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Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid / Edition 2
     

Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid / Edition 2

by Daniel Martin Varisco
 

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ISBN-10: 0295987529

ISBN-13: 9780295987521

Pub. Date: 11/28/2007

Publisher: University of Washington Press

The late Edward said remains one of the most influential critics and public intellectuals of our time, with lasting contributions to many disciplines. Much of his reputation derives from the phenomenal multidisciplinary influence of his 1978 book Orientalism. Said's seminal polemic analyzes novels, travelogues, and academic texts to argue that a dominant discourse of

Overview

The late Edward said remains one of the most influential critics and public intellectuals of our time, with lasting contributions to many disciplines. Much of his reputation derives from the phenomenal multidisciplinary influence of his 1978 book Orientalism. Said's seminal polemic analyzes novels, travelogues, and academic texts to argue that a dominant discourse of West over East has warped virtually all past European and American representations of the Near East. But despite the book's wide acclaim, no systematic critical survey of the rhetoric in Said's representation of Orientalism and the resulting impact on intellectual culture has appeared until today.

Drawing on the extensive discussion of Said's work in more than 600 bibliographic entries, Daniel Martin Varisco has written an ambitious intellectual history of the debates that Said's work has sparked in several disciplines, highlighting in particular its reception among Arab and European scholars. While pointing out Said's tendency to essentialize and privilege certain texts at the expense of those that do not comfortably fit his theoretical framework, Varisco analyzes the extensive commentary the book has engendered in Oriental studies, literary and cultural studies, feminist scholarship, history, political science, and anthropology. He employs "critical satire" to parody the exaggerated and pedantic aspects of post-colonial discourse, including Said's profound underappreciation of the role of irony and reform in many of the texts he cites. The end result is a companion volume to Orientalism and the vast research it inspired. Rather than contribute to dueling essentialisms, Varisco provides a path to move beyond thebinary of East vs. West and the polemics of blame. Reading Orientalism is the most comprehensive survey of Said's writing and thinking to date. It will be of strong interest to scholars of Middle East studies, anthropology, history, cultural studies, post-colonial studies, and literary studies.

About the Author:
Daniel Martin Varisco is professor of anthropology at Hofstra University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780295987521
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
11/28/2007
Series:
Publications on the near East Series
Edition description:
Paperback
Pages:
518
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
To the Reader     xi
Introduction     3
Orienting Orientalism     29
"One That Cannot Now Be Rewritten"     31
Defin[ess]ing Orientalism     40
Verbalizing an Orient     63
The Growth (Benign, Cancerous, or Otherwise) of Orientalism     79
The Said and the Unsaid in Said's Magnum Opus Orientale     93
Dissing Orientalism: All That Said Has Done     95
Drawing the Fault Lines     141
Self-Critique More Than Mere Image     178
A Novel Argument out of Blurred Genres     201
The Seductive Charms of and Against Orientalism     235
Presenting and Representing Orientalism     237
The Essential[ism] Problem     251
What Is Said (but True?) About Said     267
Beyond the Binary     290
Notes     307
Bibliography     423
Index     489

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