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Culture and Imperialism by Edward W. Said

Culture and Imperialism (1993)

by Edward W. Said

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Culture and Imperialism describes how the language used in literature can powerfully impact our stereotypes of other cultures. Using examples in classical literature (ranging from Jane Austen, to Joseph Conrad, to Albert Camus), Said shows us how imperialism was reinforced by the written word. Then, (using examples including V.S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie) he illuminates how today's societies - who are so focused on multi-culturalism - read the right books for the wrong reasons. I found this book intriguing. I listened to it on audiobook - Ganim's reading was smooth and engaging - but I'm now tempted to pick up a hard-copy of the book and use it as a reference in my perusal of literature. This book would be interesting to anyone interested in the culture of imperialism or in literary criticism of literature in the imperialist era. ( )
2 vote The_Hibernator | Nov 15, 2012 |
A very interesting application of Said's orientalism to various works of canonical literature. ( )
  jcelrod | Dec 27, 2009 |
This book sets up a framework through which to examine and critique the effects of colonialism. While colonialism directly relates to the subjegation and ( )
  tngolden | Jul 16, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
...[W]hat accounts for Orientalism' s insurgent existence is its relentless transgression of boundaries drawn by disciplines of knowledge and imperial governance. Unsettling received oppositions between the Orient and the Occident, reading literary texts as historical and theoretical events....

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edward W. Saidprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buttigieg, Joseph A.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorresteyn, LuudTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Speelman, R. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; an unselfish belief in the idea - something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to... - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
For Eqbal Ahmad
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679750541, Paperback)

Edward Said makes one of the strongest cases ever for the aphorism, "the pen is mightier than the sword." This is a brilliant work of literary criticism that essentially becomes political science. Culture and Imperialism demonstrates that Western imperialism's most effective tools for dominating other cultures have been literary in nature as much as political and economic. He traces the themes of 19th- and 20th-century Western fiction and contemporary mass media as weapons of conquest and also brilliantly analyzes the rise of oppositional indigenous voices in the literatures of the "colonies." Said would argue that it's no mere coincidence that it was a Victorian Englishman, Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, who coined the phrase "the pen is mightier . . ." Very highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand how cultures are dominated by words, as well as how cultures can be liberated by resuscitating old voices or creating new voices for new times.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:10 -0400)

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Examines the roots of imperialism in Western culture, in the works from Jane Austen to Salman Rushdie and from Yeats to the media coverage of the Gulf War.

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