United for Peace of Pierce County (www.ufppc.

org): Digging Deeper XII: December 12, 2005 Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, [2003]; orig. ed. 1978). 25th anniversary edition with a new preface by the author. Afterword dated 1994.
Acknowledgments. “[M]ost of this book was written during 1975-1976” at Stanford. Ibrahim AbuLughod, Noam Chomsky, and Roger Owen “followed this project from its beginning to its conclusion” (xi). Epigraphs: Marx: “They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented” [given in the original German on p. 21]; Disraeli: “The East is a career” ([xiii]). Preface to the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition. Dated “New York, May 2003.” [Said died on Sept. 24, 2003.] Expresses discouragement at continued problems in being understood, but affirms “faith in the ungoing and literally unending process of emancipation and enlightenment that, in my opinion, frames and gives direction to the intellectual vocation” (xv). Now translated into 36 languages (xv). Not only personal experience, but the “almost-utopian” American university played a role in the book’s existence (xvi). Rejects view that clash of civilizations is occurring, despite Iraq war (xvii-xviii). Understanding of Arabs and Islam has not improved (xviii). Orientalism playing a role among neoconservatives (xix-xxi). Imperialism seems never to have ended (xxi-xxii). Orientalism intends “to use humanistic critique to open up the fields of struggle” (xxii). Said defends “humanism” (xxiii). Responsibility and importance of the humanistic intellectual, a tradition weakened by dilution of education; defense of reason (xxiii-xxvii). Attacks Rumsfeld, Perle, and Cheney as well as Arab anti-Americanism (xxvii-xxviii). Reject reductionism; focus on individuals (xxviii-xxix). Praise for “the enormously encouraging democratic field of cyberspace” (xxix). “I would like to believe that Orientalism has had a place in the long and often interrupted road to human freedom” (xxx). Introduction. I. A (“mainly, although not exclusively” [4])French and British tradition. “The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a mode of discourse with supporting institution, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles” (2). Meanings of Orientalism : (i) academic field (2); (ii) a “style of thought” based on the Orient/Occident distinction (2-3); (iii) the “corporate institution for dealing with the Orient” (with a bow to Foucault) (3-4). II. Like “the West,” “the Orient” is a man-made idea with a history and “a tradition of thought, imagery, and vocabuluary that have given it reality and presence for the West” (5). Foucault not interested in “the Orient” per se, i.e., with the question of the correspondence to reality, but in “the internal consistency of Orientalism” (5). It exists as part of “a relationship of power, of domination” (5). Orientalism should not be assumed to be a structure of lies and myths; it is rather a very strong “sign of European-Atlantic power over the Orient” (6). Gramsci’s distinction of cultural from political society (consent vs. direct domination); Orientalism is a form of “cultural hegemony” (6-7). Balancing the “general” and the “particular” (8-9). III. “Three aspects of my contemporary reality”: 1. “The distinction between pure and political knowledge”: All knowledge of the Orient is in some way “tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact” of imperial interest, resulting in a “distribution of geopolitical awareness into aesthetic, scholarly, economic, sociological, historical, and philological texts,” though there is considerable intellectual resistance to this notion (9-15). 2. Methodology. Difficulty of beginning. Limits self to “the Anglo-FrenchAmerican experience of the Arabs and Islam, which for almost a thousand years stood for the Orient” (17). Neglect of German scholarship a weakness (18-19). Methodological devices for studying authority: strategic location (author in text) and strategic formation (relations among texts) (20). Surface, exterior features the chief concern (20-21). Historical complexity (22). “[N]ever has there been a nonmaterial form of Orientalism, much less something so innocent as an ‘idea’ of the Orient” (23). But Saide asserts (pace Foucault) the influence of individual writers (23). A very incomplete account (24). Audiences: students of literature and culture; students of the Orient; general readers; third-world readers (24-25). Outline of the book (25). 3. The personal dimension. Since 1950s, East-West relations are in a turbulent period, complicated by anti-Arab and anti-Islamic prejudices, Zionism, and “the almost total absence of any cultural position making it possible” to consider Arabs and Islam “dispassionately” (26-27). Orientalism a “secret sharer” of Western anti-Semitism (27). Hopes to stimulate “a new kind of dealing with the Orient,” even the elimination of the “Orient” and the “Occident” altogether (28). Chapter 1: The Scope of Orientalism. I. Knowing the Oriental. Analysis of knowledge and power in Arthur James Balfour’s June 13, 1910, address to Parliament on Egypt (31-36). Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer’s January 1908 essay in the Edinburgh Review on the character of Orientals (3639). These views are not rationalizations of

occupation, since they existed in advance of occupation (39). The Oriental is “contained and represented by dominating frameworks” (40). Western dominance was the context in which Orientalism developed (41-42). Napoleon’s 1798 invasion of Egypt set the keynote for the relationship (42-43). An Orientalist “Establishment” developed in the 19th century (43). But it existed by virtue of “a political vision of reality” (43-45). The “main intellectual issue raised by Orientalism: can one divide human reality, as indeed human reality seems to be genuinely divided, into clearly different cultures, histories, traditions, societies, even races, and survive the consequences humanly?” i.e. is there “any way of avoiding the hostility expressed by the division”? (45). Kissinger as contemporary illustration (46-48). A 1972 essay by Harold W. Glidden on Arab mentality (48-49). II. Imaginative Geography and Its Representations: Orientalizing the Oriental. Application of Bachelardian “poetics of space” to representations of Islam up to 1700 (49-73). “[I]t is finally Western ignorance which becomes more refined and complex, not some body of positive Western knowledge” (62). “Philosophically . . . Orientalism very generally is a form of radical realism . . . Rhetorically speaking, Orientalism is absolutely anatomical and enumerative . . . Psychologically, Orientalism is a form of paranoia” (72). III. Projects. Operation successes of Orientalism (which demonstrate that “in general it was the West that moved upon the East, not vice versa” [73]). Islam as “provocation” (74). Anquetil-Duperron, 1759 translation of the Avesta & 1786 translation of the Upanishads (76-77). William Jones goes to India, 1783 (77-79). Napoleon’s 1798 expedition (79-83). The Description de l’Égypte (23 vols., 1809-1823) (83-88). Ferdinand de Lesseps; the Suez Canal as an expression of Orientalism (88-92). IV. Crisis. The “textual attitude” (reliance on texts to guide real relations) (92-94). Oriental silence as a consequence of this attitude and of the West’s will to power over the Orient) (94-95). Imperial domination a “preposterous transition” (96). Anwar Abdel Malek’s 1963 characterization of the essentialism of relations to the Orient (97). Schlegel’s racism (98-99). Disenchantment with the actual places when visited (100-01). Preconceptions, stereotypes (101-04). Crisis in Orientalism as political challenges emerge (104). Essentializing Islam to “tent and tribe” as a response (105). Satirical, polemical description of attitudes toward Orient (106-10). Chapter 2: Orientalist Structures and Restructures. I: Redrawn Frontiers, Redefined Issues, Secularized Religion. Application of M.H. Abrams’s Natural Supernaturalism to Orientalism: “the essential aspects of modern Orientalist theory

and praxis . . . can be understood . . . as a set of structures inherited from the past, secularized, redisposed, and reformed by such discipliens as philology, which in turn were naturalized, modernized, and laicized substitutes for (or versions of) Christian supernaturalism” (122) ( II: Silvestre de Sacy and Ernest Renan: Rational Anthropology and Philological Laboratory. Silvestre de Sacy (1757-1838), first president of the Société asiatique and producer of texts and a scholarly practice (123-30). Ernest Renan (1823-1892) is presented as “a type of cultural and intellectual praxis” and in very aggressive pages accused of racist aim of his ethnocentric philology (Said’s style of attack seems influenced by Nietzsche and Barthes) (130-148). [Selon moi, this attack on Renan is more necessitated by Renan’s historical position vis-à-vis Said’s argument than by the content of Renan’s ideas.] III. Oriental Residence and Scholarship: The Requirements of Lexicography and Imagination. Comparative treatments of the Orient that support race prejudice even if they are not inspired by it. Caussin de Perceval (151-52). Carlyle (152). Marx (153-55). Types of experiences of visiting the Orient: gathering material for science (Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians); gathering material for writing (Burton, Pilgrimage to al-Madinah and Meccah); some personal project (Nerval, Voyage en Orient). Lane (158-66). IV. Pilgrims and Pilgrimages, British and French. The Oriental experience as unsettling, threatening (166-67). Reflections on pilgrimage (168-69). French pilgrims experience “a sense of acute loss” because of the absence of a French presence in the Orient (169-71). Chateaubriand (171-76). Lamartine’s “imperialist Voyage” (17679). Nerval and Flaubert (179-80). Nerval (181-84). Flaubert’s “eminently corporeal,” sexualized Orient (184-90). English writers have a less fantastic notion of the Orient because they “confront a set of imposing resistances” (192-93). Kinglake’s Eothen (1844) (193-94). Burton wins high praise for actually learning something about the Orient, but is still full of “a sense of assertion and domination” (194-97). Chapter 3: Orientalism Now. I. Latent and Manifest Orientalism. Pause to take stock; Westerners’ “sense of confrontation” in dealing with “the East” (201-04). “My contention is that Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient because the Orient was weaker than the West, which elided the Orient’s difference with its weakness. . . . As a cultural apparatus Orientalism is all aggression, activity, judgment, will-to-truth, and knowledge” (204). Argues for the constancy of “an almost unconcious” latent Orientalism underlying the varioius changes

in manifest Orientalism (206). Latent Orientalism is macho, takes the Orient’s weakness for granted (206-10). The adminstrators’ perspective: Cromer & Curzon (210-15). Geography becomes a key discipline (215-20). “Britain was in Egypt and Mesopotamia . . . France, on the other hand, seemed fated to hover over the Orient” (220). Orientalism “delivered” the Orient to the West in the early 20th century (221-23). The expert; British and French national differences (223-25). II. Style, Expertise, Vision: Orientalism’s Worldliness. Creation of the notion of the White Man; race consciousness develops (226-33). Modern orientalism takes as its cornerstone the identification of present and origin (as in Jews and Muslims): the notion of arrested development (23337). “Out of such a coercive framework . . . the work of the great twentieth-century Oriental experts derived” (237). The Orientalist as Western agent: T.E. Lawrence (237-43). Maurice Barrès (243-46). An instrumental attitude develops; Asia is regarded as a threat (246-54). III. Modern Anglo-French Orientalism in Fullest Flower. Until WWI, the Orientalist was thought to be a generalist (255-57). Auerback as illustration (258-61). Orientalism is intellectually backward (261). H.A.R. Gibb & Louis Massignon as representive types; their conceptions of Islam analyzed (263-84). Said, a postmodernist, is skeptical about representation itself: “the real issue is whether indeed there can be a true representation of anything” (272). “My whole point about this system is not that it is a misrepresentation of some Oriental essence — in which I do not for a moment believe — but that it operates as representations usually do, for a purpose, according to a tendency, in a specific historical, intellectual, and even economic setting” (273). IV. The Latest Phase. Emergence of “the Arab Muslim” as “a figure in American popular culture” in the post-WWII period (284). Popular images (28587). Social science representations (288-93). U.S. Orientalism (293-300). The “Middle East studies establishment” (301-02). The Cambridge History of Islam, summum of orthrodox Orientalism (1970) (302-050. Twentieth-century persistence of the myth of Islam (306-12). P.J. Vatikiotis, ed., Revolution in the Middle East and Other Case Studies (1972). Anti-Bernard Lewis polemic (31420). The use of Orientalism in policy jargon (32124). What is the alternative to Orientalism? (325). “How does one represent other cultures? What is another culture?” (325). Orientalism a “failure”; call for work “promoting human community” instead (328). Afterword [1994]. I. Orientalism’s gestation and then doubtful future (329). Translated into French, Arabic, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, and Swedish; Greek, Russian, Norwegian, and

Chinese translations are underway (329-30). “Orientalism now seems to me a collective book” (330). Said rejects the caricatures according to which the book is anti-Western or pro-Islamist; by being essentialist they miss the point entirely (33034). The image of a mythic Orientalism doing battle with the powerful is popular (335-37). Said a critic of “a gloating and uncritical nationalism” (337-38). Problems with Arab reception of work (338-39). Charges of “‘residual’ humanism” (339-40). Bernard Lewis (341-45). II. The current situation (346). Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” [Said appears not to know that Lewis originated this] is preposterous and is linked to U.S. policymakers (347-48). Post-modernism and post-colonialism as two important “broad currents” deserving the attention of all (348-51). Notes. 4 pp. (Sources only.) Index. 18 pp. About the Author. [1935-2003] Was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Culture and Imperialism. Out of Place, memoir.

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