File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2004/postcolonial.0407, message 3

Date: Wed,  7 Jul 2004 13:29:06 -0400
Subject: Review of new Edward Said Collection in Bookforum

There's a new collection of Said essays called _Humanism and Democratic 
Criticism_ (forward by Akeel Bilgrami). 

There is a review of it by Matthew Price in the magazine Bookforum:

Here is an interesting paragraph from the review on the tension between Said's 
personal orientation to high culture and his ideological interests:

"A perceptive critic once remarked of Said that he had "a very conservative 
mind, essentially Tory in its structure." Indeed, Said's passions were 
unabashedly traditional^ he was a devotee of the opera, a noted critic of 
classical music, and a talented pianist. He did not much care for popular 
culture. Yet this formulation only gets it half right. Said was a cultural 
conservative who detested cultural conservatism. This is a crucial tension 
running through much of his critical work, and it explains why he found himself 
simultaneously denounced as an anti-Western heretic (by those to the right) and 
too rooted in a Eurocentric tradition (by those on the left)."

Is Price right that there was a tension? I think so. Is it important to our 
understanding of Said's major accomplishments? Debatable. 


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