Orientalism
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Orientalism : Western Conceptions of the Orient

By (author) Edward W. Said

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For generations now, Edward W. Said's "Orientalism" has defined our understanding of colonialism and empire, and this "Penguin Modern Classics" edition contains a preface written by Said shortly before his death in 2003. In this highly-acclaimed work, Edward Said surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation - a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the 'otherness' of eastern culture, customs and beliefs. He traces this view through the writings of Homer, Nerval and Flaubert, Disraeli and Kipling, whose imaginative depictions have greatly contributed to the West's romantic and exotic picture of the Orient. Drawing on his own experiences as an Arab Palestinian living in the West, Said examines how these ideas can be a reflection of European imperialism and racism. Edward W. Said (1935-2003) was a Palestinian-American cultural critic and author, born in Jerusalem and educated in Egypt and the United States. His other books include "The Question of Palestine", "Culture and Imperialism" and "Out of Place: A Memoir". If you enjoyed "Orientalism", you might like Frantz Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Stimulating, elegant and pugnacious". ("Observer"). "Beautifully patterned and passionately argued". ("New Statesman"). "Very exciting ...his case is not merely persuasive, but conclusive". (John Leonard, "New York Times"). "Magisterial". (Terry Eagleton).

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  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 30mm | 320g
  • 01 Jun 2007
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London
  • English
  • 0141187425
  • 9780141187426
  • 1,565

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Author Information

EDWARD W. SAID is University Professor at Columbia University. He was born in Jerusalem in 1935 and educated in Egypt and the United States. His other books include THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, CULTURE AND IMPERIALISM, OUT OF PLACE: A MEMOIR.

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Review text

Providing an overview of Western attitudes towards the East, this book sets out to challenge established Western views of the Orient and of the Arab and Islamic world. Divided into three parts, it examines the scope of orientalism, orientalist structures and orientalism now. (Kirkus UK)

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Flap copy

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

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