20 September, 2020

Thus Said Ed

In Delhi to speak on the Palestinian cause, Edward Said reaffirms his anti-'Orientalist' fervour

Thus Said Ed

EDWARD W. Said, 62-year-old guru of post-modernism, one of the world's trendiest Lefties, Palestine's most famous intellectual exile and originator of the phrase 'orientalism', is dying. Terminal leukaemia exhausts him at the end of every day and racks him with pain every night. Lean, ashen, always within reach of an ambulance, Said looks as if he is battling against time, daring fate to cut him short as he piles book on book, concept on concept, denounces the Middle Eastern peace process, takes up in favour of Salman Rushdie, attacks Western classical music as a mode of cultural dominance and refuses to climb down on his main argument that the West created the entity which it called "the Orient" in order to justify imperialism.

 At his impassioned Rajiv Gandhi lecture in New Delhi, on the tragedy of the Palestinian people, he declared: "I hope I am embarrassing someone!" As the sand in the glass falls, Said's intellectual fury is evident; he is impatient with platitudes, anxious to get to the heart of things...



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