Objecting to Said

Stefano Brugnolo


This essay criticizes Said’s tendency to assimilate many different textual typologies under the “guilty sign” of Orientalism. Said's definition of Orientalism is ”a Western style for dominating, restructuring and exerting authority over the Orient”. In other words, Said makes no distinction between literature and ideology and he considers both as expressions of the so-called “orientalist discourse”. This kind of approach can be criticized if we adopt the hypothesis that great literature has always deeply contradicted the ideology it appears to refer to superficially. On the basis of this general hypothesis,we can conclude that orientalist literary works, even when based on colonialist and even racist assumptions, always disprove Western stereotypes and prejudices, by surpassing predictable and manichean dichotomies (such as East/West and Black/White), proposing Uutopian and universal visions of human relationships.



Theory of discourse; Ethnic stereotypes; Return of repressed; Unconsciuos logic; Identification with the Other’

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/305

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17500

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