Edward Said

Orientalisme — hasselbaink on October 24, 2006 at 8:48 am

Alle moderne mellemøststudiers moder og en løgner i verdensklasse.


I det tilfælde at du ikke orker at trave igennem den intellektuelle ørkenvandring som Saids ‘Orientalisme’ er, anbefaler jeg hermed to artikler af henholdsvis Ibn Warraq og Martin Crane:

Debunking Edward Said af Ibn Warraq.

Said attacks not only the entire discipline of Orientalism, which is devoted to the academic study of the Orient, but which Said accuses of perpetuating negative racial stereotypes, anti-Arab and anti-Islamic prejudice, and the myth of an unchanging, essential “Orient”, but he also accuses Orientalists as a group of complicity with imperial power, and holds them responsible for creating the distinction between Western superiority and Oriental inferiority, which they achieve by suppressing the voice of the “oriental”, and by their anti-human tendency to make huge, but vague generalizations about entire populations, which in reality consist of millions of individuals. In other words, much of what was written about the Orient in general, and Islam and Islamic civilisation in particular, was false. The Orientalists also stand accused of creating the “Other” – the non-European, always characterised in a negative way, as for example, passive, weak, in need of civilizing.( western strength and eastern weakness )…

… Thus European writers of fiction, epics, travel, social descriptions, customs and people are all accused of “orientalism”. In short, Orientalism is seen “as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.” Said makes much of the notion of a discourse derived from Foucault, who argued that supposedly obejective and natural structures in society, which, for example, privilege some and punish others for noncoformity, are in fact “discourses of power ”. The putative “objectivity” of a discipline covered up its real nature; disciplines such as Orientalism participated in such discourses. Said continues, “…[ W]ithout examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage – even produce – the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period.”…

… There are, as I shall show, several contradictory theses buried in Said’s impenetrable prose, decked with post-modern jargon ( “a universe of representative discourse”, “Orientalist discourse ”) (and some kind editor really ought to explain to Said the meaning of “literally” and the difference between scatalogical and eschatological), and pretentious language which often conceals some banal observation, as when Said talks of “textual attitude”, when all he means is “bookish” or “bookishness”. Tautologies abound, as in “the freedom of licentious sex”.

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Ivory Towers in the Sand af Martin Crane.

A British historian of India, Clive Dewey, looking back with twenty years of hindsight, wrote this of Orientalism:

When Edward Said’s Orientalism first appeared in 1978, historian after historian must have put it down without finishing it — without imagining, for a moment, the influence it would exert. It was, technically, so bad; in every respect, in its use of sources, in its deductions, it lacked rigour and balance. The outcome was a caricature of Western knowledge of the Orient, driven by an overtly political agenda. Yet it clearly touched a deep vein of vulgar prejudice running through American academe.

Despite the fact that the bulk of Orientalism dealt with a chapter in the intellectual history of Europe, the book had its most profound and lasting impact in America. The “vulgar prejudice” to which Dewey alluded arose from the bitter struggle for academic hegemony in the humanities and social sciences on American campuses. As the students of the 1960s became the junior faculty of the 1970s, the academic center moved leftward. Academization translated radical political agendas into the theoretical framework of postmodernism, which postulated the subjectivity and relativity of all knowledge. In a time of diminishing opportunities in academe, this challenge increasingly took the form of an insurgency, which ultimately overran university departments in the humanities and social sciences.

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Og her sidder jeg så og er bitter ved tanken om, hvor meget fisse svindleren har fået tiltusket sig i form af spejlblanke og ‘blåøjede’ studiner.

1 Kommentar

  1. Nåe,nåe ikke ked af det , du !

    Prøv dog at se på billedet af Stodderen : han VAR mega ulækker !

    For heldigvis er Kloden sluppet af med ham !

    Jeg vil gætte på det er kun var hans tvangsgifte kone, der kom til at nyde hans intime nærvær.

    For gad nok vide hvilke studiner han med det tandsæt- denne kæmpe araber-tud, der dominener fjæset, de små, grimme øjne og den smalle lave pande han kunne lokke ned på bedetæppet !

    Comment by Vivi Andersen — October 27, 2006 @ 11:14 am

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