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Culture and Imperialism

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We also know and want you to know that we are a superior racial group, our intellectual abilities are beyond your comprehension and reach”. The essays expand the arguments of Orientalism to describe general patterns of relation, between the modern metropolitan Western world and their overseas colonial territories.

Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. M. Forster, and Rudyard Kipling had on the establishment and maintenance of the British Empire, [2] and how colonization, anti-imperialism, and decolonization influenced Western literature during the 19th and 20th centuries.Said laments this development and believes that imperialism will not cease until we understand that no culture can claim to be superior to others, claim international authority, or direct the destinies of inferior others. Moreover, how does mainstream culture with all of its media, arts, literature and supposed-morality take over the world? S. and French literature is not to dismiss the literature of unworthy of analysis but to suggest the need for the complexity of our analysis and examination of literature in relationship to empire. The first part of this book explores imperialism through various works of literature/music (Mansfield Park, Heart of Darkness, and Aida, for example. Contrapuntal reading requires not only reading the text in terms of what it includes but in terms of what has been excluded from it (66-67).

From Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, to Rudyard Kipling and Albert Camus, Saïd insists that these works are aware of the fact of empire, and that, at best, they simply take it for granted (the latter two were much more vocal about how they felt, of course). From Jane Austen to Salman Rushdie, from Yeats to media coverage of the Gulf War, Culture and Imperialism is a broad, fierce and wonderfully readable account of the roots of imperialism in European culture. Said's goal here is not simply to explain the numerous ways that ideas of 'empire' and 'culture' bleed into each other, but to explain the broad humanistic necessity of studying that phenomenon at all. Hence he analyzes cultural objects to understand how imperialism functions: "For the enterprise of empire depends upon the idea of having an empire . Culture and Imperialism concludes with an examination of the American empire that while abandoning the idea of placing colonies of settlers abroad retains the central idea that expansion of influence and capitalism across the globe is both good and just regardless of how it may be seen by those subject to domination.To read a text contrapuntally is to read it “with a simultaneous awareness both of the metropolitan history that is narrated and of those other histories against which (and together with which) the dominating discourse acts” (51). Insightful mentions made of so many works beyond those he has selected for close scrutiny caused me to marvel at Said's erudition.

Said critiques the formation of a monolithic nationalism to replace a former colonial polity, instead drawing attention to the diversity and complexity of the individuals in the territory. This book is good for any one interested to know about imperialism, and on how the colonisers conquested not only the land but mind also according to the analysis or thesis of Edward Said. He is the author of twenty-two books which have been translated into 35 languages, including Orientalism (1978); The Question of Palestine (1979); Covering Islam (1980); The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983); Culture and Imperialism (1993); Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process (1996); and Out of Place: A Memoir (1999). Thinking has moved on since then to a more thoughtful consideration of the West's attributes and developments in relation to non-Western cultures. Educated in the Western canon, at British and American schools, Said applied his education and bi-cultural perspective to illuminating the gaps of cultural and political understanding between the Western world and the Eastern world, especially about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; his principal influences were Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Michel Foucault, and Theodor Adorno.Against the backdrop of globalization I don’t see how that is a sound methodology to preserve one’s culture and language. It is only by reading histories, literature, identity, and cultures, "contrapuntally"- by emphasizing the interdependence and interaction of us all- that things can be seen with clarity. Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism employs a “contrapuntal” reading strategy by which he asserts the needs to examine texts from the perspectives of both colonized and colonizer. Spatiality is central to the ways in which Said identifies the relationship of the texts to imperialist ideologies. Here Edward Said uses a lot of philosophical conceptions such as the one Gramci, and some of Literature figures like CONRAD and Jane Austen.

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