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Let’s read Edward Said.
In this page I will be posting extracts from books by Edward Said mainly ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Culture and Imperialism’ and ‘Beginnings’
And let me reiterate what I said in the class. I will give bonus mark anyone who reads ‘Orientalism’. And I promise I will be generous. While reading the book, try to post stuff you like.
- Orientalism [is] a western style for dominating, restructuring and having authority over orient.
- Disraeli said in his novel ‘Tancred’ that the east was only a career for westerners.
- The relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony and is quite accurately indicated in the title K M Panikkars classic ‘Asia and Western Dominance’
- The Orient was orientalised not only because it was discovered to be oriental in all those ways considered commonplace by an average nineteenth century Europe, but also because it could be— that is, submitted to being— made oriental.
- There is very little consent to be found, for example, in the fact that Flaubert’s encounter with an Egyptian courtesan produced a widely influential model of the oriental woman. She never spoke of herself she never represented her motions presence or history. He spoke for and represented her.
- Flaubert’s situation of strength in relation to Kuchuck Hanem was not an isolated instance. It fairly stands for the pattern of relative strength between east and west and the discourse about the orient that it enabled
- Orientalism, therefore, is not an airy European fantasy about the orient, but a created body of theory and practice in which, for many generations, there has been a considerable material investment.
- Orientalism is never far from what Denys Hay has called the idea of Europe, a collective notion identifying “us” Europeans as against all ‘those’ non-Europeans, and indeed it can be argued that the major component in European culture is precisely what made that culture hegemonic both in and outside Europe: the idea of European identity as a superior one in comparison with all the non-European peoples and cultures.
- There is in addition the hegemony of European ideas about the orient, themselves reiterating European superiority over Oriental backwardness.