Reflections On Exile | Granta

  • Published: 04/07/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847089212
  • Granta Books
  • 656 pages

Reflections On Exile

Edward W. Said

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.

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 Deronda

Christopher Hitchens

This book is a monument to the life of the intellect in the modern world

Seamus Deane

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

Jacqueline Rose

The Author

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 →

From the Same Author

Edward W. Said on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta 67

Self-Consciousness

Edward W. Said

‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 67

Reflections on Exile

Edward W. Said

‘Exiles feel, therefore, an urgent need to reconstitute their broken lives, usually by choosing to see themselves as part of a triumphant ideology or a restored people.’