Printer Friendly

Edward Said, Eqbal Ahmad, and Salman Rushdie: resisting the ambivalence of postcolonial theory.

This article examines Edward Said's personal, intellectual, and political affinities with Eqbal Ahmad and Salman Rushdie. Furthermore, it contrasts their common perspective with views held by two other notable South Asian intellectuals, V. S. Naipaul and Homi Bhabha. The author proposes that the noteworthy arguments of anti-imperialist theory, which translates most often in the struggle of Palestinians for self-determination, connect Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie. Said's views on Naipaul and Bhabha, shared by both Rushdie and Ahmad, are critically elaborated and contextualized within the major debates on the politics of postcolonial theory.


The strength of Said's personal and intellectual relationship to Eqbal Abroad and Salman Rushdie, two highly visible South Asian intellectuals, rests in a shared notion that history, narrative, and politics are inextricably intertwined. This view can be traced back to the anti-imperialist discourse shaped by Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon, and C. L. R. James. These formative thinkers foregrounded ways of articulating the materialities and violences of colonialism. They were involved in the fundamental obligation that Said understood later to be assigned to intellectuals: to speak against power, to question structures of coercion, injustice, and silencing. The task of the intellectual would be to create alternative readings of history and culture.

The intellectual's work should be adversarial. Eqbal Ahmad has occupied this position for a long time along side Said. He has played a major role in changing the American perception of Palestinians and their history. Ahmad relentlessly formed the meanings of revolutionary struggle against colonial power. His understanding of revolutionary thinking would always be based on a fundamental realization that opposition to ignorance, prejudice, and oppression will be more relevant after the alleged exuberance of territorial independence. The process of decolonizing especially the mind is desperately incomplete and dynamic. The depth and long-term orientation of Ahmad's theory of anti-imperialism has always impelled Said's indefatigable watchfulness of new forms of Orientalism. Both have insistently identified emerging foundationalist images of American media--in "perfect synchrony," as Said would say, with the administration. Between Said and Rushdie the experience of "paradoxical identity" offers new imagined homelands and new intellectual frontiers to cross.

I propose that the influential arguments of anti-imperialism, which translates most often in the struggle of Palestinians for self-determination, connect Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie. Said and Rushdie's friendship is glued more by a shared condition of exile and cultural hybridity. I argue that despite vigorous advances made by other prominent South Asian intellectuals especially Homi Bhabha, and V. S. Naipaul (of Indian ancestry, born in Trinidad) to depoliticise the edifice of colonialism, Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie have cooperatively (and as far as Palestine is concerned) maintained that imperialism is structurally monolithic and historically intransigent. On this account, I shall discuss in my last section the major limitations of Bhabha's theories of ambivalence, mimicry, and translation. For Said a number of non-Western intellectuals have seriously reduced imperialism to dubious notions of Western charity and cultural relativism. They have emptied the very experience of colonialism from its materially raw realities of discrimination, stereotyping, and segregation. Homi Bhabha in particular was more seduced by academic professionalism and specialization. Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie have found V. S. Naipaul and Homi Bhabha's critical consensus on the ambivalence of imperial rule particularly unsettling. The theory of ambivalence has depended largely on ideological constructions of division and exclusion of the other.

I. Sharing the Realms of Empire

Said dedicated one of his most important works on colonial history, Culture and Imperialism (1993), to Ahmad. Said's gesture reminds us that Ahmad's work and thinking must be situated at the heart of anti-imperialist politics. Until the time of his death, Ahmad continued to speak against neo-colonialism, and especially against the US policies of regime change and its ongoing grand blueprint to "democratize" the Middle East.

Said and Ahmad were largely formed by colonial histories and by a hybrid and peripheral existence within the West. Both were born in the mid-thirties under British rule in Palestine and Pakistan. They both migrated to the US and studied at Princeton University and later taught in American universities. Ahmad grew up in colonial India and witnessed the Partition of India and Pakistan. After the Partition of 1947, he migrated to Pakistan. Ahmad was associated with Frantz Fanon in the Algerian National Liberation Front. His anti-colonial activism found its expression during the years 1964-1968 as he became one of the most vocal and notable voices against American brutalities in Vietnam and Cambodia, and a disciplined commentator on the Palestinian resistance movement since 1968. Ahmad remained, for Said, "that rare thing, an intellectual unintimidated by power or authority, a companion in arms to such diverse figures as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Richard Falk, Fred Jameson, Alexander Cockburn, and Daniel Berrigan." (1) The Arab defeat of 1967 by Israel sharpened Said's political consciousness and brought him in line with Ahmad's essentially revolutionary and anti-imperialist affiliation, developed during his politically formative years in French Algeria and British India. Said and Ahmad were formed by the colonial experience itself. Born and brought up in the political and cultural realms of European and American empires, Said and Ahmad were made by the very matter and knowledge of peripherality. When Ahmad died of heart failure in Islamabad on May 11, 1999, Said described him in the foreword to Confronting Empire (2000) as straightforwardly "our dear friend and comrade." Because he lived and witnessed colonial control with its relentless dehumanization of the natives, Ahmad, for Said, remained "a real friend in the struggle" for the rights of Palestinians.

Since their meeting in Beirut in 1980 with the renowned Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Said and Ahmad wanted to develop common strategies of opposition to Israeli colonialism. Before the Oslo Accords, David Barsamian recounts in his interview that Ahmad conferred with Arafat at that time to build a flexible approach based on principles of equality and inclusion. He argued to the leadership and in a lecture in Beirut," The PLO has been entrapped in a rejectionist posture to its enemy's benefit, that it should tactically pass the burden of rejectionism to its adversaries, that rejectionism is historically and theoretically alien to the revolutionary tradition." (2)

Said and Ahmad agreed very early on that the Palestinian leadership must acknowledge the fact that the new state of Israel came into being to stay indefinitely. The PLO must now focus more creatively and constructively on the struggle to actualize its own right for self-determination. They persuasively argued that revolutionary struggle must involve political plasticity, distinguishing tactic from strategy, understanding the enemy's moves, deploying clandestinity when necessary, and unremittingly re-examining one's premises. (3) In the early 1980s, Ahmad maintained that the PLO's "tactical inflexibility," "rejectionist posture," and physical isolation in the South of Lebanon during the Camp David negotiations were irrevocable mistakes. As a consequence, the post-Camp David period, according to Ahmad's analysis, was characterized mainly by increased settlements, more expropriation of Palestinian land, and a systematic interruption of Palestinian life. By insisting on the complex connections that Israel has with US economic interests and hegemony in the Middle East, Ahmad was responding to a PLO at that stage fixated on the absolutism of armed struggle. He went further by formulating alternative strategies that would strengthen the idea of resistance to the Zionist scheme to annihilate Palestinian collective memory. During some of the most decisive junctures of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli systematic uprooting and annexation of Palestinian land, Ahmad proposed a number of action plans. In 1968-1969 he wished that
 large marches ... be organized into the West Bank and
 Gaza. Return home. When old men and women die in
 refugee camps, they wish to be buried in their ancestral
 villages. Funeral processions should move across the
 frontiers into Israel. The symbol of exodus must be
 reversed. A liberation movement seeks to expose the
 basic contradictions of the adversarial society. Israel
 seeks legitimacy as the haven of a long persecuted people,
 but it is founded on and still expands at another
 people's cost. (4)

Ahmad theorized that a liberation movement must be creative and alert to historical details. In the light of similar policies of land grabbing in 1989, he further warned the PLO to make the cessation of Jewish settlements in Occupied Territories the ultimate priority. He advised the leadership to "address the question of Jewish immigration ... [and] do more in the area of public education." (5) Said himself depended on Ahmad's practical propositions, and on his ability to deliver precise and persuasive strategies. He called him simply "my guru in political matters." (6) Said notes that Ahmad, who is not a Palestinian, "was a genius at sympathy." (7) For Said, the facility to think in terms of alternative ideas, alternative political strategies, and alternative readings for the sake of others was what determined Ahmad's immense contribution to the Palestinian cause. Ahmad not only influenced Said's thinking about Palestine; he supported Said's criticism of the Oslo Accords, which forced the PLO to accept a flawed "peace process." Both of them could see that it offered no real chance for national self-determination. Instead the Oslo Accords, as well as the recent "Road Map," have reinforced the narratives of Israel's colonial supremacy. (8)

What Said found estimable about Ahmad, then, was not only his knowledge of the workings and brutal dynamics of Zionist ideology, but his natural ability to operate across plural registers and cultures. Ahmad was also able to remain true to his fundamental self and political convictions. Said's approbation echoes Ahmad's profound esteem for Said's scholarship and moral vision. In his introduction to The Pen and the Sword (1994), Ahmad considers Said to be "among those rare persons in whose life there is coincidence of ideals and reality, a meeting of abstract principle and individual behaviour." (9) This common sentiment made Palestine the cornerstone of the two comrades' political attention, sympathy, and anxiety. Ahmad and Said have unswervingly agreed on one important principle: The intellectual must identify with a political cause; he must anchor himself with issues involving justice, truth, and democratic knowledge. Ahmad demonstrates this mutual commitment to truth by being constantly aware of Said's own sensitivity to deception and the degradation of language. He explains that Arafat's "capitulation" to Rabin's demands in the Oslo negotiations, "touched something deep in Said's emotional and intellectual being." (10) Ahmad and Said realized that past and present forms of colonialism have always masked their true objectives behind statements or gestures of benevolence and respect for the other.

The meeting in Beirut overshadowed by the Civil War in Lebanon embodied both the realism and the poetry of the moment. Faiz's poem, "Lullaby for a Palestinian Child," was a counter-narrative to the surrounding reality of despair, banality, and Arab powerlessness. This incident, as Ahmad expounds, demonstrates Said's power of concentration and engagement. Or simply put by Ahmad, "when [Edward] is absorbed, he doesn't care." More interestingly, Ahmad goes on to explain that Said is someone who disciplined himself to be totally focused, and morally apt. (11) Paul Bove makes similar remarks. He explains that Said's work typifies a symbiotic combination of "breadth and depth of knowledge, historical and scholarly rigor, and a profound basis in political morality of a kind that alone makes civilization possible." (12)

Said's courage and moral audacity lay in his refusal to surrender to authority, fear, and amnesia as is demonstrated in his memoir, Out of Place (1999). The memoirist passionately praises the virtues of sleeplessness, of being constantly watchful, of losing sleep over the safety of others. Out of Place portrays Said's ultimate "psychic exhaustion." The narrator and protagonist, Edward, is determined to transform sleeplessness into a constant refusal of death. Despite, perhaps because of, a lethal illness, Said has learned to accept and appreciate the fragments of his childhood memory. For Said, "sleeplessness ... is a cherished state to be desired at almost any cost." (13) Said's memoir shows to what extent his commitment to preserving the story of Palestine haunted his formative subconscious self. In Ahmad's terms, Said's preoccupation with the collective memory of historical Palestine means "the commitment to never let a dominant myth or viewpoint become history without its counterpoint." (14) Said was always able to accomplish this because his approach of re-reading history was always dependent on immediacy, or, as Rushdie concedes, "Edward has always had the distinguishing feature that he reads the world as closely as he reads books." (15)

Said's two major works on Palestine, The Question of Palestine (1980) and The Politics of Dispossession (1995), in particular required an extraordinary power of single-mindedness, and a deep conviction inseparable from the very skin of Said himself. In fact, it is important to understand Said's allegedly excessive political passion, not necessarily and only as an existential engagement with the politics of loss, but, more importantly, as his obsession with justice and democratic truthful knowledge. The re-inscription of Palestinian history has been as much a matter of intellectual necessity as it has indeed been something of autobiography, of nature, of skin and blood. Being Palestinian means a constant sense of loss, even if Said himself is far from being stateless or, as he freely admits, far from living the miserable and life-threatening condition of a refugee. Said speaks from an exile's perspective.

In Culture and Imperialism (1993), he tells us that ever since he can remember, he belonged to two "worlds, without being completely of either one or the other." (16) It is not difficult to note, as Timothy Brennan does, that Said's persona is a jumble of a number of experiences and influences. Said's formative period "was characterized by a willing and untroubled assimilation"; (17) thus Said's understanding of exile is "less literal than positional, less filiative than political. Exile for him was also ... ideational." (18) Because of exile, Said was able to see and understand things, and in particular the tragedy of Palestine, as he would say, with more than one pair of eyes. Said's constant outrage, his sense of crisis about canonized narratives, and the exigency to re-examine them, stem from what Salman Rushdie calls this "compulsion to excess," which Said illustrates in After The Last Sky: Palestinian Lives (1986). Rushdie explains:
 One of the problems of being Palestinian is that the idea
 of interior is regularly invaded by other people's descriptions,
 by other peoples' attempt to control what it is to
 occupy that space--whether it be Jordanian Arabs who
 say there is no difference between a Jordanian and a
 Palestinian, or Israelis who claim the land is not
 Palestine but Israel. (19)

Said knows, as Rushdie insists, that the exile of his people is not literary or bourgeois: "in the case of the Palestinians ... exile is a mass phenomenon: it is the mass that is exiled and not just the bourgeoisie." (20) Indeed, Said's political worldview and critical work are rooted in a Diaspora experience lived, and intellectually constructed, as a utopian space for independent thinking and imaginative interpretation. This explains in part why Said has been vigilant to human suffering. He was totally committed to grasping the reality of corruption and subjugation of weaker peoples. He combined the precision, clarity, and rationality of the intellect with the indispensability and humanity of moral consciousness. What he shares with Ahmad, and what Ahmad notes to be Said's most influential attribute, is an ethical responsibility that may even border on obsessive anxiety. Ahmad and Said have stood for restless watchfulness and repetition of truth.

In his appraisal of another important comrade in the struggle against Israeli occupation, Noam Chomsky, Ahmad concedes that this concept of repeating the same truth or principle over and over again is a fundamental strategy for questioning power, and ultimately for writing dispossessed people as agents in nationalistic politics. Thus, repetition reinforces a counterview to ideology and stereotyping. It is a counter-knowledge whose ultimate aim is to create and guarantee the surge of critical consciousness. A counterview opposes the domination and duration of totalizing narratives. This is another way of explaining the fact that "speaking the truth to power is no Panglossian idealism: it is carefully weighing the alternatives, picking the right one, and then intelligently representing it where it can do the most good and cause the right change." (21)

Said explains to Rushdie that Jean Mohr's pictures in After the Last Sky tell a number of stories, one of them how Palestinian identity resides in constant movement and restless self-making. These stories and memories of fragmented existence, according to Said, should be said "loudly enough, repetitiously enough and stridently enough." (22) Repetition is indispensable for the very legitimacy of resistance and confirmation of Palestinian presence. Inscribing Palestinian history remains interminably vital because Israel, as Said insists, distorts the archives, takes them away, or steals them as was the case in 1982. (23)

Despite death threats, numerous accusations of lying, and worse still, name calling, the "Professor of Terror," vilified in the media and by the infamous post 9/11, Said focused continuously on his political mission. According to Abroad, Said proceeds humanely and individually. He did not waste his time responding to the intellectual mediocrity of the media and specialized interest groups. He actively implicated his critique in the life of ordinary people, under circumstances of occupation and oppression. This was evident in the BBC documentary of 1998 In Search of Palestine, which marks an act of bringing Said's political ideas and activism together. The documentary targets a Western audience in particular, recasting the reality of Palestinian dispossession as raw and inhuman. Said meets people from all walks of life, including Israeli soldiers, politicians, homeless Palestinians in Gaza, and Israeli-Palestinians who complain to Said about their treatment as second class citizens. Each of these living characters is interwoven in Said's act of correcting Israeli archives, of pressing the notion that Palestine exists as collective, human, and material consciousness. Said attempts to grasp the concreteness and ugliness of occupation; the feelings of pain expressed by his dispossessed people; and, ultimately, the banality of division, segregation, and merciless expropriation of land. The purpose of Said's return to Palestine was to promote whatever contact was still possible even as he realized that he had to resign himself to the loss of "home."

Perhaps Said's most sensitive and productive act of watchfulness over the other, in this regard, as Abroad and Rushdie keep reminding us, is Said's human appreciation of, and sensitivity to, what the history of anti-Semitism meant for the Jews. As he said:
 I can understand the intertwined terror and the exultation
 out of which Zionism has been nourished.... And yet,
 because I am an Arab Palestinian, I can also see and feel
 other things--and it is these things that complicate matters
 considerably, that cause me also to focus on
 Zionism's other aspects. (24)

Said did not settle for simplistic and comfortable readings of history. The history of suffering of the Jews and the Palestinians is complex and multi-facetted. To work against ideological procedures of oblivion, elision, indifference, and amnesia, one must be patient enough to tease out deep psychological and moral underpinnings that have shaped and combined the two histories. Perhaps, on the basis of this sensibility, the greatest irony about Said's influence is the fact that the Palestinian experience of suffering, dispossession, denial, death, and elimination--which both Ahmad and Rushdie highlighted publicly and in writing whenever they had to--is the very experience which had shaped Said's universalist consciousness, his intellectual generosity and ethical wakefulness. Said embodied a life of severe paradox and irony. He, in fact, personified irony as a point of view. This position of paradox is well defined on the first page of Said's memoir which ingenuously states that "There was always something wrong with how I was invented and meant to fit in with the world of my parents and sisters." From the obvious conundrum of an English name, 'Edward,' alongside an Arab surname, 'Sa'id,' to Said's many travels as a young boy within colonial, patriarchal, and elitist schools and institutions, Said's story, as Michael Gilsenan explains,
 is a story of someone, deeply flawed in his making, who
 could not have been other than he is: child of Christian
 Palestinians in colonial Cairo, without social supports,
 sustaining themselves by a bricolage of habits and values
 patched together from multiple Arab, American and
 British sources. (25)

Said, like Ahmad and Rushdie, grew up living, watching, and absorbing all these foundational flaws and contradictions of colonial discipline, attitudes, and expectations.

II. Crossing Borders, Confronting Frontiers

Exile, as Said recognizes in others, is a transformative and innovative experience. In this regard, Salman Rushdie's own positioning as a metropolitan displaced writer is what decides the depth of Said's admiration of his work. Said's own arguments of empire are inescapably anchored in his experience of unhousedness. On this account, Said developed a particular affinity with Salman Rushdie--who is very much like Joseph Conrad, an immigrant writer, and, for Said, a major dissenting voice. Conrad and Rushdie both mastered English and used it to write about the relationship between culture and imperialism, and, in Rushdie's case, about the condition of migration--as Said put it:
 [T]he texts that interest me the most are ... mixed in
 some way. This whole notion of a hybrid text, of writers
 like Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie, the issues of
 exile and immigration, crossing of boundaries--all of
 that tremendously interests me for obvious existential and
 political reasons, but also it strikes me as one of the major
 contributions of late-twentieth-century culture. (26)

According to Said, Rushdie, being in-between and occupying more than two cultural spaces, is someone who is engaged in double critique; in using the metropolitan to articulate Third World condition. Rushdie, then, is "really part of something much bigger than just one individual. He can write in a world language and turn that language against its own sources of authority and consolidation." (27) Said groups Rushdie among serious literary figures, like Thomas Pynchon and Garcia Marquez, who can boast the attention of an international audience, and also because the works of these authors, as Said concedes, "work as agents of social, intellectual and cultural change, because they introduce whole new worlds." (28) On this account, he goes on to explain, "to read Rushdie is to read something completely new. I mean it has connections with the world of Kipling and Forster, but it is transformed, it is post-colonial and has its own magic, its own brilliance. And it also introduces a particular hybrid experience into English." (29) Said admired especially Rushdie's Midnight's Children because it is a work of creative and independent imagination. Rushdie's narrative weaves fundamental incongruities, and allows them some important resolution; he consciously mixes the discourse of the West and makes it "acknowledge marginalized or suppressed or forgotten histories." (30) Rushdie's work belongs to "the earlier generation of resisting writing" whose "effort" Said calls "the voyage in." (31) Said notes that in 1984, before the publication of The Satanic Verses (1988), Rushdie was a rare voice criticizing the British government's ideological manipulation to legitimize the Falklands War. Around this time, a number of films and articles revived recollections of the alleged victories and advantages of the British Raj. (32) Rushdie was making an important point that artistic fictions of the past had always been deployed to revive colonial ambitions. So it is imperialism, the question of Palestine, and the creative strategies of hybridity and irony that Said has found of great interest in Rushdie's work.

Thus defending Rushdie against Khomeini's fatwa of 1989 for his novel The Satanic Verses, for Said, was a commitment to the major vocation of a secular intellectual who must defend freedom of expression at all costs because, as he explains,
 Freedom of expression cannot be sought invidiously in
 one territory, and ignored in another. For with authorities
 who claim the secular right to defend divine decree there
 can be no debate no matter where they are, whereas for
 the intellectual, tough searching debate is the core of
 activity, the very stage and setting of what intellectuals
 without revelation really do. (33)

Said has maintained that "the case is not really about offence to Islam, but a spur to go on struggling for democracy that has been denied us, and the courage not to stop. Rushdie is the intifada of the imagination." (34) The intellectual must engage in total criticism; he must be able to question internal and external structures of authority and coalescence: "One of the shabbiest of all intellectual gambits is to pontificate about abuses in someone else's culture and excuse exactly the same practices in one's own." (35) Since the publication of Midnight's Children, Rushdie's prose has raised serious questions about the limits of nationalism, imperialism, and religious obscurantism--be it Islamic, British, or Hindu. Secular criticism means a "passionate engagement, risk, exposure, commitment to principles, vulnerability in debating and being involved in worldly causes." (36) For Said,
 Rushdie is everyone who dares to speak out against
 power, to say that we are entitled to think and express forbidden
 thoughts, to argue for democracy and freedom of
 opinion. The time has come for those of us who come
 from this part of the world to say that we are against this
 fatwa and all fatwas that silence, beat, imprison, or intimidate
 people and ban, burn, or anathematize books. (37)

Said supported Rushdie because he realized that Rushdie's novel was a critique of all structures of oppression, theological and political. Said understood that Rushdie had skilfully interwoven a reexamination of Islamic tradition in order to provoke debate among Muslim intellectuals. This affinity is easily justifiable. Abroad reminds us that Said himself shows "his quest of positive and universal alternatives to sectarian ideologies, structures and claims." (38) Like Rushdie, Said has criticized religious fundamentalism of all forms. It goes without saying that the secular criticism championed by Said and Rushdie remains sensitive to the role and function of religion. For Said, religion is "understandable and deeply personal," because it shapes collective identity. (39) He explains:
 [L]ike culture, religion ... furnishes us with systems of
 authority and with canons of order whose regular effect is
 either to compel subservience or to gain adherents. This
 in turn gives rise to organized collective passions whose
 social and intellectual results are often disastrous. The
 persistence of these and other religious-cultural effects
 testifies amply to what seem to be necessary features of
 human life, the need for certainty, group solidarity, and a
 sense of communal belonging. (40)

Said condemns the closure of religious discourse. For him, some of the tactics that the Islamic movements--like Hamas in the West Bank, the Islamic Jihad, or Al-Qaeda--have used remain primitive and unimaginative forms of resistance. (41) Said, of course, has never failed to stress the role of US hegemony and foreign policy in making and unmaking reactionary and militant movements.

Said and Rushdie have constantly pointed out that the failure of militant and fundamentalist "Islam' lies in its uncanny compromise with the devices and procedures of US interventionism. Therefore, Said's intellectual sympathy with Rushdie stems from this realization that all ideologies of closure, even when they come from within the colonized field, are anti-theoretical and insipid.

The response to Rushdie's novel indicates, then, to what extent the question of modernity is still the controling hermeneutical crisis in the Arab and Muslim worlds:
 It is indeed the battle ... [because it raises] the whole
 question of what tradition is, and the Prophet said, and the
 Holy Book said, and what God said.... There is a school
 of writers, poets, essayists, and intellectuals, who are
 fighting a battle for the right to be modern, because our
 history is governed by turath, or heritage. (42)

In the midst of the Rushdie affair, Sadik Jalal al-Azm noted that many commentators who defended "liberalism" against "fundamentalism" had theorized away Rushdie's treatment of Islam. They did not consider the question of tradition and modernity, which baffled and occupied the thinking of early Arab intellectuals like al-Tahtawi, Taha Hussein, Mohamed Abdu, and others. They did not fathom the possibility that Rushdie may be a Muslim dissident, who is constructively (and properly) re-imagining his religious tradition in the similarly revisionist fashion of Rabelais, Voltaire, and James Joyce. Rabelais ridiculed and satirized the prevalent ecclesiastical machine of control; Voltaire captured the ideological disease of his time in his famous dictum that "those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"; and James Joyce exposed the disease of an Ireland--or rather a Dublin--torn by religious sectarianism, the dogmatism of the Catholic Church, and British racism. (43) Al-Azm goes on to assert that "Rushdie's fiction is," in the end, "an angry and rebellious exploration of very specific inhuman conditions" that prevail in the Muslim world. (44) Said explains that "for us, the crisis of 'modernism' and 'modernity' is a crisis over authority, and the right of the individual, and the writer, the thinker, to express himself, or herself." (45) In its very publication, and inscription in the imperial space, The Satanic Verses has complicated the problematic overlapping of totalizing narratives. It has indeed demystified multiple structures of nationalism, tokenistic culturalism, and religious obscurantism--all somehow infected by the factuality of imperialism.

Even as they consistently named and shamed other structures of control, Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie have de-romanticized the narcissism of neo-colonialism as a state of singular and irreversible duration. Their work, be it imaginative or non-fictional, operates both processes of demythologization and demystification. They have attempted to invent new forms of reading non-Western history and culture by demythologizing the illusions and myths of empire and other systems of silencing. Their work essentially locates that which is relentlessly and intractably oppressive, that which political and theological ideologies must repress to regulate their operations of exclusion and suppression.

During his period of hiding, Rushdie continued to appreciate Said's own vulnerability in the American public space. He understood Said's problematic condition of being out of place, the Palestinian in New York with the watchtower of the Jewish Defence League, which is "not the easiest of fates." (46) The two commentaries, "On Palestinian Identity" in Imaginary Homelands (1991) and "October 1999: Edward Said" in Step Across This Line (2002), have the benefit of thematic and political coherence. Rushdie represents Said, first of all, as a Palestinian voice, and, secondly, as a true intellectual made by exilic existence. In both interventions, Rushdie concentrates on the artistic spaces and meanings that Said has attempted to create for a Palestinian identity and presence. In his reading of After the Last Sky, Rushdie sees Said's reflection and the photographs assembled in the book as a passionate attempt to make sense of the Palestinian experience of displacement and landlessness, so much so that "the classic rules about form or structure cannot be true to that experience; rather it is necessary to work through a kind of chaos or unstable form that will accurately express its essential instability." (47) In response to the ferocious attack on Said's memoir, Out of Place (1999), Rushdie contends:
 [T]he attack on Said is also an attack on what he stands
 for; on the world he has hoped for decades to argue into
 being: a world in which Palestinians are able to live with
 honour in their own country, yes, but also a world in
 which, by an act of constructive forgetting, the past can
 be worked though and then left in the past, so that
 Palestinians and Jews can begin to think about a different
 sort of future. (48)

Rushdie reiterates what Said has single-handedly done towards the question of Palestine in Western imagination: He has reinforced the notion of the basic humanity of Palestinians and their right to tell their stories. Rushdie has perceptively chosen to focus on two of Said's most imaginative books on Palestine because they deal with (among other things) the experience of uprootedness and metamorphosis. Both After the Last Sky and Out of Place narrate personal stories about the historicity and fragmentation of Palestinian identity and life. Out of Place is particularly aware, as Rushdie notes, of the power and necessity of invention: "All families invent their parents and children; give each of them a story, character, fate, and even a language." (49) The writing of Out of Place punctuates and coincides with Said's leukaemia, and, on this account, the telling of Said's story "is a heroic instance of writing against death." (50) Out of Place's portrayal of displacement is close to Rushdie's own experience of multiple "rootings and uprootings, about feeling wrong in the world." (51)

Out of Place, a political memoir, reconfigures the Palestinian experience, reconstitutes the political in Said's life. Because Said's early childhood was immunized to the politics of Palestine, his memoir has conscientiously retrieved the remains of early memories of wreckage, crumbling, and flight. Said retrospectively explains that there was no vocabulary adequate enough to speak about the loss of Palestine: "All of us seemed to have given up on Palestine as a place, never to be returned to, barely mentioned, missed silently and pathetically." (52) Such sentiment coincides with the fact that Said's father, Wadie, never shed a tear on the loss of Palestine. The repression of Palestine "occurred as part of a larger depoliticization on the part of ... [Said's] parents, who hated and distrusted politics." (53) Paradoxically enough, these amputations for Said have helped the process of recovering the interrelatedness of the personal and the political.

Just as he evoked the political situatedness of Said in the execution of pictures and images in After the Last Sky, Rushdie notes the immense irony in the reception of Said's memoir. Full of extraordinary passion, honesty, integrity, and ruthless examination of one's cultural and psychological making and un-making, Said's memoir still received the expected Right-wing avalanche of accusation of fraud, of falsification of facts, and, in short, of the repeated ideology to deny the Palestinianness of Palestinians. Rushdie takes issue with Justus Reid Weiner, a writer for the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, who set out to discredit Said's family history, their ownership of a house in Jerusalem, and Said's attendance of St. George School in eastern Jerusalem. Rushdie concedes that "when a distinguished writer is attacked in this fashion--then there is always more at stake than the mere quotidian malice of the world of books." (54)

Early on, Rushdie pointed out in his first conversation with Said that those working as "Israel's defenders" in the US, backed by American press in particular, continued to silence Palestinian voices and to dismiss the very historical presence of Palestinians as a people. Rushdie remarks that no American paper was willing to publish Said's rebuttals, which appeared in British and Israeli press. (55) Rushdie describes here the process by which myths become validated in the collective imaginary. If there were a single over-arching story in Out of Place, which makes many so called experts of the Middle East, professional policy makers, and specialized interest groups very uncomfortable, it would certainly be the story of Palestine itself: a story of bereavement and recovery, of imagination and refusal to be silenced.

Said's argument for Palestine insists on a process of collaboration that characterizes US imperialism, Israeli Zionism, and their reception in the Arab-Islamic world. Imperialism operates through the movements of various authoritarian structures. It does not act independently but feeds from, or flows over to, what looks like itself; it collaborates with violence, singularity, and binary opposition. All movements of exclusion created myths to legitimize themselves. Zionism, for example, as Ahmad notes "has the distinction also of creating a large body of myths about Palestine and Palestinians: Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land." (56) Ahmad refers here to Said's essay "Zionism from the Standpoint of Its Victims," in The Question of Palestine, in which Said questions the ideological distance between "idea" and "reality." Zionism as an idea, it has been argued, is immobile in its essence because of its actual realization in the state of Israel. Yet such an idea obliterates and elides the non-Jew, and cuts itself from the historical context of European ideology of racism. On this account, because Zionism presents itself to be fundamentally exclusionary and selectively amnesiac, its central ideas have to be inspected,
 historically in two ways: (1) genealogically in order
 that their provenance, their kingship and descent, their
 affiliation both with other ideas and with political
 institutions may be demonstrated; (2) as practical systems
 for accumulation (of power, land, ideological
 legitimacy) and displacement (of people, other ideas,
 prior legitimacy). (57)

Undoubtedly, Ahmad and Rushdie have expressed an unfailing sympathy towards the Palestinian issue, understanding well the structural connections sustaining imperialism and Zionism. Ahmad boldly relates Zionism to colonialism, and colonialism to actual occupation and control of land, water, and institutions. Their common political sentiment is to reject the politics of collaboration, and to embrace a resolute position of opposing Israeli power.

III. Resisting Bhabha's Theory of Ambivalence

This brings me to the question why Said, by contrast, is unmistakably less sympathetic to other equally important and visible South Asian writers and theorists. According to Said, Naipaul sees that the wounds caused by European domination were instead self-inflicted, and thus there is no need to go on about the legacy of colonialism. (58) Compared to Rushdie, Naipaul is one of those rare postcolonials who ascribe the present decline of the "Third World" to "native histories" and to some "genetic" inclination towards the pre-colonial past of barbarism. (59) Naipaul evidently disconnects the transgressions of empire, resistance to it, and its continuities in the present. In Among the Believers (1981) and Beyond Belief." Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples (1998), he casts much of the blame on the out-fashioned archaic habits, histories, or belief systems of non-Western cultures, and particularly on Islam's impulse for imperial domination, hate, and rage. The converted of Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia are stripped of agency and confused by their inability to speak the sacred language of the Book, which alienates and binds them at the same time. These indictments, as Rushdie argues, are "highly selective truth, a novelist's truth masquerading as objective reality." (60) The reason lies in Naipaul's emptying of the history of the converted from the impact of colonialism and postcolonial authoritarianism.

Naipaul is just determined to prove that these countries are ravaged exclusively by religious dogmatism and Mullah-dominated perspectives, ignoring the way military dictatorship uses 'Islam' as a means of control. (61) This simplistic and superficial view was clearly consolidated by the Iranian Revolution, the fatwa against Rushdie, and definitely legitimated by 9/11 and the discourse of terrorism associated with the name 'Islam.' According to Said the 'soft-core' language of post-1960s intellectuals like Naipaul and Homi Bhabha has rendered anti-imperialist pioneers like Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire irrelevant. What makes Said cynical of such a pretentious reading is its level of abstraction. Somehow, imperialism is a mere psychological irregularity that can be fixed by the power of theoretical cleverness. Bhabha in particular depends on the magic of specialized jargons, assuming that somehow the abuses of slavery, racism, and oppression of non-Western peoples may be eased and made bearable.

This critique of a self-indulgent and hygienic treatment of empire is perhaps as old as the institution of postcolonial theory itself. Arif Dirlik points out that Bhabha obfuscates questioning his position as a spokesperson for "Third World" peoples in Western academy because he is formed in the language of "First World" cultural criticism. Bhabha constantly reduces the experience of colonialism into relativist and universalizing categories. (62) Benita Parry contends that the problem with Bhabha's own attempt to expose "the myth of the transparency of the human agent" is that "in eschewing the notion of agency as performed by the subject on contested ground, and disclaiming resistance as social practice, Bhabha's proposal is incommensurate with accounts of 'a culture of resistance.'" (63) Bhabha's version of postmodern analysis depoliticizes postcolonial consciousness and dismisses the agency of the colonized. His theoretical triangulation of hybridity, ambivalence, and mimicry, which moves away from explicitly recognizing the continuing encroachment of colonialism, has been high-ranking in the politics of postcolonial representation. According to Bhabha's typically poststructuralist reading, the notion of ambivalence interrupts oppositional binaries, deterministic and functionalist modes of representation.

Bhabha has attempted to move beyond what he saw to be unhelpful categorizations of "East" and "West," "Us" and "Them" inherent in Orientalism's thesis. He makes the strategic claim that instead of binary oppositions, there is a fundamental interiority of splitting which interrupts the calculated partition intrinsic to colonial discourse. According to Bhabha, the way out of the foundationalist and divisive ideology of colonial discourse (including Macaulay's Minute) is to examine the "processes of subjectification." (64) Bhabha argues that the intellectual and psychological collusion between the Orientalist and the Orientalized is essentially of a paradoxical nature. Thus the colonial stereotype system may be seen in terms of ambiguous "phobia and fetish" that "threatens the closure of the racial/epidermal schema for the colonial subject and opens the royal road to colonial fantasy." (65) The process of Orientalization is based on fetishism, on the "scopic drive" to render the other visible for pleasure and erotic domestication. (66) The colonial/postcolonial site is not ravaged exclusively by fixity, immobility, but by the interzonal shuttle of fixity and fantasy, fear and desire. (67)

Kojin Karatani has identified this type of analysis, in the slightly different context of Japan, as the aesthetic in colonialism, or what he calls "aestheticentrism." (68) Karatani argues that the aesthetic in colonial reading is a form of "sadistic invasion" which allows some anti-imperialist gestures to still repeat forms and readings belonging to imperialist discourse. By looking at moments of difference that seemingly combat European ethnocentrism, Bhabha wants to show "respect" to native cultures. He wants to recognize their intellectual and ethical presence denied by the colonizers. However, his strategy of difference involves looking down on the other as an object of scientific examination. Karatani explains that the stance to regard the other as an object of study belongs to eighteenth-century Enlightenment thought, whose aesthetic dimension here is to try to appreciate and appropriate the other, knowing that the other occupies a position of inferiority. (69) Therefore, "aestheticentrism refuses to acknowledge that the other who does not offer any simulative surprise of a 'stranger' lives a life 'out there.' Aestheticentrists always appear as anticolonialists." (70)

The general dissatisfaction that Bhabha expresses with regard to Said's thesis in Orientalism is surely nuanced, but may unwittingly be close to the views of the staunchest opponents of Said, especially Bernard Lewis, Fouad Ajami, Daniel Pipes, and Martin Kramer. They all have obstinately attacked Said for being deliberately anti-Western and anti-American. Said, they argue, has misrepresented the history of Orientalism. He, in fact, supports Islamism and Muslim fundamentalism. (71)

When Bhabha reproaches Said for ignoring the internal procedures of violence and control of such movements like Hamas, Islamic Jihad Joseph Massad concedes that
 Bhabha ... never describes the Zionist enterprise or
 Israeli occupation as having anything to do with colonialism,
 which leads him to call not for an end to Israel's colonization and
 occupation, but for a negotiated "just and lasting peace" (terms
 borrowed from US State Department pronouncements that also never
 mention colonialism or occupation). (72)

One important point that Massad makes in response to Bhabha's obituary is to link Bhabha's charge of Said's "rage" and passionate solution to the Palestinian question to the standard Zionist attacks on Said's work, and to the Israeli government's notions of security. Bhabha reads the condition of Palestine as simply a matter of competing nationalisms, as a conflict over territory. In the final analysis, Massad considers Bhabha a "domesticated" and "tamed" postcolonial theorist. He argues that Bhabha, unlike the two other pillars of postcolonial trinity, Said and Gayatri Spivak, appears "to be committed to depoliticizing deeply political questions." (73) According to Massad's view, Bhabha is even trapped in a precarious game of self-Orientalization. In a sarcastic tone, Massad concedes,
 Bhabha ... is not encumbered by the emotional passions
 dogging Orientals of the Said variety. Moreover, it would
 seem that Said, like all Orientals (Bhabha excepted), had
 mortgaged his reason for the benefit of his passion.... Rejecting
 the irrational rebarbative solution of Said, Bhabha tells us that
 his presumably dispassionate "vision" of a solution for the
 Palestinian condition "would be based on a shared awareness that the
 territorial security of a peoples [sic] is more relevant today than
 a nationalistic demand for territorial integrity." (74)

What validates such criticism is the standard, typical of multicultural tropes of postmodern translation and excessive mimicry, by which Bhabha reads everything. In the same methodological spirit, Bhabha tells us the protagonist Chamcha in The Satanic Verses stands "in-between two border conditions." (75) On this account, then, "[t]he fundamentalist charge has not focused on the misinterpretation of the Kuran, as much as on the offence of the 'misnaming' of Islam." (76)

Again, Bhabha's reading depends more on ready-made theoretical packages. Exchange, miscegenation, polymorphism, and solicitation are essential principles of critical analysis. They are excessively deployed and expertly applied, at the expense of historical specificity.

Much of what Bhabha's theoretical sophistication brought to the debate in postcolonial theory has remained Eurocentric and essentialist. Ambivalence has not rehabilitated the existential and epistemological status of real colonized subjects in history. Difference, which stems from the postcolonial repository of the West, is itself a denial and a suppression of other complexities of the hybrid mimic. Difference still depends on a single perspective of ignorance. When Bhabha claims that ambivalence allows the possibility of subversion within the context of Diasporic condition, he approaches the problem from a monolithic angle, simplifying the meanings of fixity and difference in metaphysical and historical orders. When Bhabha mentions the name 'Islam' in his schema of translatability he disallows its entry into the realm of critical precision, specificity, and fine differences. His understanding of the conflict between Islam and the West is always a matter of alienation and excessive translation.

On this account, Bhabha's dismissal of Islam's inner complexity and historical difference is ultimately an ethical cul de sac; it is ignotum per ignotius--that is, an attempt to explain the pre-national, pre-modern, manifestations of Islam's atavism (Islam's humanism obviously disregarded) by the more obfuscatory postmodernist tools of reference. Doubtless, the cultural critic is innovative and nuanced but he lacks the patience to appreciate what Said calls the battle of modernity. In other words, his ignorance stems from ignoring his own ignorance of precolonial experience of nationhood, collective identity, authority, and mythical rationalities.

This type of theorization recycles old structures of epistemological oppression and the idea that modernity is categorically European. Bhabha's and Naipaul's strategic positing of fixed categories of neo-colonial oppressor and post-colonial victim has maintained the wholesomeness and originary presence of the privileged ideological position of the neo-colonizer. Pedagogically, the center still enjoys a certain symbolic usefulness when postcolonial thinking ignores its complicity in the conditions of powerlessness exacerbated by 9/11 and neo-conservatist domination. Mimicry has surreptitiously legitimized the ethical superiority of the neo-colonizer. Therefore, it has made the ethical responsibility of the postcolonial subject to resist, to speak out, to repeat his stories over and over again, and ultimately to refuse to be silenced, a matter of inconvenience, an infringement on the circumscribed security of empire.

Collaboration is insistently interested in the compromises that different structures of authority use to create alliance with other structures perceived to be oppositional. What the protagonist Saleem Sinai in Midnight's Children calls "the world of linear narrative" has dominated postcolonial movements of resistance and reform. Fundamentalist thought which is not specific to 'Islam,' but to other religions, secular ideologies, and--more recently--to American neo-conservatism, in the language of Shame, inhabits "things that cannot be said. No, it's more than that: there are things that cannot be permitted to be true." (77) Critical consciousness, as Said understands it, means an endless search for hidden layers of unreported patterns of subjugation and silencing. Rushdie and Said, in this sense, are unflinchingly interrupting the conventional meaning of the colonial. The novel's attack on obscurantist thinking would have to be understood not just in terms of the very materiality of oppression and annexation of territory, or the "radical destruction" of culture and economy (something Rushdie stressed principally in his early fiction), but as a complex and incalculable interference of other tendencies and cognitive habits (internal and external) which remain original in all discourses of suppression and censorship, always contaminated by the ultimate fixity and moral conceit of imperialism. The characters and narrators of Rushdie's prose are, in his own words, "handcuffed to [a] history" of internal destinies of India, Britain, Europe, and the "Land of the Pure," Pakistan. They are driven by partitions from a number of ideologies: colonialism, nationalism, and religious dogmatism. Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie have constructed the idea of empire to be structurally unbending, as seen clearly in the case of Zionism. Their life-long project on reconfiguring empire theorizes, thinks, and testifies to an unlimited space of "leaking," to borrow Rushdie's term. Empire leaks across other fields and temporalities. And because it leaks in a number of ways and regardless of territorial decolonization, its malevolent persistence should not be theorized away. Empire always hides what Rushdie calls the stories and narratives of "massacred history."

Therefore, for Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie, the ultimate aim of intellectual decolonization is to insist on the continuities of imperial systems of control, and the constant exigency to create new spaces of imagining newness, justice, and moral responsibility in the world. Ultimately, Said, Ahmad, and Rushdie have insistently refused the triumph of empire's logic of closure and immunity. Their discriminating realization that colonialism is still well and kicking is what fuels their insistence that Israel, being a colonial power, exists on the ruins of Palestinian land, memory, and identity. There is just no other vocabulary, no matter how refined, sophisticated, and nuanced, capable of writing off raw realities of injustice, dispossession, and racism. Fanon has reminded us in the case of colonial Algeria that the Arab is now "permanently an alien in his own country, lives in a state of absolute depersonalization." (78) Said would say the issue here is always "a matter of principle. Invasion is invasion." (79) In the end, whilst Rushdie uses fiction to explore the political usefulness of fragmentation, post-colonial experience, cultural unevenness, and inequality of idioms and languages, Said and Ahmad have told the story of the oppressed by relentlessly intervening in colonial realities and archives always in the making. The approach is, of course, different, yet the political drives remain similar, if not complimentary and interrelated. Each one of them has envisaged and helped create a transcolonial understanding of imperialism, which moves beyond the very conventional pedagogy of understanding, relating to, and representing colonial experience.

Those, like Homi Bhabha and V. S. Naipaul, who may wish for a depoliticized discussion in the most political times (reignited by 9/11 and the so-called War on Terror) may be irresponsibly fooling the Wretched of the Earth. In the heat of Bush's new ipse dixit and his Evangelical zeal to save the Muslim world, Bhabha's reading can only throw us back on the imperial soap box shouting and forcing rational infiltrations, evidentiary demurrals, detours of splits, corpus delicti, and stoppages. Bhabha's perspective, in the end, builds on a need to turn the idea of resistance itself into respectability for collaboration with power.

The durability of Said's influence has not only depended on the ground-breaking insights of Orientalism and many of his other resourceful writings, but more on the political impact of those books. The connections between this trinity of postcolonial intellectuals demonstrate that Said's legacy lies chiefly in the sheer transference and travel of his ideas and political vision into the imaginative and historical realms of other individuals and other geographical contexts. Said deservedly gained the sympathies and respect of Ahmad and Rushdie and many others who have shared a fundamental belief that the experience of empire is irreversible. Empire is irreducible to the excess of jargon and academic professionalism. Imperialism is what decides the current rifts between black and white, Arab and non-Arab, Muslim and Western, between occupying authorities today in Iraq and the oppressed natives. Said's intellectual, personal, ethical, and human affinity with Ahmad and Rushdie should reinforce the need to keep telling our stories, to repeat our testimonies and be ready to supply a counterpoint to the indulgences of postcolonial theory--and to do this mercilessly. Despite the avalanche of sexy obscurantist rereading of much of postcolonial writing, the force of Said's central imperatives has remained intact: to continue inventive debate, to nourish 'critical consciousness,' and to hold on to skepticism.


(1) Edward Said, The Pen and the Sword: Conversations with David Barsamian (Edinburgh: AK Press, 1994), 74.

(2) Eqbal Ahmad, "Yasser Arafat's Nightmare," MERIP Reports 119 (Nov-Dec 1983): 19.

(3) Eqbal Abroad, "Yasser Arafat's Nightmare," 22.

(4) Eqbal Ahmad, "Yasser Arafat's Nightmare," 21.

(5) Eqbal Ahmad, et. al., "Middle East Peace Priorities in the US: Seven Perspectives," Middle East Report 158 (May-June 1989): 6.

(6) Qtd. in Eqbal Ahmad, Confronting Empire: Interview with David Barsamian (London: Pluto Press, 2000), xx.

(7) Qtd. in Eqbal Ahmad, Confronting Empire, xxi.

(8) Edward Said, Peace and its Discontents: Gaza-Jericho 1993-1995 (London: Vintage, 1995).

(9) Eqbal Ahmad, "Introduction," Edward Said, The Pen and the Sword, 8.

(10) Eqbal Ahmad, "Introduction," Edward Said, The Pen and the Sword, 13.

(12) Eqbal Ahmad, "Introduction," Edward Said, The Pen and the Sword, 8.

(12) Paul A. Bove, "Introduction," Boundary 2 25.2 (1998): 1.

(13) Edward Said, Out of Place (NY: Vintage Books, 1999), 295.

(14) Eqbal Ahmad, Confronting Empire, 11.

(15) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity: A Conversation with Edward Said," Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 (London: Granta Books, 1991), 166.

(16) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (NY: Knopf, 1993), xxx.

(17) Timothy Brennan, "Edward Said and Comparative Literature," Journal of Palestine Studies XXXIII.3 (Spring 2004): 25.

(18) Timothy Brennan, "Edward Said and Comparative Literature," 25.

(19) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity," 170.

(20) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity," 171.

(21) Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures (NY: Vintage, 1994), 102.

(22) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity," 175.

(23) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity," 179.

(24) Edward Said, "Zionism from the Standpoint of Its Victims," The Question of Palestine (NY: Vintage Books, 1979), 60.

(25) Michael Gilsenan, "The Education of Edward Said," New Left Review 4 (July-August 2000): 154.

(26) Edward Said, "Criticism and the Art of Politics," Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward Said, ed. Gauri Viswanathan (NY: Pantheon Books, 2001), 148.

(27) Edward Said, "Overlapping Territories: The World, the Text, and the Critic," Power, Politics and Culture, 64-65.

(28) Edward Said, "The Road Less Traveled," Power, Politics and Culture, 416.

(29) Edward Said, "The Road Less Traveled," 416.

(30) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism, 260.

(31) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism, 261.

(32) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism, 22-23.

(33) Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, 89.

(34) Edward Said, "Against the Orthodoxies," For Rushdie: A Collection of Essays by 100 Arabic and Muslim Writers, eds. Anouar Abdallah et al (NY: George Braziller, Inc., 1994), 261.

(35) Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, 92.

(36) Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, 109.

(37) Edward Said, "Against the Orthodoxies," 261.

(38) Eqbal Ahmad, "Introduction," The Pen and the Sword, 11.

(39) Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, 113.

(40) Edward Said, "Religious Criticism," The World, the Text, and the Critic (London: Vintage, 1991), 290.

(41) David Barsamian and Edward Said, Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward Said (Cambridge: South End Press, 2003), 61-62.

(42) Edward Said, "People's Rights and Literature," Power, Politics, and Culture, 259.

(43) Jalal al-Azm, "The Importance of Being Earnest about Salman Rushdie," Reading Rushdie: Perspectives on the Fiction of Salman Rushdie, ed. D. M. Fletcher (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994), 262-64.

(44) Jalal al-Azm, "The Importance," 282.

(45) Jalal al-Azm, "The Importance," 259.

(46) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity," 171.

(47) Salman Rushdie, "On Palestinian Identity," 168.

(48) Salman Rushdie, "October 1999: Edward Said," Step Across this Line (NY: Random House, 2002), 284.

(49) Edward Said, Out of Place, 3.

(50) Edward Said, Out of Place, 282.

(51) Salman Rushdie, "October 1999: Edward Said," 282.

(52) Edward Said, Out of Place, 115.

(53) Edward Said, Out of Place, 117.

(54) Salman Rushdie, "October 1999": Edward Said," 283.

(55) Salman Rushdie, "October 1999": Edward Said," 283-84.

(56) Eqbal Abroad, Confronting Empire, 15.

(57) Edward Said, "Zionism from the Standpoint of Its Victims," 57.

(58) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism, 20.

(59) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism, 23.

(60) Salman Rushdie, "Naipaul Among the Believers," Imaginary Homelands, 374.

(61) Salman Rushdie, "Naipaul Among the Believers," 373-75.

(62) Arif Dirlik, "The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism," Critical Inquiry 20 (Winter 1994): 328-56

(63) Benita Parry, "The Postcolonial: Conceptual Category or Chimera?," The Yearbook of English Studies 27 (1997): 8.

(64) Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), 67.

(65) Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 67.

(66) Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 68.

(67) Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 74-75.

(68) Kojin Karatani, "Uses of Aesthetics: After Orientalism," Boundary 2 25.2 (1998): 146.

(69) Kojin Karatani, "Uses of Aesthetics: After Orientalism," 146.

(70) Kojin Karatani, "Uses of Aesthetics: After Orientalism," 153.

(71) See especially Said's response in "Afterword to the 1995 Printing," Orientalism (London: Penguin Books, 1995), 329-54.

(72) Joseph Massad, "The Intellectual Life of Edward Said," Journal of Palestine Studies XXXIII.3 (Spring 2004): 15.

(73) Joseph Massad, "The Intellectual Life of Edward Said," 15.

(74) Joseph Massad, "The Intellectual Life of Edward Said," 16.

(75) Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 224.

(76) Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 225.

(77) Salman Rushdie, Shame (London: Vintage, 1995), 82.

(78) Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (NY: Grove Weidenfeld, 1968), ix.

(79) Edward Said, "The Intellectuals and the War," Middle East Report 171 (Jul-Aug, 1991): 17.
COPYRIGHT 2005 American University in Cairo
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Yacoubi, Youssef
Publication:Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
Article Type:Critical Essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Previous Article:Said and Achebe: writers at the crossroads of culture.
Next Article:Perspectives of polyphony in Edward Said's writings.

Related Articles
For Rushdie: Essays by Arab and Muslim Writers in Defense of Free Speech.
De-scribing the centre: satiric and postcolonial strategies in The Madonna of Excelsior *.
Edward said and critical decolonization.
Desperate youth.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters