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Descriptions du produit

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"The theme is the way in which intellectual traditions are created and trans-mitted... Orientalism is the example Mr. Said uses, and by it he means something precise. The scholar who studies the Orient (and specifically the Muslim Orient), the imaginitive writer who takes it as his subject, and the institutions which have been concerned with teaching it, settling it, ruling it, all have a certain representation or idea of the Orient defined as being other than the Occident, mysterious, unchanging and ultimately inferior." --Albert Hourani, New York Review of Books --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

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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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 432 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Classics; Édition : 25th Anniversary Ed with 1995 Afterword Ed (28 août 2003)
  • Collection : Penguin Modern Classics
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0141187425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141187426
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,6 x 12,7 x 2,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 499 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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On June 13, 1910, Arthur James Balfour lectured the House of Commons on "the problems with which we have to deal in Egypt." Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par LouisaBalata le 24 mai 2009
Format: Broché
even if you're not interested in social sciences, this is a great book to read, and easy to read ( which is not always the case with social sciences ). Pusblished years ago, it's still necessary, and helps understand a lot of things that are happening around us, in any fields.
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335 internautes sur 391 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Anti Essentialism & Controversial 27 octobre 2001
Par AA - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book and Edward Said in general seem capable of generating such intense controversy. Many reviewers of this book seem to forget actually to review the work and focus on attacking Edward Said as a person, many others still forget to review the book and proceed to speak for Palestinian rights and the negative western attitudes of Islam. I will attempt to present an actual review of this book based on MY own reading of it.
In Orientalism, Said sets about dismantling the study of the "orient" in general with primary focus on the Islamic Near East. Said argues that concepts such as the Orient, Islam, the Arabs, etc. are too vast to be grouped together and presented as one coherent whole, encompassing all there is to know about the subject. Said bases his view on the shear width and breadth of the subject, the inherent bias of conflicting cultures and more recently the role of the Orientalism in colonialism. It is indeed difficult to attempt to represent a book that is so focused on anti essentialism.
Said's research of western / occidental discourse was very thorough indeed and he does illustrate through repeated examples how misinformation sufficiently repeated can become accepted academic work. Said also presents an analysis of the causes and motives and theorizes about his findings. A lengthy and a times tedious discussion of the origins of Orientalism is rather repetitive and hard to follow for a non specialist like me.
Edward Said however seem to have fallen in the same trap he attributes to Orientalism, he has not attempted to explore Arab writings of the periods he discussed nor has he attempted to present (possibly even read) work by Egyptian and Arab historians of the periods he was addressing save for work carried out in the west and within western universities. In doing so, Said fails to see how the modern and contemporary "orient" sees itself through primarily "oriental" eyes such as Ibn Khaldoun, Al Maqrizi and also through the writings of orientalists like Lane. Said also fails to address the work carried out by orientalists based on many manuscripts of Orientals.
I particularly enjoyed Said's analysis of the strong ties that Orientalism has with power and colonialism. Said analysis of the diverging development of the British and French practice based on the latter's limited success as a colonial power was very enjoyable and very well thought out. The Orientalism Today and indeed the Afterwards section are also very informative and as these were more familiar areas for Said his presentation of ideas and thoughts came across more clearly and the writing was far less tedious than the earlier parts of the book.
Orientalism is not an easy read, it will challenge many established views, indeed it has already with a fair degree of success led to changes in the way the Near East is studied. To me, most of all I see this as a book that offers in part a largely coherent explanation for the on-going misunderstanding between the West and the Near East and in Islam. And while Occidentalism does not exist as a field of study in a place like Egypt per se, Said fails to see that the west is viewed largely in terms of its wealth, promiscuous habits, hypocrisy and anti Islam and thus fails to see it as 2 way street, albeit with unequal power.
This is by no means a the definitive correction of the history of the Middle East or Near Orient, it is however a very legitimate and serious study of a field of study that no doubt has a lot to answer for!
49 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Seminal but Flawed Work on Colonialism 17 juin 2000
Par Stephen Graham - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
When it was written, Orientalism administered a much-needed correction to the study of the Arab and Asian worlds. Any historian, social scientist or humanist working in related fields should own a copy.
The strength of Edward Said's Orientalism is its highlighting of the underlying assumptions of dominance and subjection in Orientalist scholarship. Said correctly points out that the British, French and United States have relied on the reduction of the Orient to an academic study backed by a mythical image of its inhabitants and cultures as more primitive, passionate, mystical and illogical. Complementing this has been a presumption of Western superiority that allows diagnosis of social ills and prescription of Western remedies for these ills.
Said also pointed out a secondary weakness in the Orientalist approach to its studies. If Westerners presume the Orient to be more passionate and mystical, they may assume that it provides absolute alternatives to the ills of Western culture and modernism. Thus the span of Western history scrutinized by Said has seen individuals and groups embracing ill-understood religions and cultural precepts. The anti-majoritan/left-leaning subcultures arising during the upheavals of the 1960's are particularly susceptible to this.
This leads naturally to Aijid Ahmad's primary criticism of Said. Orientalism doesn't consider the varied responses of the Orient/Third-World to its theories. In particular, Ahmad correctly points out that Orientalism over-focuses blames on the West and doesn't address the self-inflicted problems of "Oriental" societies. Based on this criticism, the proper approach is to balance the effects of Western Orientalism and the indigenous difficulties. Essentially, Ahmad advocates abandoning the simple depiction of the Orient for a complex and layered reality.
Orientalism's uncriticized weakness lies in its treatment of Europe. Said willingly admits his limited focus on Britain, France and United States may miss some important scholarship found elsewhere. This concentration has some logic to it. His trio of nations has been among the strongest if not dominant powers in the colonial and post-colonial world. A complete survey of European Orientalism could run for several volumes. Yet in this focus, Said misses those European nations who had had longer and more intricate relations with the "Orient".
Said mentions his lack of attention to German scholarship on the Orient. Beyond the loss in additional scholarship, he cannot take account of the direct influence of the German academic tradition on the rest of Europe and particularly the United States. Beyond this immediate effect, Said loses the transmitted experience of the German Reich's participation in the direct struggle against the Ottoman Empire. While he mentions the Medieval and Renaissance hostility to Islam based on direct threat and conflict, he ignores the extension of this conflict into the 18th and 19th centuries. Yet this conflict remained a dominant factor in the existence of the Austrian and Russian Empires. As long as the struggle continued, the Orient in the form of Islam would have a direct influence on the course of European history. The simple illustration of this is the European approach to independence for the Balkan states and occasional support for the Ottomans versus an opponent. While this support was partially based on the perceived weakness of the Ottomans and resultant manipulability, it also concedes the existence of some real and beneficial power.
Said's exclusion of other European states weakens his structure in a different manner. It's useful to consider the British and French perceptions of Austria and Russia. A simple interpretation of Orientalism presumes a unified Europe as opposed to the Orient. Yet this ignores the equally institutionalized denigration of Austria and Russia. We can refer to the image of the mythical Slavic province of Ruritania (cf. Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda), a den of intrigue and iniquity. Add to this Said's notes on the relative knowledge of the Near Orient versus the Far Orient. This suggests more of a subtle gradation in the construction of the Other than is represented by Orientalism's sharp division between Occident and Orient.
Other historical patterns also stress the need for the representation of a more complex Occident. For instance Said argues that European exploration and extension of trade routes to India and the Far East shows hostility to Islam. A simpler explanation may be mercantile concerns for lowering expenses and increasing profits. Direct trade was more profitable than relying on Arab middlemen. The Arab reaction to Portuguese penetration of the Indian Ocean reflected a concern with being excluded from the profits of trade with India rather than with the intrusion of a new power in the region. This concern with trade leads to different motivations for learning languages and examining cultures. A variety of motivations for scholarship argue for a more complex Occident. The need for more complexity does not necessarily invalidate Said's central points on the institutionalized domination common to Western European Orientalism. Rather it demands refinement of a useful critique of the study of colonialism.
42 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Orientalism Revisited 7 décembre 2001
Par Jason Motlagh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Compounded by debauched images like the one on the cover page of Orientalism, the collective Western sub-conscious in regards to Arab-Islamic culture has been undeniably clouded by a style of thought that harbors superiority. One need look no further than our most esteemed news sources. For this, according to Said, we have Orientalism to blame.
It is the contemporary backlash of Orientalist stereotypes turned prejudices that so disturb author Edward Said. In his view, the resulting legacy of fear and estrangement that characterize the socio-political status quo between the West and Arab nations (and Islam as an ethos) cannot be understated. The irony is that despite the fact that information is more accessible than ever, Oriental biases are being perpetuated more than ever, with shameless stereotypes of Islam being used as fodder on film and even mainstream news-media. This is exemplified by our modern coverage of foreign policy in the Middle East throughout the past century. Diplomatic hypocrisies are whitewashed by the media machine with latent, age-old stereotypes that surface when strategic interests are at risk. Following years of partnership (amidst ethnic-cleansing), the US media ?at the behest of the government ?suddenly saturated the public with the caricature of Iraq's Saddam Hussein as the crazed Arab. Though true, this was marketed at convenience (nevermind Halabja), with the inevitable cultural watershed going unquestioned in the long-term, reducing normal Arabs to "rag-heads?of the little value in the mainstream mind. Similarly in Iran, the US government's coup of the first-ever democratically elected government set the table for Khomeini's stringent Islamic regime years later. Anti-American images and rhetoric dominated our media while opposing motivations were never examined. Overnight, Iranians went from being civilized partners to a sworn enemy. As our media/ government would have us believe, it was only a matter of time before the "other?side lapsed into it's degenerate nature. Though rarely put so bluntly, this is what it is.
Because Orientalism is rooted in canonical history, literature, and art, its treatment is necessarily as exhaustive as the subject is vast. To more effectively address this breadth, Said makes three major claims in Orientalism upon which he builds his case against: that though purporting to be objective, Orientalism served political ends; that Orientalism helped define Europe's self-image; and finally, that Orientalism has produced a distorted and thus false description of Arabs and Islamic culture. In reading the text, one cannot help but appreciate the acute machinations of the author's mind at work, wielding insight that is both incisive and original. Often times, however, the language employed can be painfully esoteric, to the point that one is naturally inclined to grow weary, if not skeptical, of the substance behind the style. It is fair to say that if one read this book casually (though hard to imagine) without a critical mindset, the sheer pretension of the text might compel the reader to accept Said's theories wholesale. And yet while Said's conclusions and scope are revolutionary in themselves, and much of his argument plainly convincing, the case for Orientalism is not without flaws.
Although Said divides his argument three ways, the task of encompassing such a broad concept in a small volume is daunting. Many pieces of knowledge elemental to the development of his arguments are presupposed along the way i.e. historical figures, events, dates implying political context etc., etc. Though the book is supposed to be confined to the colonial era, Said strays as far as Greek history to explain antecedents of Orientalist philosophy, all the while dropping names like Flaubert and Dante as though they were next-door-neighbors. If one is not an exceptionally diversified historian, this makes for a rather fragmented understanding of the case. The need to investigate references on the side is almost certain, at the expense of Said's momentum.
Looking at the heart of his case, Said's assumptions of causality are largely insufficient. Early on he contends that "colonial rule was justified by Orientalism? a statement that is postured as fact though he fails to adequately support it with coherent evidence. A stronger case could be made for trade and military causes as being the main catalyst of the West's (primarily France & England) imperial agenda in the Middle East. Michel Foucault's theorem that knowledge always generates power is treated at length to bolster this claim. Nonetheless, ultimately one can only conclude that Orientalism gave the West a better grasp of Oriental culture accompanied by an unspoken sentiment of eminence, as colonial motivations and objectives are left unexplained. This pre-empts the question as to whether culture and politics are moderately interrelated, or one and the same. Said makes mention of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in a hollow attempt at illustration, arguing that "reading (the book) was a part of the European effort to hold on to, think about, plan for Africa? In effect he makes a presumption that can in no way be upheld or refuted by historical evidence and is thus weightless. Liberal assertions of this quality appear intermittently as the book progresses, at once logical and confounding to a student of history used to endorsing hard evidence rather than a good reputation.
Indeed Said may have very well bit of more than he could chew. But to his credit, he made a bold case for himself in an area that most scholars would dare not approach. Methodological shortcomings aside ?specifically his assumptions of causality in history - Said's arguments in Orientalism spawned an intense intellectual debate spanning many fields of scholarship that has yet to lose any steam. He makes it clear that as humans we are apt to project, but must first attempt to search ourselves according to our varying identities. More importantly, Said articulates the plight of many disenfranchised people in a manner that demands attention and respect. So while the flesh of his case against Orientalism may be spoilt in some respects, the bones are in tact.
98 internautes sur 125 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Arguably flawed but exceptionally potent and important 31 janvier 2002
Par Earl Hazell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Public opinion has gone in and out like the tides on Said's book since I first read it some six odd years ago. It has been said that the primal characteristic of a truly enlightened mind is its ability to entertain two seemingly contradictory ideas at the same time; in that context I find it odd that people can be so proud of their total discrediting of Said's work in favor of the preeminent and (seemingly) diametrically opposed Bernard Lewis. It is obvious to me that both men have something provocative to teach us about Europe and America's relationship with the Middle East (as it has been over the centuries and is reflected in culture and scholarship), and both need to be heard in that context.
It is not often that a brilliantly, exhaustively researched book on an alternatingly controversial and trivialized subject can engender an emotional response of the magnitude with which this work does--which usually means that it is worth reading. In documenting the psychological architecture of the western mind and its perspective on the East--or the "Orient"--he deconstructs it. The idea that it exists deconstructs it by nature; before reading this book you will swear that most of what we know of the Arabian East is the absolute truth, without even being aware that it's been either romanticized into impotence or isn't much of anything complimentary, let alone influential.
I rate ORIENTALISM, for its effect on our psyche as Americans alone (regardless of race or assumed political leanings), as one of the most important books written in the last decades of the 20th century. The world looks the way it does not because of natural law, like the reasons why the Sahara has become a desert--or at least not by the natural laws we have imagined. Edward Said, regardless of the possibility of biases coming through his scholarship, regardless of the political realities he left out of his thesis, shows this in remarkable fashion to people--like myself--who never considered this fact's existence (let alone its influence on my perceptions of the Middle East in all their forms).
Be mature enough to accept that it is not the only educated opinion or set of facts about our complex world, and this book will be a great read and teach a great deal. I would suggest triangulating ORIENTALISM with Karen Armstrong's HOLY WAR and Moseddeq Ahmed's WAR ON FREEDOM, for a truly eye-opening experience of the Western psyche regarding the East.
32 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An exhaustive review of European literature about the East 17 décembre 1999
Par Michel Deacon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Whatever one may chose to believe about Said's methodology, one cannot question his vast erudition concerning Western literature about the Middle East. Said presents a rigorous and thoroughgoing exegesis of Western texts about the "Orient" and covers virtually the entire gamut in European letters, from Nietzsche to Karl Marx, from British colonialsim to American social science. His penetrating criticism of this material constitutes a significant contribution to the canon of literature.
One may argue against the merit of Said's more radical interpretation of these texts, namely, that the concept of the "Orient" is a sweeping generalization that lacks "ontological stability," and must be understood as a discourse of power in Western literature. This is a fascinating and intellectually pregnant thesis, although many may find it recondite and polemical.
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