Orientalism: Western Concepts of the Orient

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9780140238679: Orientalism: Western Concepts of the Orient

For generations now, Edward W. Said's Orientalism has defined our understanding of colonialism and empire, and this Penguin Modern Classics edition contains a preface written by Said shortly before his death in 2003.In this highly-acclaimed work, Edward Said surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation - a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the 'otherness' of eastern culture, customs and beliefs. He traces this view through the writings of Homer, Nerval and Flaubert, Disraeli and Kipling, whose imaginative depictions have greatly contributed to the West's romantic and exotic picture of the Orient. Drawing on his own experiences as an Arab Palestinian living in the West, Said examines how these ideas can be a reflection of European imperialism and racism.Edward W. Said (1935-2003) was a Palestinian-American cultural critic and author, born in Jerusalem and educated in Egypt and the United States. His other books include The Question of Palestine, Culture and Imperialism and Out of Place: A Memoir.If you enjoyed Orientalism, you might like Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.'Stimulating, elegant and pugnacious'Observer'Beautifully patterned and passionately argued'New Statesman'Very exciting ... his case is not merely persuasive, but conclusive' John Leonard, New York Times'Magisterial'Terry Eagleton

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Product Description:

More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic.

In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined "the orient" simply as "other than" the occident. This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.

From the Inside Flap:

The noted critic and a Palestinian now teaching at Columbia University,examines the way in which the West observes the Arabs.

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Edward W. Said
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