File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0103, message 84

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 16:45:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Article: Rocks, Pebbles and Edward Said (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 22:34:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Article: Rocks, Pebbles and Edward Said

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Rocks, Pebbles and Edward Said

To the Editor:

 I was delighted to learn that the Freud Society of Vienna took a
moral stand and canceled the invitation to Prof. Edward Said of
Columbia University to lecture on Freud in Austria ("A Stone's
Throw Is a Freudian Slip," Arts & Ideas pages, March 10).

 The photograph accompanying the article of Mr. Said hurling a rock
at Israeli border soldiers shows a reprehensible act. Mr. Said's
assertion that he was throwing "a pebble" was clearly contradicted
by the photograph of a big rock positioned in his hand.

 As a professor at Columbia, Mr. Said is a role model to thousands
of students, and he has a particular responsibility to conduct
himself accordingly. America thrives on its tradition of expressing
divergent political views without recourse to violence. As an
American citizen teaching at a distinguished institution, Mr. Said
should follow this dictum. 

 Scarsdale, N.Y., March 10, 2001
 To the Editor:

 Re "A
Stone's Throw Is a Freudian Slip" (Arts & Ideas pages, March 10):

 The withdrawal of an invitation to Edward Said, the Columbia
University professor, by the Freud Society of Vienna to speak on
the occasion of Freud's birthday this May is an act well described
by Mr. Said as "outrageous," given his eminence as a commentator on
contemporary intellectual culture.

 That he is also an articulate and influential spokesman for
Palestinian rights  and that he was moved to throw a stone across
the Lebanese-Israeli border at the emotional moment of Israel's
withdrawal after 22 years  apparently made him unsuited to
commemorate the revolutionary influence and the Near Eastern
fascinations of Vienna's most famous political exile.

 Surely Freud, the man who identified the sources of the ethnic
violence by which both his own life and Mr. Said's have been
shattered, would see the irony. 

 Haverford, Pa., March 11, 2001
 To the Editor:

 Re "A Stone's
Throw Is a Freudian Slip" (Arts & Ideas pages, March 10):

 It was odious to read of Edward Said's response to the decision by
the Freud Society of Vienna to cancel his lecture. "Freud was
hounded out of Vienna because he was a Jew," he said. "Now I am
hounded out because I'm a Palestinian."

 Mr. Said is perfectly aware that his lecture was canceled not
because of his national origin but rather for his apparent advocacy
of violence by being photographed throwing a rock at Israeli
targets (an act he transmogrifies into a "symbolic gesture of
joy"). After all, he was initially invited to speak with the Freud
Society's full knowledge of his Palestinian roots. 

 Santa Clara, Calif., March 10, 2001


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