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Freud and the Non-European

by Edward W. Said

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2124126,060 (3.96)1
Using an impressive array of material from literature, archaeology and social theory, Edward Said explores the profound implications of Freud's Moses and Monotheism for Middle-East politics today. The resulting book reveals Said's abiding interest in Freud's work and its important influence on his own. He proposes that Freud's assumption that Moses was an Egyptian undermines any simple ascription of a pure identity, and further that identity itself cannot be thought or worked through without the recognition of the limits inherent in it. Said suggests that such an unresolved, nuanced sense of identity might, if embodied in political reality, have formed, or might still form, the basis for a new understanding between Jews and Palestinians. Instead, Israel's relentless march towards an exclusively Jewish state denies any sense of a more complex, inclusive past. Quite differently from the spirit of Freud's deliberately provocative reminders that Judaism's founder was a non-Jew, and that Judaism begins in the realm of Egyptian, non-Jewish monotheism, Israeli legislation countervenes, represses, and even cancels Freud's carefully maintained opening out of Jewish identity toward its non-J… (more)
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A bit of an intellectual masturbation: he's all over the place, as befits Said's sprawling knowledge. He does tie it together, but doing so relies on a vague and philosophical tone throughout. It helps to have read some of his other work to understand what he is saying. The knowing irony of Said invoking Freud and Beethoven's late style, in which pieces were crafted more for themselves than the public, is that Said appears to be doing exactly the same thing here (in his last book). The entire speech is in service of the last paragraph, where he brings out his old saw of the humanist one state solution. It is a triumph - but only because he is so profoundly right. If he were to have made the argument in plainer language, however, it would not be such an exciting point to have made, since there is no direct connection, apart from his musing, between Freud identifying Moses as an Egyptian and the practical hope for a one state outcome. Still, a jolly romp from a great thinker - and nice and short, so you can easily get through it without a headache. ( )
1 vote GeorgeHunter | Sep 13, 2020 |
All the stuff I think about wrapped into one frequently brilliant lecture. ( )
  benjaminsiegel | Jul 30, 2016 |
I read this some time ago. Lectures, as I recall. Who could resist the juxtaposition. . . . I've ready quite a bit of Said, starting with Orientalism of course.
  idiotgirl | Mar 7, 2016 |
a wonderfully subtle argument, then everything is blown in the last paragraph when Said suggests a reductive "solution" to the israeli palestinian problem which betrays everything he has argued up to that point. ( )
  amydross | Nov 5, 2012 |
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Radical Thinkers (87 - Set 8(3))
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프로이트와 유대교의 관계가 갈등적이었다고 말하는 것은 과소진술(understatement)의 위험을 무릅쓰는 것입니다. 때때로 그는 치유불가능할 정도로 반종교적이면서도 자신이 유대인임을 자랑스러워 했습니다. 또 어떤 때는 시오니즘에 대한 곤혹감과 오해의 여지 없는 거부감을 표현했습니다. (p.53)
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Using an impressive array of material from literature, archaeology and social theory, Edward Said explores the profound implications of Freud's Moses and Monotheism for Middle-East politics today. The resulting book reveals Said's abiding interest in Freud's work and its important influence on his own. He proposes that Freud's assumption that Moses was an Egyptian undermines any simple ascription of a pure identity, and further that identity itself cannot be thought or worked through without the recognition of the limits inherent in it. Said suggests that such an unresolved, nuanced sense of identity might, if embodied in political reality, have formed, or might still form, the basis for a new understanding between Jews and Palestinians. Instead, Israel's relentless march towards an exclusively Jewish state denies any sense of a more complex, inclusive past. Quite differently from the spirit of Freud's deliberately provocative reminders that Judaism's founder was a non-Jew, and that Judaism begins in the realm of Egyptian, non-Jewish monotheism, Israeli legislation countervenes, represses, and even cancels Freud's carefully maintained opening out of Jewish identity toward its non-J

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