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Orientalism by Edward Said

Orientalism (1978)

by Edward Said

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這是一本批判偏見如何透過科學的偽裝而成為「真理」的書。​Said 在書中對於英法美三國自拿破崙以來的東方學進行批判,指出其中的假科學,真偏見,並且指出這樣的偏見是怎​麼樣持續的自我繁衍。這本書的定位應該是給西方,尤其是西方的東方學精英閱讀的,在書中,他依據自己的論述​而隨之引錄各作家片段,其實頗像他自己所批判的「邊泌式全景塔」。對於這些作者不熟悉的讀者,其實很難去評​Said 在每一段並未做出明確的結論,而是描寫他所謂的東方主義如何呈現在這些作家、學者的文章之中。而主要的論​點,早已在緒論中就已經提出,使得整本書看似緒論的註腳。從一個習慣史學論文格式的人來看,​Siad的論述稍嫌混雜。 最後,整本書的翻譯其實大有問題。有不少標點更動(尤其是句號換成逗號,使得文意判讀上​出現問題)、以及譯者自己增補的情感論點(例如將提出意見改成提出異議,或者將原本作者加強的字眼漏掉,甚​自己增添加強字眼)。許多誤譯存在(當遇上加強字眼時更明顯),舉例而言,頁​345中「穆斯林一向把伊斯蘭視為阿拉伯的​ 聖地 」,原文為 genius loci,意為守護神或一地之風氣,此處明顯有誤。​ ( )
  windhongtw | Apr 3, 2015 |
Powerful for its method, rigor, & content. I must process it more, but it's something all Westerners need to process. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
As been said by other reviewers, a seminal but flawed work. A must-read for every student of cultural studies, colonial/post-colonial studies and even history. The flaws include overgeneralisation and lack of nuance - the author does seem to be more interested in rhetoric and scoring a (valid) ideological points. For thorough review (both criticism and praise) I'd recommend "Reading orientalism : Said and the unsaid" ( )
  Beholderess | Dec 17, 2013 |
A literary/philosophical analysis of perceptions of 'the Orient' as something different, exotic, passionate, religious, and inferior.

The Orient as it was, was thought of as such - in many ways- since the Crusades, perhaps before, and all the way up to the Ottoman Empire. But as the Europeans became colonial powers, perceptions continued to influence action.

Im curious over why the author omitted German sources, and possible perceptions of West v. East Europe - the multiethnic Habsburg Empire, and the Russian 'yellow peril'. Or of Wilhelm the Second's mad dreams.

And I am curious as to perceptions of the West by East, as well. was it always an overbearing threat?

This fiery criticism of colonial attitudes has more or less been integrated into modern post-colonial discourse. This is a seminal, if flawed work. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Said traces the history of contact between the West and the East and the resulting construction of the Orient as an area of study for Western scholars. Westerners come to believe that they understand the East and its occupants better than they understand themselves. This privileged knowledge is used to further the interests of the West in conquering or controlling these regions. Said had been attacked for his opposition to Israel's handling of the Palestinian question.

Since the book was written in 1978 one might expect it to be outdated, but the events of the past two decades illustrate that Western powers continue to attribute the actions of Easterners (especially Muslims) to irrational cultural attributes rather than to rational self interest.

It is interesting that the older portrayal of the Muslim male as lecher surrounded by multiple wives and lithesome concubines has been partly reversed to an image of Islam as anti-sex with morality police roaming the streets in search of a flash of ankle or strand of hair for which a woman can be whipped.
  ritaer | Aug 2, 2012 |
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They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented. -Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonapart
The East is a career. -Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred
For Janet and Ibrahim
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On a visit to Beirut during the terrible civil war of 1975-1976 a French journalist wrote regretfully of the gutted downtown area that, "it had once semed to belong to . . . the Orient of Chateaubriand and Nerval."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039474067X, Paperback)

The noted critic and a Palestinian now teaching at Columbia University,examines the way in which the West observes the Arabs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The author presents a critique of the Western World's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East and Arab people. In this study, the author traces the origins of the West's concept of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East.… (more)

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