Culture and Imperialism by Edward W. SaidEdward Said makes one of the strongest cases ever for the aphorism, the pen is mightier than the sword. This is a brilliant work of literary criticism that essentially becomes political science. Culture and Imperialism demonstrates that Western imperialisms most effective tools for dominating other cultures have been literary in nature as much as political and economic. He traces the themes of 19th- and 20th-century Western fiction and contemporary mass media as weapons of conquest and also brilliantly analyzes the rise of oppositional indigenous voices in the literatures of the colonies. Said would argue that its no mere coincidence that it was a Victorian Englishman, Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, who coined the phrase the pen is mightier . . . Very highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand how cultures are dominated by words, as well as how cultures can be liberated by resuscitating old voices or creating new voices for new times.
Culture and Imperialism – Some Notes
Look Inside. May 31, ISBN Oct 24, ISBN A landmark work from the author of Orientalism that explores the long-overlooked connections between the Western imperial endeavor and the culture that both reflected and reinforced it. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as the Western powers built empires that stretched from Australia to the West Indies, Western artists created masterpieces ranging from Mansfield Park to Heart of Darkness and Aida. Yet most cultural critics continue to see these phenomena as separate. Yeats, Chinua Achebe, and Salman Rushdie to show how subject peoples produced their own vigorous cultures of opposition and resistance.
Reviews97 one that can also point Gatrell in an interesting direction for the future. The final chapter, "From the White Sea to Cape Horn'; Thomas Hardy and the Wider World," raises difficult questions about Hardy's persistent regionalism in the face of England's great insecurity about its international role — an insecurity that is voiced in different ways by Gissing, Conrad, Forster, and other English novelists. But in Gatrell's eagerness to present Hardy as cosmopolitan, he makes the mistake of taking Hardy's claims to "universality" to mean that he was globally aware:. Part of my argument A more interesting project for Gatrell might be to interrogate or problematize Hardy's regionalism instead of defending it, and in the course of the investigation he could integrate his thoughts about community and environment in Hardy's novels. Simon Gatrell's strength is in his close textual scholarship on Hardy, and he brings that depth to Thomas Hardy and the Proper Study of Mankind. Perhaps, though, his next project will take a more critical stance and develop more focus and definition.
Edward W. Said's Culture and Imperialism is one of the most important and widely discussed books of the past year. Said previously provoked a major shift in academic thought when his earlier book, Orientalism, changed forever the way the West views the Orient. A prime theorist of decolonialism, he melds traditional humanism, Marxism and poststructuralism in an emerging project of reclaiming from Europe the territories - both geographic and intellectual - that have been appropriated by empire. In Culture and Imperialism, Said focuses on three major metropolitan cultures British, French and American to show how even their current identities are the product of power.
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