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Orientalism Orientalism by Edward W. Said
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Orientalism Quotes Showing 1-30 of 68
“The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing th orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist’s work.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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, Orientalism
“The more one is able to leave one’s cultural home, the more easily is one able to judge it, and the whole world as well, with the spiritual detachment and generosity necessary for true vision. The more easily, too, does one assess oneself and alien cultures with the same combination of intimacy and distance.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“كلما ازداد تعدي أوروبا على الشرق في القرن التاسع عشر ازدادت ثقة الجمهور [الغربي] بالإستشراق. لكنه إذا كانت هذه الزيادة في الثقة قد تزامنت مع نقصان الإصالة، فلا ينبغي لنا أن ندهش كثيراً، لأن أسلوب الإستشراق منذ البداية كان يقوم على إعادة البناء والتكرار”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“فلم يكن القصد من وصف شخص ما بأنه شرقي، على نحو ما دأب عليه المستشرقون، ينحصر في الإشارة إلى أن لغة هذا الشخص وجغرافية بلاده وتاريخه من موضوعات الدراسة العلمية، بل كثيراً ما كان ذلك التعبير يرمي إلى الحط من شأن الشخص ويعني أنه ينتمي إلى سلالة دنيا من البشر، وإن كان ذلك لاينفي أن كلمة "الشرق" كانت ترتبط في أذهان بعض المبدعين مثل نيرفال وسيجالين ارتباطاً رائعاً وخلاباً بالغرابة، والبهاء، والغموض، والوعد، ولكن الكلمة كانت بمثابة تعميم تاريخي مغرق في شموله.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“Modern Orientalism embodies a systematic discipline of accumulation. Far from this being exclusively an intellectual or theoretical feature, it made Orientalism tend fatally towards the systematic accumulation of human beings and territories. To reconstruct a dead or lost Oriental language meant ultimately to reconstruct a dead or neglected Orient; it also meant that reconstructive precision, science, even imagination could prepare the way for what armies, administrators, and bureaucracies would later do on the ground.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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, Orientalism
“إن مناقشات الشرق كانت تتسم بالغياب الكامل للشرق، لكن المرء يحس بأن المستشرق ومايقوله حاضران، ومع ذلك فيجب ألا ننسى أن الذي يمكِّن المستشرق من الحضور هو الغياب الفعلي للشرق.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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
“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, Orientalism
“وعندما اتضح لنابليون أن قواته أصغر من أن تفرض نفسها على المصريين، حاول أن يجعل الأئمة والقضاة والمفتين والعلماء المحليين يفسرون القرآن لصالح الجيش الفرنسي. ومن ثم دعا إلى مقر إقامته العلماء الستين الذين كانوا يتولون التدريس في الأزهر وأنعم عليهم بمراتب التكريم العسكرية الكاملة، ثم داهنهم نابليون بالإعراب عن إعجابه بالإسلام وبمحمد - صلى الله عليه وسلم -، وبتبجيله الواضح للقرآن، وكان فيما يبدو يعرفه خير المعرفة. ونجح في ذلك، وسرعان ما بدا أن سكان القاهرة قد فقدوا ارتيابهم بالمحتلين.
وبعدها أصدر نابليون تعليمات صارمة لنائبه كليبر بأن يدير مصر دائما، بعد رحيله، من خلال المستشرقين والزعماء الدينيين الإسلاميين الذين يستطيع المستشرقون استمالتهم، أما أي منهج سياسي آخر فهو باهظ التكاليف وبالغ الحمق.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“In newsreels or news-photos, the Arab is always shown in large numbers. No individuality, no personal characteristics or experiences. Most of the pictures represent mass rage and misery, or irrational (hence hopelessly eccentric) gestures. Lurking behind all of these images is the menace of jihad. Consequence: a fear that the Muslims (or Arabs) will take over the world.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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, Orientalism
“Orientalism is after all a system for citing works and authors . __ Orientalism”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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, Orientalism
“What I am interested in doing now is suggesting how the general liberal consensus that “true” knowledge is fundamentally nonpolitical (and conversely, that overtly political knowledge is not “true” knowledge) obscures the highly if obscurely organized political circumstances obtaining when knowledge is produced. No one is helped in understanding this today when the adjective “political” is used as a label to discredit any work for daring to violate the protocol of pretended suprapolitical objectivity.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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, Orientalism
“The secular world is the world of history as made by human beings. Human agency is subject to investigation and analysis, which it is the mission of understanding to apprehend, criticize, influence, and judge. Above all, critical thought does not submit to state power or to commands to join in the ranks marching against one or another approved enemy. Rather than the manufactured clash of civilizations, we need to concentrate on the slow working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other, and live together in far more interesting ways than any abridged or inauthentic mode of understanding can allow. But for that kind of wider perception we need time and patient and skeptical inquiry, supported by faith in communities of interpretation that are difficult to sustain in a world demanding instant action and reaction.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“Our role is to widen the field of discussion, not to set limits in accord with the prevailing authority.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“إن الاستشراق، رغم أوجه الفشل المذكورة، ورطانته المؤسفة، ونزعته العنصرية التي لا تكاد تخفى، وجهازه الفكري الهزيل، يزدهر اليوم بالأشكال التي حاولت وصفها، بل إني أري ما يدعو إلى الانزعاج في انتشار تأثيره إلى "الشرق" نفسه، إذ تحفل صفحات الكتب والمجلات المنشورة بالعربية (وبلا شك باليابانية وشتى اللهجات الهندية وغيرها من اللغات الشرقية) بتحليلات من الدرجة الثانية يكتبها العرب عن "العقل العربي" وعن "الإسلام"، وغير ذلك من أقوال في عداد الأساطير، كما انتشر الاستشراق أيضا في الولايات المتحدة بعد أن أضافت الأموال والموارد العربية بعدا جديدا يتمثل في الجاذبية الكبيرة "للاهتمام" التقليدي بالشرق ذي الاهمية الاستراتيجية.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“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, Orientalism
“my whole point is to say that we can better understand the persistence and the durability of saturating hegemonic systems like culture when we realize that their internal constraints upon writers and thinkers were productive, not unilaterally inhibiting. It is this idea that Gramsci, certainly, and Foucault and Raymond Williams in their very different ways have been trying to illustrate.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“indeed it can be argued that the major component in European culture is precisely what made that culture hegemonic both in and outside Europe: the idea of European identity as a superior one in comparison with all the non-European peoples and cultures. There is in addition the hegemony of European ideas about the Orient, themselves reiterating European superiority over Oriental backwardness, usually overriding the possibility that a more independent, or more skeptical, thinker might have had different views on the matter. In a quite constant way, Orientalism depends for its strategy on this flexible positional superiority, which puts the Westerner in a whole series of possible relationships with the Orient without ever losing him the relative upper hand.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“most important, humanism is the only, and I would go so far as to say, the final resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“الإستشرق في جوهره مذهب سياسي فُرِضَ فَرْضاً على الشرق لأن الشرق كان أضعف من الغرب، وإنه تجاهل اختلاف الشرق الراجع إلى ضعفه.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“Rather than the manufactured clash of civilizations, we need to concentrate on the slow working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other, and live together in far more interesting ways than any abridged or inauthentic mode of understanding can allow.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“It seems a common human failing to prefer the schematic authority of a text to the disorientations of direct encounters with the human.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“Egypt “restored to prosperity, regenerated by wise and enlightened administration … would shed its civilizing rays upon all its Oriental neighbors.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism

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