Orientalism by Edward W. SaidMore than three decades after its first publication, Edward Saids groundbreaking critique of the Wests 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.
What is Orientalism?
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It often involves seeing Arab culture as exotic, backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous. Edward W. The paintings, created by European artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, depict the Arab World as an exotic and mysterious place of sand, harems and belly dancers, reflecting a long history of Orientalist fantasies which have continued to permeate our contemporary popular culture. France colonized Algeria from to From roughly to , French entrepreneurs produced postcards of Algerian women that were circulated in France. Louis helped to reinforce Orientalist imagery in the United States. The crossover from European to U.
Edward W. Said in September , a plethora of books engaging his scholarly and political legacy have cropped up in academe. Ranging from the excellent to the moderately competent, the few that attack Said and his work often belong to that not-so-rare type of monographs whose authors exhibit, or sometimes seem to courageously boast of, their theoretical and empirical illiteracy. Criticizing Said's scholarship and politics or the legacy of both certainly has no statute of limitations; however, it is most interesting that some of the recent attacks on his scholarship and politics issue not only from the traditional American and Israeli liberal and conservative right wing ranging from Michael Walzer and Judith Miller to Bernard Lewis and Emmanuel Sivan , or from apologists for Zionist and Israeli colonialism ranging again from Michael Walzer and Judith Miller to Bernard Lewis and Emmanuel Sivan , but from left—liberal academics and journalists who want to claim an affiliation with Said as they disavow his work and legacy. Some of them, like the proimperialist parvenu Christopher Hitchens, who made a clean break with their leftist anti-imperial past and embraced the more profitable side of a neoliberal imperial power with abandon, had been friends and allies of Said until in the case of Hitchens, a few months before his death—what would their proper designation be, one wonders: nouveaux droitistes , neocons, or quite simply neoliberals? A number of attacks on Said have come from a new corner that is still under construction, one invested in what it calls "sexuality" in [End Page ] "Islam" or in the "Middle East," or the "Islamicate" world , from a new discipline that dare speak, indeed shout, its name from the high rooftops of academe, namely, "Queer Middle East studies. Said's Orientalist critics had accused him, inter alia, of "demonizing" Orientalists, or indeed the "West" itself Bernard Lewis, but more recently also Robert Irwin, inter alia , and of ignoring German or Dutch Orientalists e.
Orientalism is a book by Edward W. Said , in which the author discusses Orientalism , defined as the West 's patronizing representations of " The East "—the societies and peoples who inhabit the places of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. According to Said, orientalism the Western scholarship about the Eastern World is inextricably tied to the imperialist societies who produced it, which makes much Orientalist work inherently political and servile to power. According to Said, in the Middle East, the social, economic, and cultural practices of the ruling Arab elites indicate they are imperial satraps who have internalized the romanticized " Arab Culture " created by French, British and, later, American Orientalists; the examples include critical analyses of the colonial literature of Joseph Conrad , which conflates a people, a time, and a place into a narrative of incident and adventure in an exotic land. The critical application of post-structuralism in the scholarship of Orientalism influenced the development of literary theory , cultural criticism , and the field of Middle Eastern studies , especially regarding how academics practice their intellectual inquiry when examining, describing, and explaining the Middle East. As a public intellectual , Edward Said debated Orientalism with historians and scholars of area studies , notably, the historian Bernard Lewis , who described the thesis of Orientalism as "anti-Western". The principal characteristic of Orientalism is a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arab-Islamic peoples and their culture", which derives from Western images of what is Oriental cultural representations that reduce the Orient to the fictional essences of "Oriental peoples" and "the places of the Orient"; such cultural representations dominate the communications discourse of Western peoples with and about non-Western peoples.
Look Inside. Oct 12, ISBN Oct 01, ISBN 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. Edward W. The theme is the way in which intellectual traditions are created and transmitted.