Edward Said. Born 1935 in Jerusalem, Palestine. His last position was as a Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and head of the Modern Language Association. He began teaching there in 1963. He was a visiting professor at several prominent Ivy League institutions. Died 25 September 2003 of leukaemia. Dr. Said was also an accomplished public speaker.
Said (pronounced sa-eed) served a role in the Palestinian National Council (parliament) from 1977-1991 and was considered a political activist since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. He authored The Arab Portrayed nearly a year later, his first published political essay. Since his departure from the council in 1991 (due to health concerns as well as disgust with Arafat) he was, prior to his death, an extreme critic of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Peace Process. He bears some similarities to Noam Chomsky in his criticism of US foreign policy; they have authored several books with each other's assistance.
Dr. Said was educated in Jerusalem and Cairo, Egypt as an undergraduate. He moved to Cairo in 1947 during the partition of Palestine. He possesses a B.A. from Princeton and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. His views on colonialism were influenced strongly by Joseph Conrad. He was also a musician of some note, having worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, and other prominent artists. He converted a Beethoven piece to English.
He was battling refractory leukemia since 1991. His mother died in 1990 of the same illness, shortly before he was diagnosed.
He is often branded as a controversial but generally respected author. He has been referred to, alternately, as a Jewish Palestinian and an Israeli Arab. He has also been called a terrorist and a liar. See what I mean by controversial? His primary premise in many of his books has been the effect of Western literature and culture on people's perceptions of the Arab world in general, and Palestine in specific. He is probably best known for his work entitled Orientalism, published in 1979, but he has several other works and several hundred unreferenced articles, including:
- Culture and Imperialism: ISBN 0679750541. Reprinted (June 1994). The premise that Western literature is responsible for dominating other cultures.
- Orientalism. ISBN 039474067X. October 1979. See Orientalism
- The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After. ISBN 0375725741. May 8, 2001. Essays on the Middle East peace process and its consequences.
- Out of Place: A Memoir: ISBN 0679730672. September 12, 2000. Account of Said's early life.
- Reflections on Exile and other Essays. ISBN 0674003020. February, 2001. The Title Says It All
- Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. ISBN 0679758909. April 1997. How American popular media misrepresents the Islamic world.
- Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews With Edward W. Said. ISBN 0375421076. August 14, 2001. Literary criticism, cultural theory, and the Palestinian peace process.
- The Question of Palestine. ISBN 0679739882. Reprinted (April 1992). The Title Says It All
- Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures. ISBN 0679761276. Reprint edition (April 1996). Discusses the role of the intellectual, public objectivity, etc.
- Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process. ISBN 0679767258. January 1996. Associated essays and commentaries. The Oslo Agreement, and Arafat's perception of it, is discussed at length.
- Beginnings: Intention and Method. ISBN 023105937X. March 1987.
- The World, the Text, and the Critic. ISBN 0674961870. September 1984.
- Culture and Resistance: Conversations With Edward W. Said. (expected February 2003)
- After the Last Sky. ISBN 0394544137. September 1986. Photography of the Palestinians with exile as the theme.
- The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination: 1969-1994. ISBN 0679761454. June 1995. Palestinian culture and history.
- The Pen and the Sword. ISBN 1567510302. September 1994. Western lit, Arab culture, politics.
- Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question. ISBN 0860918874. April 1988. Discusses Western crimes against Palestinian "historical truth".
In addition, Dr. Said authors for Al-Hayat, the Palestinian daily newspaper, and Al-Ahram, the Egyptian daily newspaper. He contributes to additional periodicals and dailies throughout the world, and does music criticism for the Nation.
Said is the recipient of the 1999 New Yorker Book Award (Non-Fiction), the 2000 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (Non-Fiction), the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award (Literature), the 2001 Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Sultan Owais Prize (Cultural Achievement), and the Spinoza Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Literature, the American Philosophical Society, and several other associations.
Thanks to anthropod for help with this node.