Edward W. Said Quotes

Enjoy the top 59 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Edward W. Said.

Edward W. Said Quotes

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. No better instance exists today of what Anwar Abdel Malek calls "the hegemonism of possessing minorities" and anthropocentrism allied with Europocentrism: a white middle-class Westerner believes it his human prerogative not only to manage the nonwhite world but also to own it, just because by definition "it" is not quite as human as "we" are. There is no purer example than this of dehumanized thought.
— Edward W. Said —

My argument is that history is made by men and women, just as it can also be unmade and rewritten, always with various silence and elisions, always with shapes imposed and disfigurements tolerated.

— Edward W. Said

Appeals to the past are among the commonest of strategies in interpretations of the present.

— Edward W. Said

We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)

— Edward W. Said

There is nothing mysterious or natural about authority. It is formed, irradiated, disseminated; it is instrumental, it is persuasive; it has status, it establishes canons of taste and value; it is virtually indistinguishable from certain ideas it dignifies as true, and from traditions, perceptions, and judgments it forms, transmits, reproduces.

— Edward W. Said

Every writer on the Orient (and this is true even of Homer) assumes some Oriental precedent, some previous knowledge of the Orient, to which he refers and on which he relies. Additionally, each work on the Orient affiliates itself with other works, with audiences, with institutions, with the Orient itself. The ensemble of relationships between works, audiences, and some particular aspects of the Orient therefore constitutes an analyzable formation[ ... ]whose presence in time, in discourse, in institutions (schools, libraries, foreign services) gives it strength and authority.

— Edward W. Said

Orientalism is after all a system for citing works and authors . __ Orientalism

— Edward W. Said

In a sense the limitations of Orientalism are, as I said earlier, the limitations that follow upon disregarding, essentializing, denuding the humanity of another culture, people, or geographical region.

— Edward W. Said

Out of this unstable mix of technocracy and national security you have a nostalgia developing for colonialism or religion-atavistic in my opinion, but some people want them back. Sadat is the great example of that: he threw out the Russians, as well as everything else that represented Abdel Nasser, ascendant nationalism, and so forth-and said, "Let the Americans come." Then you have a new period of what in Arabic is called an infitah-in other words, an opening of the country to a new imperialism: technocratic management, not production but services-tourism, hotels, banking, etc. That's where we are right now.

— Edward W. Said

The Orient is watched, since its almost (but never quite) offensive behavior issues out of a reservoir of infinite peculiarity; the European, whose sensibility tours the Orient, is a watcher, never involved, always detached, always ready for new examples of what the Description de l'Egypte called "bizarre jouissance." The Orient becomes a living tableau of queerness.

— Edward W. Said

I have spent a great deal of my life during the past thirty-five years advocating the rights of the Palestinian people to national self-determination, but I have always tried to do that with full attention paid to the reality of the Jewish people and what they suffered by the way of persecution and genocide. The paramount thing is that the struggle for equality in Palestine/Israel should be directed toward a humane goal, that is, coexistence, and not further suppression and denial. Not accidentally, I indicate that Orientalism and modern anti-Semitism have common roots. Therefore, it would seem to be a vital necessity for independent intellectuals always to provide alternative models to the reductively simplifying and confining ones, based on mutual hostility, that have prevailed in the Middle East and elsewhere for so long.

— Edward W. Said

To say simply that Orientalism was a rationalization of colonial rule is to ignore the extent to which colonial rule was justified in advance by Orientalism, rather than after the fact.

— Edward W. Said

The power to narrate, or to block other narratives from forming and emerging, is very important to culture and imperialism, and constitutes one of the main connections between them. Most important, the grand narratives of emancipation and enlightenment mobilized people in the colonial world to rise up and throw off imperial subjection; in the process, many Europeans and Americans were also stirred by these stories and their protagonists, and they too fought for new narratives of equality and human community.

— Edward W. Said

We allow justly that the Holocaust has permanently altered the consciousness of our time: Why do we not accord the same epistemological mutation in what imperialism has done, and what Orientalism continues to do?

— Edward W. Said

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