PDA

View Full Version : New book about Edward Said



ColoradoGuy
06-18-2010, 10:00 PM
There's a new book out about Edward Said called The Charisma of Criticism. You can find a review here (http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Reviews-Essays/Edward-Said-The-Charisma-of-Criticism/ba-p/2721), by way of Crooked Timber (http://crookedtimber.org/). Said more or less invented postcolonial studies with his book Orientalism. The review (and the book, apparently) don't get much into his theories. There is much in it, though, about how being a public figure, as Said was with his Palestinian advocacy, can affect your academic work. And of course he became the yardstick against which the upcoming Young Guns in postcolonial studies measured themselves:

"And so, two or three generations of young radical intellectuals have now had the pleasure of discovering that they are ever so much more radical than Edward Said. It must be very pleasant for them, but none of them has yet amounted to a replacement."

Maxx
06-18-2010, 10:36 PM
There's a new book out about Edward Said called The Charisma of Criticism. You can find a review here (http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Reviews-Essays/Edward-Said-The-Charisma-of-Criticism/ba-p/2721), by way of Crooked Timber (http://crookedtimber.org/). Said more or less invented postcolonial studies with his book Orientalism. The review (and the book, apparently) don't get much into his theories. There is much in it, though, about how being a public figure, as Said was with his Palestinian advocacy, can affect your academic work. And of course he became the yardstick against which the upcoming Young Guns in postcolonial studies measured themselves:

"And so, two or three generations of young radical intellectuals have now had the pleasure of discovering that they are ever so much more radical than Edward Said. It must be very pleasant for them, but none of them has yet amounted to a replacement."

I saw Said lecture in 1977. I had walked into the lecture hall with some Jews who were wearing Palestinian Kafiyyas. There were some real Palestinians there who were too polite (it was 1977 after all) to wear Kafiyyas. The Palestinians were a bit irritated and apprehended one Jew-in-Kaffiyya and said "Oh a commando." But Said turned up and everyone got ready to listen, despite the atmosphere of agitation (Sadat had just gone to Jerusalem). At the time Said was more famous for Beginnings,
but he soon showed he'd gotten past that.

Of possible related interest is a fairly old book:

http://www.amazon.com/Oriental-Renaissance-Rediscovery-1680-1880-Foundations/dp/023104139X

which Said seems to have read carefully for his book on Orientalism.

ColoradoGuy
06-18-2010, 10:45 PM
Fascinating. What was he like as a lecturer? It would have been prior to his later, wider notoriety, I imagine.

Maxx
06-18-2010, 10:53 PM
Fascinating. What was he like as a lecturer? It would have been prior to his later, wider notoriety, I imagine.

It was right on the cusp.
I think he was on the Palestinian National Council, but I'm not sure.
He was a big, vigourous man, incredibly handsome with a fine beard. He spent most of his time saying that he was no longer interested in doing
lit crit the way he had been.

I saw Gayatri C. Spivak at about the same time and I thought she was a much better lecturer. I think she later went the post-colonial route, but at that point she was still deep into talking about how much fun Derrida was to read. She made Gla sound like the most wonderful book of all time.

ColoradoGuy
06-19-2010, 01:51 AM
Our own Medievalist has claimed that Derrida is fun to read . . . in French. In English it's tough sledding for me as a nonspecialist. He seems to delight in making it difficult, rather than less so. I suppose that's his privilege as a thinker, but not as an author.