Doc ñ Orientalism ´ Western Conceptions of the Orient Download

Mobi º Western Conceptions of the Orient ✓ Edward W. Said

Orientalism Western Conceptions of the Orientعلمياً إضافة الى الحدود المعوقة التي فرضها الاستشراق على الفكر والفعليأتي الكتاب في هذا الإطار وفيه يتناول إدوارد سعيد موضوع الاستشراق وخلفياته وكيف استطاعت الثقافة الغربية من خلاله ان تتدبر الشرق وحتى أن تنتجه سياسياً واجتماعياً وعسكرياً وعقائدياً وعلمياً وتخيلياً ومن جهة أخرى يتحدث إدوارد “Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others that its circumstances are special that it has a mission to enlighten civilize bring order and democracy and that it uses force only as a last resort And sadder still there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice” The truly terrifying thing about such Empires is how much they genuinely believe their own discourses in this regard; yes they also profit from the subjugated people; yes they do exploit them for their own ends but they do actually believe they are doing some good in the process They think that superimposing their ways their systems of politics and culture is actually going to benefit others So they force it on people; they make them adapt to their ways and engage in a mode of totalitarian control that does nothing but destroy individualistic culture and history; thus unfolds the history of mankind Edward Said keeps his arguments relatively in the present at least from the perspective of the way the current eyes of the Occidental view the Oriental He mainly discusses how the legacies of fairly recent Empires namely the British powers have contributed to this lasting effect Though I’d argue this is nothing relatively new Man has been doing this sort of thing for the last 2 3 thousand years; it just means now he has the media and literary power to make such racial stereotypes and prejudices widely known however accidental or purposeful Orientalism can be recorded effectively When reading books such as this I find it hard not to fall into misanthropy as I look at the current political climate the world faces; ultimately asking myself the uestion will man ever learn? I digress here; the point is Said captures an argument vital to comprehending the way the world unfortunately works It saddens me deeply that such things aren’t taught in schools How many people will actually read this in their lifetime? How many people have even heard of it? The truth of the matter is this is a deeply important book; it demonstrates how the West has created this fog like gaze when it looks at the East Whilst trying not to sound too general here what it sees is an image of falsehood It doesn’t see the East as it is but instead sees a version of it that has been embedded into its subconscious by countless generations of inaccurate representation followed by further inaccurate re representations To demonstrate here I’ve included this image from a cover poster of a funfair James Joyce’s short story Araby is based upon Please note Joyce is but one example of countless Don’t let this put you off him I offer no excuses for the representation but know that many authors in the cannon did things very similar And here is a direct uote from Said; it literally sums up this picture “Arabs for example are thought of as camel riding terroristic hook nosed venal lechers whose undeserved wealth is an affront to real civilization Always there lurks the assumption that although the Western consumer belongs to a numerical minority he is entitled either to own or to expend or both the majority of the world resources Why? Because he unlike the Oriental is a true human being”It’s almost laughable how ridiculous such a thing is Here we have an Arab riding a camel waving a rifle in the air like a lunatic The problem is it that many people didn’t have access to knowledge bases We live in an internet age where we can find anything out if we really want to But go back a hundred years and the general person reading this story and seeing this poster would have taken it for fact Granted the educated and perhaps even pseudo educated may have had ualms with it but the average reader would have seen it and believed it Again this is but one example Imagine it duplicated ten fold seen in every Western representation of the East and you have cultural conditioning that leaves the populace with this false notion of the Oriental world And then it is passed on through the years leaving the lasting impression of racist stereotypes The sad thing is as I write this this sense of Orientalism is still in the world today I’ve seen it It’s still out there amongst the Western populace Sure it may not be as bad but it is bad enough Said wasn’t the first to suggest these ideas they are not just his arguments but he was the first to write an entire book describing Western to Eastern perceptions And he really did need to write it to help educate people on their own folly But again not many outside the realms of scholarship arguably the ones most likely to manifest these false perceptions will actually read it Simply put this is a complex book My review scarcely scratches the surface in regards to the depth of some of these arguments This is a book for the relatively well read I tried it a few years ago during the first year of my undergraduate degree and was overwhelmed by some of the prose Even now as I read it I find the arguments complex and warranting a second read The point is this book portrays an erudite scholarly voice Although these arguments are vital the book can be daunting at times for those new to literary criticism and cultural analysis For me this a book to work up to rather than dive into and for students of postcolonial theory it is a book that simply must be finished even if it takes you a year as it has in my case

Ebook Orientalism

Doc ñ Orientalism ´ Western Conceptions of the Orient Download ì يعتبر الاستشراق، انطلاقاً من أواخر القرن الثامن عشر، مؤسسة مشتركة للتعامل مع الشرق وحكمه، إنه أسلوب غربي للسيطرة على الشرق، وإذا لم سعيد في كتابه هذا عن الاستشراق الذي احتل مركز السيادة بحيث فرض قيوده على الفكر الشرقي وحتى على من يكتبون عن الشرق وغاية حديثه هذا هو الوصول الى كيفية حدوث كل ذلك ليكشف عنه وليظهر أن الثقافة الغربية اكتسبت المزيد من القوة والهوية بوضع نفسها موضع التضاد مع الشرق باعتباره ذاتاً بديلة النيل والفرات Obviously this is a must read which has been much drawn on and critiued by later postanti colonial writers I have just read the copious notes I made when I read it in 2007 sort of ironic that I read a westerner's gloss rather than re reading the original? and noted some points of particular interestJohn of Segovia proposed a conference with Islam designed to produce mass conversion 'even if it were to last ten years it would be less expensive and damaging than war'To me this is a perfect example of the assumption that in an 'objective' 'rational' comparison Islamthe Orient will be found inferior to Christianitythe West It sounds absurd yet the same attitude is reproduced constantly including by mainstream feminists I think non MuslimArab'Oriental' folk should put the uestion to ourselves whenever considering or discussing Islam or the Middle East 'am I being John of Segovia?'European Orientalism produced a very rich sophisticated body of knowledge Said stresses at the outset that his text is not about comparing this construct to reality that produced ideas it is the corporate institution for dealing with the Middle EastArabMuslim world henceforth problematically 'the Orient' politically useful to European imperialist powers henceforth problematically and including the USA 'the West' Insofar as it studied Oriental texts it interpreted them according to sweeping generalisations never the human particular The words of an ancient poet would be used as the foundation for foreign policyVisitors to the actual geographical Middle East were disappointed not to find the world described in classic orientalist texts and interpreted this as the further because orientalist dogma starts from an assumption of faded glory degeneration of the Orient Confrontation with reality has not disrupted the othering construction of orientalism; everything is digested and processed by itFor example by 1955 the Orient described by 17th 18th century texts could not be recognised anywhere Yet since one of the dogmas of orientalism is that the Orient cannot change this new and strange place is out of order full of pathological 'dis orientals' and I might cheekily offer 'rogue states' which 'we have lost' National liberation movements shattered the image of passive fatalistic subject populations but they were replaced with the image of 'extremists' who were not true to their real passive fatalistic natures Anticolonial movements are interpreted as insults to Western democracyHAR Gibb argued that Islam is fundamentally flawed yet cannot change Any attempt to change it is a betrayalOrientalism ignores class interests political circumstances and economic factors There is only the unchanging oriental character to considerTo conuer the Orient is to liberate it because 'Arabs especially Muslims know nothing about liberty Islam is structurally favourable to fundamentalism' this is the argument made by new atheist critics like Dawkins and GraylingLatent orientalism the distillation of ideas about the Orient orientals eg sensuality femininity Said points out that orientalism is a masculinist perspective despotism passivity indifference inaccuracy backwardness is distinguished from manifest orientalism stated views about oriental history society literature land and identifications with other philosophies Any change in knowledge of orientalism takes place in the latter category never deconstructing the formerAmerican orientalism is even reductive with none of the imaginative investment of European orientalism but with the same cultural hostility and imperial projects Arabic is studied for policy objectivesThe liberal veneer 'we' study 'others' to get to know them understand their cultures so we allow them to represent themselves within the confining space of orientalismPrinciple dogmas of orientalism 1 The West is rational developed humane superior while the Orient is underdeveloped aberrant inferior 2 Abstracts are always preferable to direct evidence since Orientals cannot be trusted 3 The Orient is uniform and unchanging incapable of self definition and the generalised and systematic vocabulary of orientalism used to describe it is entirely objective 4 The Orient is to be feared pacified by research and development preferably occupiedThe central myth is the 'arrested development of the semites'; Western power enables the reproduction of this mythMethodological failures of orientalism cannot be accounted for by saying the real Orient is different from orientalist portrayals or that orientalists being Westerners can have no inner sense of what the Orient is all about Orientals are now educated in native lands in colonial founded underfunded universities with no good libraries and too many students The USA is seen as the source of all learning so students go there learn orientalist dogmaSaid asks How does one represent another culture? What is another culture? Is the notion of a distinct culture racereligioncivilization useful or does it always get involved in self congratulation or hostility aggression? Construction of identity never natural stable is bound up with power and powerlessness in each society For example in Shalimar the Clown Rushdie presents a complex and shifting picture of religious identity in Kashmir; Islam is complicated by context and is not at all the same everywhere Cultures are so inter related and interdependent that unitarysimply delineated descriptions of their individuality are junk Scholars deny suppress or distort the context of power that produces their systems of thought to maintain the fiction of scholarly disinterest now we acknowledge and apologise for them but proceed with our imperialismWestern civilization is an ideological fiction implying detached superiority of a handful of values ideas meaningless outside the history of conuest immigration travel mingling of peoples that gave western nations their present mixed identities The USA for example is a palimpsest of different races cultures sharing problematic histories of conuest exterminations and major cultural political achievementsSaid's aim is not to paraphrased dissipate difference – the constitutive role of national cultural differences in relations between people can't be denied but to challenge the notion that difference implies hostility and the frozen reified set of opposed essences adversarial knowledge built out of these things We need new way of conceiving the separations conflicts that stimulated generations of hostility war imperial control'Animosities ineualities represent not an eternal order but a historical experience whose end may be at hand'

Edward W. Said ✓ Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient Epub

يعتبر الاستشراق، انطلاقاً من أواخر القرن الثامن عشر، مؤسسة مشتركة للتعامل مع الشرق وحكمه، إنه أسلوب غربي للسيطرة على الشرق، وإذا لم نكتنه الاستشراق بوصفه إنشاء فلن يكون في وسعنا أن نفهم الفرع المنظم تنظيماً عالياً الذي استطاعت الثقافة الغربية عن طريقه أن تتدبر وتنتج الشرق سياسياً، وعسكرياً، و There's a curious double standard between what we expect from White guy authors compared to authors of any other background When an author is a Native American for example we tend to expect their books to deliver to us the 'Native American experience' If the author is a woman we tend to expect that her book will show us the 'female perspective' to the degree that female authors who write stories about men are forced to take on a masculine or nondescript name like JK RowlingSo we get Western educated authors like Achebe Hosseini and Momaday who write thoroughly traditional novels in the Western style and then place a thin veneer of their own ethnic background onto those stories and are praised for it in academia because their work meets expectation delivering to The West a simplified and 'pre colonized' version of foreignnessAs a White male author on the other hand the expectation is that you won't stick to your own cultural identity but will instead attempt to explore the breadth and depth of human experience through characters of many backgrounds and why not? White guys have been doing it for centuries and we love them for itIn fact the problem here is not that White guys are encouraged to take on other roles its that non White non male folks are discouraged from doing so As Said points out it is not only Black people who are capable of writing about Black people or only Arabs about Arabs or only Whites about Whites; we all need to explore similarities and differences in our fellow humansSo here I am White guy trying to explore humanity writing a bit of fiction about Colonialism about the English rule in Egypt and India featuring characters of different backgrounds but it's daunting I don't want to do it thoughtlessly and though I take a great deal of inspiration from Haggard Kipling Conrad and Burton I don't want to incidentally adopt their shortcomings along with the interesting bitsSo I thought I might combat their prejudices by taking in the most notable and talked about book on interactions and stereotypes between The West and The East However Orientalism was not what I expected; but then again it wasn't what Said expected either He didn't intend to write 'The Book' on EastWest interaction his work is much narrower in scopeThe whole of the book is Said looking closely at a dozen authors mostly French and English some academics some fiction writers and giving examples of a number of uotes for each where they talk about 'The East' in ways that demonstrate a certain bias That's pretty much it all four hundred pages Why spend that long on such a specific topic? Because this book was meant for a small academic publication and that's what specialized academics doNow if you've read any of the other reviews of this book on GR you'd get the impression that Said is an enraged polemicist who spends the whole book denigrating 'The West' and praising 'The East' It’s inexplicable to me that any person with the most basic reading comprehension could come away from Said with this view Indeed once I realized the scope of this work and that it wasn't likely to help with my specific writing concern I almost abandoned it but I wanted to get to the 'angry Said' part where he defames Western civilization just to see how bad it gotIt never came Said's tone throughout the book is exceedingly dry and cautious too much so for my taste I've been known to enjoy a good diatribe so any prejudicial anger a reader might find in this book is only what they brought in with them The notion that Said is anti Western or Pro Islam is such a bizarrely inexplicable misreading that the only reason a reader could come away from the book with that belief is if they brought in a huge set of prejudices and then ignored everything Said actually wroteFirst they must assume that ‘East’ and ‘West’ are terms that have well defined geographical and social meanings and then ignore the fact that Said repeatedly states that to him 'East' and 'West' are just convenient ideas not real solid entities that it is ridiculous to talk about India China and the Middle East as if they were one culture or even to lump in the various Arab states with one another when they each have very different histories and values There is no unity between all Islamic nations than there is between all Christian nationsTrying to place a line between Greece and Turkey and claiming these are separate cultures is artificial Lest we forget Troy was in Turkey when the Roman Empire died in Italy it continued in Istanbul as Edith Hamilton points out Roman rule was always Persian than Greek Southern Europe was long ruled by Moors and as Ockley’s 1798 History of the Saracens contentiously point out nearly everything Europe knows of Greek philosophy and mathematics came from IslamThen the ignorant reader would have to assume that when Said points out a specific trend in some authors of the ‘West’ that this constitutes an attack on ‘The West’ as an entity which Said denies exists This despite the fact that Said explicitly holds many of these Western authors in high regard and specifically states that there’s nothing wrong with cultures having interdependent relationships “The Arab world today is an intellectual political and cultural satellite of the United States This is not in and of itself something to be lamented; the specific form of the satellite relationship however is” The reader would then have to assume that this perceived attack on a fictional ‘Western Culture’ was the same thing as an uplifting of ‘the East’ even though Said often speaks about how many Eastern states are damaged and without a modern intellectual tradition to train its members to do the work of improving them and that all the great centers of study and economic control for Islam are located in England or AmericaBut then the fact that there are prejudiced readers is hardly surprising the world is full of people trying to divide everything up between 'us' and 'them' I get comments from people who don't realize that Islam is an Abrahamic religion sharing the same holy books prophets and god as Christianity and Judaism people who aren't aware that a 'fatwa' just means any public statement by a scholar You read about American military consultants in the Middle East who don't know the difference between Shia and Sunni Very few these days would connect this uote The ink of the scholar is precious than the blood of the martyr with MohammedHow easily we forget that Athens is closer to Marrakesh Tunis Cairo and Baghdad than it is to Paris Berlin or LondonI remember seeing a supposedly humorous map where the Middle East was replaced by an impact crater with the words 'Problem Solved' beneath it completely ignoring the fact that the reason there is constant conflict there is because powerful First World countries have gone in supplied both sides with cheap guns made Opium the only profitable crop for farmers to grow and set up regimes whose sole purpose is to funnel money and natural resources out of those countries and into multinational banks any region is going to be politically unstable under those conditionsIndeed Said openly admits that there is much wrong in the Arab world that it is full of turmoil and violence and lack of education and that it is all too easy to paint it as a ‘fallen culture’ when compared to the heights of sophistication and science it once enjoyed which sparked off the Renaissance in Europe Of course the way Arabs are commonly typified as backward is the same way people typify ant outgroup the cliches of American rednecks and hippy dippy liberals are the same as the cliche Arab ignorant sectarian ever feuding following charismatic leaders into reactionary movements We can point to Religious Fundamentalists Tea Party Yokels Ron Paul Libertarians Militant Feminists and Black Muslim Brotherhood members and find the same clannish human system at playI was constantly struck by the fact that the separation Said depicts between the ideas of East and West were not specific to that cultural conflict but were the same generic type of power separation laid out by Marx a dominating power structure versus the population whom they control and profit from They operate off of the same self serving justifications for their rule that the population is childlike and irrational easily manipulated and in need of governance Very little of Said’s analysis was specific to the conflict between the East and West which may have been deliberate on his part but I think it would have made his neutral stance clearer if he had expressed outright that he was making a generalized argument about all power dynamics Extending the narrow focus of his argument and showing that this is how power works everywhere at all times would have made his work stronger overallAs I read it seemed that what Said was saying was clearly true but not in a revelatory way I found myself comparing it to Angela Carter’s The Sadeian Woman my high water mark for social criticism where her statements are inescapably true but in a way you never realized until you saw it written out I kept waiting for Said to take it to the next level to elevate these basic naked observations to some profound and insightful conclusion Of course European Christian powers would mythologize and simplify Islam of course they would make a phantom enemy of it while at the same time trading allying and sharing sources of inspiration with it that is no than differing cultures have always done as Said points out What great insight into this system is meant to shock me? Am I simply too much the postmodern atheistic American to see what he says as anything but basic and inescapable?I came to this book looking to find something insidious some system by which these cultures interact uniuely but what I got was ‘most people are ignorant dominating forces produce propaganda Europe vs Islam edition’ Of course we are all uixote and Pangloss making ourselves heroes of a fantastical narrative and creating enemies to blame because we are too weak to do anything other than maintain that flattering fiction But even if we are all human and all power structures operate in the same ways there should still be some specifics which set this incidence apartI was waiting for Said to do some serious unpacking It’s not enough to show a passage of Renan’s and demonstrate that his Semites are ‘sterile’ I want to know how that construction is achieved why it is important how it operates culturally and psychologically how it offers an important and vital insight into the grander cultural interaction And yet just as he seems to be reaching a kind of specificity he breaks off “Why the Orient seems still to suggest not only fecundity but sexual promise and threat is something on which one could speculate it is not the province of my analysis here alas despite its freuently noted appearance” So then if not that what is the province of his analysis? It isn’t until his conclusion that he lays out his purpose and helps us to understand why he never extends to these sorts of specific conclusions which made me wish that he had made his conclusion his introduction so I wouldn’t have spent four hundred pages wondering why he keeps stopping just when it was starting to get interestingThis is an academic work with a very narrow scope It is meant to give a view of a very specific trend in Orientalist criticism amongst a group of authors and not to force on the reader any specific conclusion about what this trend means or how it operates on a minute level except to point out that it does in fact exist and that it represents familiar power dynamics That is the purpose and the effect of this book and it invites the reader to use it to extend these examples into specific arguments and observations of their own to use the general roadmap provided as a guide for their own work The fact that it has become the central text on the subject is an accident of time and place for that was not the author’s purpose nor is this a transformative revelatory work that sets out a specific theory of analysis for looking at Orientalist works as I wish it had beenIn the end Said’s Orientalism is not a primer but an experiment which is incomplete without further scholarship on the part of the reader Since Said is not specific we cannot know just how accurate his analysis is unless we can compare it to our own readings of the same works so it can only be a companion to our studies and not a work which on its own develops a uniue view which we can use as scholars going forward