Read Representaciones del intelectual: Ensayos sobre literatura clásica by Edward W. Said Free Online
Book Title: Representaciones del intelectual: Ensayos sobre literatura clásica|
The author of the book: Edward W. Said
Date of issue: September 22nd 2011
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What does it mean to be an intellectual at a time when a large proportion of the population is in the information business? Are
intellectuals merely the specialized servants of special interests or do they have a larger responsibility? In these wide-ranging essays, which were originally delivered as part of the BBC's prestigious Reith Lectures, one of our most brilliant and fiercely independent public thjnkers addresses those questions with extraordinary eloquence.
Edward Said sees the intellectual as an exile and amateur whose role it is "to speak the truth to power" even at the risk of ostracism or imprisonment. Drawing on the examples of Jonathan Swift and Theodor Adorno, Robert Oppellheimer and Henry Kissinger, Vietnam and the Gulf War, Said explores the implications of this idea and shows what happens when intellectuals succumb to the lures of money, power, or specialization. Representations of the Intellectual embodies the very values that it upholds: relentless honesty, rigor of thought and conscience, and a sublime disdain for dogma.
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Read information about the author(Arabic Profile إدوارد سعيد)
Edward Wadie Said (Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd], Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies. A Palestinian American born in Mandatory Palestine, he was a citizen of the United States by way of his father, a U.S. Army veteran.
Educated in the Western canon, at British and American schools, Said applied his education and bi-cultural perspective to illuminating the gaps of cultural and political understanding between the Western world and the Eastern world, especially about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; his principal influences were Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Michel Foucault, and Theodor Adorno.
As a cultural critic, Said is known for the book Orientalism (1978), a critique of the cultural representations that are the bases of Orientalism—how the Western world perceives the Orient. Said’s model of textual analysis transformed the academic discourse of researchers in literary theory, literary criticism, and Middle-Eastern studies—how academics examine, describe, and define the cultures being studied. As a foundational text, Orientalism was controversial among the scholars of Oriental Studies, philosophy, and literature.
As a public intellectual, Said was a controversial member of the Palestinian National Council, because he publicly criticized Israel and the Arab countries, especially the political and cultural policies of Muslim régimes who acted against the national interests of their peoples. Said advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state to ensure equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return to the homeland. He defined his oppositional relation with the status quo as the remit of the public intellectual who has “to sift, to judge, to criticize, to choose, so that choice and agency return to the individual” man and woman.
In 1999, with his friend Daniel Barenboim, Said co-founded the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, based in Seville, which comprises young Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab musicians. Besides being an academic, Said also was an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), a compilation of their conversations about music. Edward Said died of leukemia on 25 September 2003.