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Culture and Imperialism

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His careful analyses made clear how much is contained in literature that can pass without notice to the casual reader. Labels … are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind.

In this sense the counterpoint does not consist in the traditional parallel between an author and his or her critics. Besides being an academic, Said also was an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), a compilation of their conversations about music. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. There are four essays that consider Said’s career and criticism, in addition to Sprinker’s brief and informative introduction.This brought forth the realization that it would have to take an American a "personal interest" to choose to read "something else. Contrapuntal reading requires not only reading the text in terms of what it includes but in terms of what has been excluded from it (66-67). The well written book about contrast between Third World cultures' and imperial nature of Western power. Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism employs a “contrapuntal” reading strategy by which he asserts the needs to examine texts from the perspectives of both colonized and colonizer. Echoing Fanon on the "Pitfalls of National Consciousness", Said seeks to chart the trajectory of a "liberationist" tendency that went beyond the nationalism that led to the establishment of post-colonial nation states: "There is the possibility of a more generous and pluralistic vision of the world, in which imperialism courses on, as it were, belatedly in different forms.

The great strength of this book, compared to "Orientalism", was Saïd's analysis of the "resistance and opposition" which grew- and continues to grow- to the aforementioned imperialist culture. The imperial nations have not only the right but the obligation to rule those nations lost in barbarism to civilize them. The Foucauldian manner in which he excavates these materials is well suited, I’m only saddened that I’m not familiar with all the works he mentions (which I’m sure diluted my understanding of his thesis). S. and French literature is not to dismiss the literature of unworthy of analysis but to suggest the need for the complexity of our analysis and examination of literature in relationship to empire.

Besides his academic work, he wrote a twice-monthly column for Al-Hayat and Al-Ahram; was a regular contributor to newspapers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; and was the music critic for The Nation.

On the contrary, it is clear that he admires these works for their artistic and aesthetic achievements. The late chapters change course a bit, but the same spirit, speaking to American physical and cultural imperialism and the current events at the time of Said's writing (1993): The Gulf War and the role of the media in how this was reported/covered, and discussed, Saddam Hussein, Iraq and Gulf States, the tensions in Iran, Rushdie's fatwa, and the on-going occupations and intifada in Palestine, Said's birthplace. Like, yeah, culture plays a central role in maintaining and confirming power/ hegemonic ideology, imperialist or otherwise. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems to no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about.They are simply examples leading to the bigger picture that Edward Said is gradually revealing before our eyes. He is the author of twenty-two books which have been translated into 35 languages, including Orientalism (1978); The Question of Palestine (1979); Covering Islam (1980); The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983); Culture and Imperialism (1993); Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process (1996); and Out of Place: A Memoir (1999). In treating Passage to India, for example, Said ignores most of the critics’ readings, Nicholas Furbank’s biography of Forster, and even The Hill of Devi, and constructs a different view drawn from. My earlier sense of dismay as to why we had not studied Edward Said at University started to shift to the question of: who would want to read this examination of literature in the first place if not for students or professors of literature! We gain an understanding on why the United States first supports Saddam, just to demonize him into an Arab Hitler (1991), yet to make friends with him again, just before his overthrown (2003).

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