A Critique about Saids Orientalism

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Nonetheless, the literary critic Paul De Man said that, as a literary critic, "Said took a step further than any other modern scholar of his time, something I dare not do. I remain in the safety of rhetorical analysis, where criticism is the second-best thing I do. In the book review, "The Mightier Pen? In "Disraeli as an Orientalist: The Polemical Errors of Edward Said" , Mark Proudman noted incorrect 19th-century history in Orientalism , that the geographic extent of the British Empire was not from Egypt to India in the s, because the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire in that time intervened between those poles of empire.

In For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies , Robert Irwin said that Said's concentrating the scope of Orientalism to the Middle East, especially Palestine and Egypt, was a mistake, because the Mandate of Palestine — and British Egypt — only were under direct European control for a short time, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; thus are poor examples for Said's theory of Western cultural imperialism.

Orientalism In 2 Minutes

That Orientalism should have concentrated upon good examples of imperialism and cultural hegemony , such as the British Raj of India — and Russia's dominions in Asia — , but he did not, because, as a public intellectual , Edward Said was more interested in making political points about the politics of the Middle East, in general, and of Palestine, in particular.

In the article "Said's Splash" , Martin Kramer said that, fifteen years after publication of Orientalism , the UCLA historian Nikki Keddie whom Said praised in Covering Islam , who originally had praised Orientalism as an 'important, and, in many ways, positive' book, had changed her mind. In Approaches to the History of the Middle East , Keddie criticised Said's work on Orientalism, for the unfortunate consequences upon her profession as an historian:.

I think that there has been a tendency in the Middle East field to adopt the word "orientalism" as a generalized swear-word, essentially referring to people who take the "wrong" position on the Arab—Israeli dispute , or to people who are judged too "conservative".

It has nothing to do with whether they are good or not good in their disciplines. So, "orientalism", for many people, is a word that substitutes for thought and enables people to dismiss certain scholars and their works. I think that is too bad. It may not have been what Edward Said meant at all, but the term has become a kind of slogan. In the article, "Edward Said's Shadowy Legacy" , Robert Irwin said that Said ineffectively distinguished among writers of different centuries and genres of Orientalist literature.

That the disparate examples, such as the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — who never travelled to the Orient; the French novelist Gustave Flaubert — who briefly toured Egypt; the French Orientalist Ernest Renan — , whose anti-Semitism voided his work; and the British Arabist Edward William Lane — , who compiled the Arabic—English Lexicon —93 —did not constitute a comprehensive scope of investigation or critical comparison.


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A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism , Ibn Warraq earlier had said that in Orientalism Said had constructed a binary-opposite representation, a fictional European stereotype that would counter-weigh the Oriental stereotype. Being European is the only common trait among such a temporally and stylistically disparate group of literary Orientalists.

What are the criticisms of Said's Orientalism?

Kejariwal said that with the creation of a monolithic Occidentalism to oppose the Orientalism of Western discourse with the Eastern world, Said had failed to distinguish, between the paradigms of Romanticism and the Enlightenment , and ignored the differences among Orientalists; and that he failed to acknowledge the positive contributions of Orientalists who sought kinship, between the worlds of the East and the West, rather than to create an artificial "difference" of cultural inferiority and superiority; such a man was William Jones — , the British philologist—lexicographer who proposed that Indo—European languages are interrelated.

That Said failed to adequately distinguish between the genuine experiences of the Orient and the cultural projections of Westerners. In the sociological article, "Review: Who is Afraid of Edward Said? Hence, in the article "Orients and Occidents: Washbrook said that Said and his academic cohort indulge in excessive cultural relativism , which intellectual excess traps them in a " web of solipsism ", which limits conversation exclusively to "cultural representations" and to denying the existence of any objective truth.

In the article "Orientalism Now" , the historian Gyan Prakash said that Edward Said had explored fields of Orientalism already surveyed by his predecessors and contemporaries, such as V. Kiernan , Bernard S.

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Cohn , and Anwar Abdel Malek , who also had studied, reported, and interpreted the social relationship that makes the practice of imperialism intellectually, psychologically, and ethically feasible; that is, the relationship between European imperial rule and European representations of the non-European Other self, the colonised people. Nonetheless, George Landow , of Brown University, who criticized Said's scholarship and contested his conclusions, acknowledged that Orientalism is a major work of cultural criticism.

In October , one month after the death of Edward W.


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Said — , the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star recognized the intellectual import of the book, saying "Said's critics agree with his admirers that he has single-handedly effected a revolution in Middle Eastern studies in the U. Middle Eastern Studies were taken over, by Edward Said's postcolonial studies paradigm ", Orientalism. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Accessed 4 January Iranian Memoirs in the "Land of the Free " ".

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Retrieved 6 June Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Western views of Islam in the Middle Ages Cambridge: Eastern Block book review of For Lust of Knowing: Essays in Cultural Politics , London: Imagining India , New York: Perspectives from Indian Historiography". Comparative Studies in Society and History. Castes of Mind , Princeton: Buying and Selling the Istrian Goat: Russian Foreign Policy and Orientalism".

What are the criticisms of Said's Orientalism? | eNotes

The Orientalists and Their Enemies , London: Retrieved 5 January Retrieved 7 July Proudman, " Disraeli as an Orientalist: Bayly Empire and Information , Delhi: The Orientalists and Their Enemies London: Accessed 5 January A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism. Who Is Afraid of Edward Said? Social Scientist , Vol. Washbrook, "Orients and Occidents: Edward Said's Orientalism is an examination of western representations of "eastern" cultures, and how the portrayal of Asian, North African, and Middle Eastern people in the West has been affected by the west's imperialist history.

One criticism of Said's text is the use of colloquial language, promotion of personal politics, and accusations against the racism of specific individuals, rather than maintaining a scholarly, academic tone throughout. Some critics of the book, particularly Ibn Warraq in A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism argue that Said placed an excessive amount of blame on the West without giving credit for its virtues.

Finally, critics argued that Said's text failed to differentiate between different types of Orientalism, presenting western perceptions of the East as monolithic and failing to explore a variety of perspectives, or point out the difference between individuals making racist statements and large-scale colonialism.