Reflections On Exile

And Other Literary And Cultural Essays

Edward W. Said

Published: 2 August 2012
Trade Paperback, Royal PB
153x234mm, 656 pages
ISBN: 9781847085979


With their powerful blend of political and aesthetic concerns, Edward W. Said's writings have transformed the field of literary studies. As in the title essay, the widely admired "Reflections on Exile," the fact of his own exile and the fate of the Palestinians have given both form and the force of intimacy to the questions Said has pursued. Taken together, these essays--from the famous to those that will surprise even Said's most assiduous followers--afford rare insight into the formation of a critic and the development of an intellectual vocation. Said's topics are many and diverse, from the movie heroics of Tarzan to the machismo of Ernest Hemingway to the shades of difference that divide Alexandria and Cairo. He offers major reconsiderations of writers and artists such as George Orwell, Giambattista Vico, Georg Lukacs, R. P. Blackmur, E. M. Cioran, Naguib Mahfouz, Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Walter Lippman, Samuel Huntington, Antonio Gramsci, and Raymond Williams. Invigorating, edifying, acutely attentive to the vying pressures of personal and historical experience, his book is a source of immeasurable intellectual delight.

About the author

Image of Edward W. Said

Edward Said (1935-2003) was one of the world's most influential literary and cultural critics. Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, he was the author of twenty-two books, including Orientalism, Culture and Imperialism and Beginnings. He was also a music critic, opera scholar, pianist and the most eloquent spokesman for the Palestinian cause in the West. More about the author


‘His intelligence was so capacious that you never knew, when you entered it, where you might find yourself’ Jacqueline Rose



‘The collection, much more than the sum of its parts, is the portrait of an exemplary intellectual life, in which rigor and clarity join with courage and commitment, and both with a rare kind of unswerving joy at the complex face of reality... this is surely a major work, among the most provocative and cogent accounts of culture and the humanities that America has produced in recent years.’ Martha C. Nussbaum

‘The power of the collection resides, in the end, in its refusal of boundaries. Said is not reducible to a Palestinian writer or an exiled author or a hugely successful academic, although he is all these things ... Said is a paradigm of what an intellectual should be, inquisitive without limits and perpetually pushing at cultural barriers.’ Joan Smith

‘This book is a monument to the life of the intellect in the modern world’ Seamus Deane

‘To ask him for a tutorial and a reading list, as I more than once did, was to be humbled by the sheer reach of his erudition. I can still hear the doors that opened in my mind as he explicated George Eliot's rather recondite Daniel DerondaChristopher Hitchens

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