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Malise Ruthven, 18 February 1982

Covering Islam 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 224 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 7100 0840 6
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Heart-Beguiling Araby 
by Kathryn Tidrick.
Cambridge, 224 pp., £12.50, July 1981, 0 521 23483 2
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Inside the Iranian Revolution 
by John Stempel.
Indiana, 336 pp., £10.50, December 1981, 0 253 14200 8
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The Return of the Ayatollah 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 218 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 233 97404 0
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by David Hirst and Irene Beeson.
Faber, 384 pp., £11.50, December 1981, 0 571 11690 6
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... Edward Said is the first Palestinian to have stormed the East Coast literary establishment. His achievement has partly been the result of what his more paranoid opponents must regard as his uncanny sense of strategy. A Christian-born Arab long resident in the United States, he successfully scaled the ladder of English studies (hardly a quarter where Zionist sentries would be posted) before launching his brilliant attack on the citadel of area studies in Orientalism ...

Edward and Tilly and George

Robert Melville, 15 March 1984

Swans Reflecting Elephants: My Early Years 
by Edward James, edited by George Melly.
Weidenfeld, 178 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 297 77988 5
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... In 1935, Edward James, English and very rich, entered into an agreement to purchase from Salvador Dali his most important works. It was a funny sort of agreement, but it lasted until 1939 and during that period James acquired a large number of Dali’s Surrealist works, including the telephone with a lobster replacing the receiver, two of the sofas which represent Mae West’s lips, and the painting Autumn Cannibalism, depicting two ‘Iberian beings’ eating one another with the help of spoon and fork and, according to the painter, expressing the pathos of civil war ...

Going Against

Frank Kermode: Is There a Late Style?, 5 October 2006

On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain 
by Edward Said.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £16.99, April 2006, 9780747583653
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Late Thoughts: Reflections on Artists and Composers at Work 
edited by Karen Painter and Thomas Crow.
Getty, 235 pp., $40, August 2006, 0 89236 813 6
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... obliged to believe that Timon of Athens signified a nervous breakdown, and even the very modern Edward Said, in an unexpected aside, speaks of the ‘new spirit of reconciliation and serenity’ in The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. Such a view clearly needs to be reconsidered in the light of Leontes’s murderous jealousy and Prospero’s habitual ...

Before and After Said

Maya Jasanoff: A Reappraisal of Orientalism, 8 June 2006

For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies 
by Robert Irwin.
Allen Lane, 416 pp., £25, January 2006, 0 7139 9415 0
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... it involves – undergirds the tremendously resonant concept of ‘Orientalism’ as laid out by Edward Said in his 1978 book of that title. As Said presents it, Orientalism is a Western discourse that essentialises the Arab world in derogatory terms (as effeminate, decadent, timeless and so on), and is intimately ...

Absent Authors

John Lanchester, 15 October 1987

Criticism in Society 
by Imre Salusinszky.
Methuen, 244 pp., £15, May 1987, 0 416 92270 8
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by Malcolm Bradbury.
Deutsch, 104 pp., £5.95, September 1987, 0 233 98020 2
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... Miller) and one sympathiser (Geoffrey Hartman), two politically-minded oppositional critics (Edward Said, Frank Lentricchia) and two unclassifiable individualists (Harold Bloom, Frank Kermode). The ninth interviewee is the daddy of academic critics, the man with whom ‘we enter the critical modern age, the era of the total professionalisation of ...

Textual Harassment

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1984

The World, the Text and the Critic 
by Edward Said.
Faber, 327 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 571 13264 2
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The Deconstructive Turn: Essays in the Rhetoric of Philosophy 
by Christopher Norris.
Methuen, 201 pp., £4.95, December 1983, 0 416 36140 4
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The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. VIII: The Present 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 619 pp., £3.50, October 1983, 0 14 022271 5
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... In a recent review in this paper, Edward Said used the word ‘narrative’ about thirty times. This might have seemed a lot even in the present state of litcritspeak, and even in an essay on, say, narrative. On this occasion, however, he was writing not about literary texts but about the Palestinian troubles: an affecting topic, on which he writes with eloquence and with a generosity of vision which deserves the respect even of those whose loyalties are opposed to his ...

Nutty Professors

Hal Foster: ‘Lingua Franca’, 8 May 2003

Quick Studies: The Best of ‘Lingua Franca’ 
edited by Alexander Star.
Farrar, Straus, 514 pp., $18, September 2002, 0 374 52863 2
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... assassination of Anita Hill) are a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty. Two decades ago Edward Said argued that the function of the humanist was ‘to assure a harmless place for “the humanities” or culture or literature in society’. And a decade ago, when controversy over the curriculum was at a peak, John Guillory added that debates ...

11 September

LRB Contributors, 4 October 2001

... Much has been said in recent days about the instability of Pakistan. But the danger lies not so much within the population as a whole, where religious extremists are a small minority (more confessional votes are cast in Israel than Pakistan), as within the Army. Officers and other ranks who have worked with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Lashkar-i-Tayyaba in Kashmir have become infected with zealotry ...

What happened to Edward II?

David Carpenter: Impostors, 7 June 2007

The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the British Nation 
by Ian Mortimer.
Pimlico, 536 pp., £8.99, April 2007, 978 1 84413 530 1
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... the flower of past kings; the form of future kings; a merciful king; the peace of his peoples; Edward III, completing the jubilee of his reign; an unconquered leopard; victorious in battle like a Maccabee . . . he ruled mighty in arms; now in heaven let him be a king. So (in translation) run the verses around the tomb of ...

The One-State Solution

Virginia Tilley: The future of Israel and Palestine, 6 November 2003

... What we require is a rethinking of the present in terms of coexistence and porous borders. Edward Said, 1999 For some years, most people sympathetic to Palestinian national aspirations – or simply alert to their durability and the political dangers they pose – have assumed that a stable resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would ...

I write in Condé

Alexandra Reza, 12 May 2022

Crossing the Mangrove 
by Maryse Condé, translated by Richard Philcox.
Penguin, 170 pp., £9.99, September 2021, 978 0 241 53005 4
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Waiting for the Waters to Rise 
by Maryse Condé, translated by Richard Philcox.
World Editions, 282 pp., £12.99, August 2021, 978 1 912987 15 3
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L’Évangile du nouveau monde 
by Maryse Condé.
Buchet Chastel, 287 pp., €20, September 2021, 978 2 283 03544 3
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... to work on her descriptions of her mother’s quick temper and changing moods. ‘My mother is said to have listened to me without saying a word while I paraded in front of her dressed in a blue frock,’ Condé wrote years later. ‘Then she looked up at me, her eyes brimming with tears, to my amazement … “So that’s how you see me?” At that very ...

Wanting to Be Special

Tom Nairn, 21 March 1996

The Race Gallery: The Return of Racial Science 
by Marek Kohn.
Cape, 311 pp., £17.99, September 1995, 9780224039581
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... out of Africa rather than from the areas north of it. In which case, instead of indulging in what Edward Said calls Orientalism, there might well be present-day pallid-skin observers – ‘fulminating over Septentrionalist delusions about colourlessness: the vacant brain-pans supposed natural to the pigmentally-challenged, with their slime-grey ...

At the Royal Academy

Julian Bell: Jean-Etienne Liotard, 19 November 2015

... of Moldavia, its capital, Iaşi, belonged to an Orient that would be familiar to readers of Edward Said. A ‘degraded’ populace was mesmerised by ‘the constant expectation of the arrival of some fatal order’: the gorgeous costumes of the women rendered ‘their indolent languor peculiarly voluptuous’; doubly supine, the ladies at court ...

Let Them Drown

Naomi Klein, 2 June 2016

... Edward Said​ was no tree-hugger. Descended from traders, artisans and professionals, he once described himself as ‘an extreme case of an urban Palestinian whose relationship to the land is basically metaphorical’.* In After the Last Sky, his meditation on the photographs of Jean Mohr, he explored the most intimate aspects of Palestinian lives, from hospitality to sports to home décor ...

Ehud Barak

Avi Shlaim: Ehud Barak, 25 January 2001

... Books ran two articles about the Accord, one against and one in favour. Putting the case against, Edward Said called the agreement ‘an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles’ and argued that, in signing it, Arafat had cancelled the PLO Charter, set aside all relevant UN resolutions except 242 and 338, and compromised the ...

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