerners is a tool of oppression and political domination Said notoriously got the careers and beliefs of the great Orientalists of the 18th and 19th centuries wrong, and, despite some fine writing, produced in the end a book that conflated artistic and literary visions with intelligence gathered for conquest or rule and which came close to saying that only scholarship with a correct political message about the Middle East could ever be acceptable A necessary read, but one that has to be complemented with a reading of Lewis critiques and the debates between the two, and perhaps since the critique is from the Left even so by reading Robert Irwin s Dangerous Knowledge.


  10. says:

    Preface 2003 AcknowledgmentsIntroduction Orientalism Afterword 1995 NotesIndex


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Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient download Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, read online Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, kindle ebook Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient b6d111e0fd8e 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 ClassicIn 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