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Research Scholar, English Department, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
Volume - 1,
Issue - 1,
Year - 2013
Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) is a well known and most debated work. It belongs to trilogy of which the other two The Question of Palestine (1980) and Covering Islam (1982), from a series of writing dealing principally with the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Orientalism is one of the most influential text of the twentieth century. Spivak calls it a source book through which marginality itself has acquired the status of a discipline in the Anglo- American academy. Orientalism occupies three overlapping domains. It designates first the 4000 – year history of and cultural relations between Europe and Asia; second the scientific discipline producing specialists in Oriental languages and culture from the early nineteenth century; and third the long- term images, stereotypes and general ideology about ‘the orient’ as ‘the other’, constructed by generations of Western scholars. ‘Orientalism’ depends on a culturally constructed distinctions between ‘the Occident’ and ‘the Orient’ (a fact less than of nature than of ‘imaginative geography’, as said terms it) and is inescapably political, as is its study.
In Edward Said’s view ‘representations’ is a key factor in Orientalism that the West has created. It makes imagination as a powerful force that transforms the Orient into an image that suits the Western imperialist agenda. The best definition of orientalism comes from Said himself:
A way of coming to terms with the orient’s special places in European Western experience, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the west) as contrasting image, idea, personality, experience Orientalism is a style of thought based upon ontological and epistemological distinction made between “the orient” and “ the Occident”(Said, 32)
Cite this article:
Ritu Rani. An Overview of Edward Said’s “Crisis in Orientalism”. Int. J. Ad. Social Sciences 1(1): July –Sept. 2013; Page 19-20.