Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- University of Washington Press
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
About the Author
Daniel Martin Varisco is research professor at Qatar University and president of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. He is the editor and translator of several Arabic texts, including Medieval Agriculture and Islamic Science: The Almanac of a Yemeni Sultan.
Table of Contents
AcknowledgmentsTo the Reader
ORIENTING ORIENTALISMI "One That Cannot Now Be Rewritten"II Defin[ess]ing OrientalismIII Verbalizing an OrientIV The Growth (Benign, Cancerous, or Otherwise) of Orientalism
THE SAID AND THE UNSAID IN SAID'S MAGNUM OPUS ORIENTALEI Dissing Orientalism: All That Said Has DoneII Drawing the Fault LinesIII Self-Critique More Than Mere ImageIV A Novel Argument out of Blurred Genres
THE SEDUCTIVE CHARMS OF AND AGAINST ORIENTALISM1 Presenting and Representing OrientalismII The Essential[ism] ProblemIII What is Said (but True?) About SaidIV Beyond the Binary
What People are Saying About This
There is a lot of commentary available on Edward Said and Orientalism, but nothing like this. Varisco has compiled a comprehensive, critical overview of nearly everything that has been said on the topic. The notes and bibliography alone are a significant contribution to scholarship on Said and his work, but Varisco also uses his vast wealth of sources as the basis for a devastating critique of Said's methodology and conclusions-a critique that fairly acknowledges the beneficial consequences of Orientalism and the issues it raises.