Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

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The rest of the orthodox community lives in a condition of what Massignon calls "soif ontologique"-ontological thirst. God presents himself to man as a kind of absence, a refusal to be present, yet the devout Muslim's consciousness of his submission to God's will (Islam) gives rise to a jealous sense of God's transcendence and an intolerance of idolatry of any sort. The seat of these ideas, according to Massignon, is the "circumcised heart," which while it is in the grip of its testimonial Muslim fervor can, as is the case with mystics like al-Hallaj, also be inflamed with a divine passion or love of God. In either case, God's transcendental unity (tawhid) is something to be achieved and understood over and over by the devout Muslim, either through testifying to it or through mystic love of God: and this, Massignon wrote in a complex essay, defines the "intention" of Islam." Clearly Massignon's sympathies lay with the mystic vocation in Islam, as much for its closeness to his own temperament as a devout Catholic as for its disrupting influence within the orthodox body of beliefs. Massignon's image of Islam is of a religion ceaselessly implicated in its refusals, its latecoming (with reference to the other Abrahamanic creeds), its comparatively barren sense of worldly reality, its massive structures of defense against "psychic commotions" of the sort practiced by al-Hallaj and other Sufi mystics, its loneliness as the only remaining "Oriental" religion of the three great monotheisms.80

But so obviously stern a view of Islam, with its "invariants simples"81 (especially for so luxuriant a thought as Massignon's), entailed no deep hostility towards it on his part. In reading Massignon one is struck by his repeated insistence on the need for complex reading-injunctions whose absolute sincerity it is impossible to doubt. He wrote in 1951 that his kind of Orientalism was "ni une manie d'exotisme, ni un reniement de l'Europe, mais une wise au niveau entre nos méthodes de recherches et les traditions vécues d'antiques civilisations."82 Put into practice in the reading of an Arabic or Islamic text, this kind of Orientalism produced interpretations of an almost overwhelming intelligence; one would be foolish not to respect the sheer genius and novelty of Massignon's mind. Yet what must catch our attention in his definition of his Orientalism are two phrases: "nos méthodes de recherches" and "les traditions vécues d'antiques civilisations." Massignon saw what he did as the synthesis of two roughly opposed quantities, yet it is the peculiar asymmetry between them that troubles one, and not merely the fact of the opposition between Europe and Orient. Massignon's implication is that the essence of the difference between East and West is between modernity and ancient tradition.And indeed in his writings on political and contemporary problems, which is where one can see most immediately the limitations of Massignon's method, the East-West opposition turns up in a most peculiar way.

At its best, Massignon's vision of the East-West encounter assigned great responsibility to the West for its invasion of the East, its colonialism, its relentless attacks on Islam. Massignon was a tireless fighter on behalf of Muslim civilization and, as his numerous essays and letters after 1948 testify, in support of Palestinian refugees, in the defense of Arab Muslim and Christian rights in Palestine against Zionism, against what, with reference to something said by Abba Eban, he scathingly called Israeli "bourgeois colonialism.83 Yet the framework in which Massignon's vision was held also assigned the Islamic Orient to an essentially ancient time and the West to modernity. Like Robertson Smith, Massignon considered the Oriental to be not a modern man but a Semite; this reductive category had a powerful grip on his thought. When, for example, in 1960 he and Jacques Berque, his colleague at the College de France, published their dialogue on "the Arabs" in Esprit, a good deal of the time was spent in arguing whether the best way to look at the problems of the contemporary Arabs was simply to say, in the main instance; that the Arab-Israeli conflict was really a Semitic problem. Berque tried to demur gently, and to nudge Massignon towards the possibility that like the rest of the world the Arabs had undergone what he called an "anthropological variation": Massignon refused the notion out of hand.84 His repeated efforts to understand and report on the Palestine conflict, for all their profound humanism, never really got past the quarrel between Isaac and Ishmael or, so far as his quarrel with Israel was concerned, the tension between Judaism and Christianity. When Arab cities and villages were captured by the Zionists, it was Massignon's religious sensibilities that were offended.

Europe, and France in particular, were seen as contemporary realities. Partly because of his initial political encounter with the British during the First World War, Massignon retained a pronounced dislike of England and English policy; Lawrence and his type represented a too-complex policy which he, Massignon, opposed in his dealings with Faisal. "Je cherchais avec Faysal ...à pénétrer dans le sens même de sa tradition à lui." The British seemed to represent "expansion" in the Orient, amoral economic policy, and an outdated philosophy of political influence.85 The Frenchman was a more modern man, who was obliged to get from the Orient what he had lost in spirituality, traditional values, and the like. Massignon's investment in this view came, I think, by way of the entire nineteenth-century tradition of the Orient as therapeutic for the West, a tradition whose earliest adumbration is to be found in Quinet. In Massignon, it was joined to a sense of Christian compassion:

So far as Orientals are concerned, we ought to have recourse to this science of compassion, to this "participation"- even in the construction of their language and of their mental structure, in which indeed we must participate: because ultimately this science bears witness either to verities that are ours too, or else to verities that we have lost and must regain. Finally, because in a profound sense everything that exists is good in some way, and those poor colonized people do not exist only for our purposes but in and for themselves [en soil].86

Nevertheless the Oriental, en soi, was incapable of appreciating or understanding himself. Partly because of what Europe had done to him, he had lost his religion and his philosophie; Muslims had "un vide immense" within them; they were close to anarchy and suicide. It became France's obligation, then, to associate itself with the Muslims' desire to defend their traditional culture, the rule of their dynastic life, and the patrimony of believers. 87

No scholar, not even a Massignon, can resist the pressures on him of his nation or of the scholarly tradition in which he works. In a great deal of what he said of the Orient and its relationship with the Occident, Massignon seemed to refine and yet to repeat the ideas of other French Orientalists. We must allow, however, that the refinements, the personal style, the individual genius, may finally supersede the political restraints operating impersonally through tradition and through the national ambience. Even so, in Massignon's case we must also recognize that in one direction his ideas about the Orient remained thoroughly traditional and Orientalist, their personality and remarkable eccentricity notwithstanding. According to him, the Islamic Orient was spiritual, Semitic, tribalistic, radically monotheistic, yin-Aryan: the adjectives resemble a catalogue of late-nineteenth-century anthropological descriptions. The relatively earthbound experiences of war, colonialism, imperialism, economic oppression, love, death, and cultural exchange seem always in Massignon's eyes to be filtered through metaphysical, ultimately dehumanized lenses: they are Semitic, European, Oriental, Occidental, Aryan, and so on. The categories structured his world and gave what he said a kind of deep senseto him, at least. In the other direction, among the individual and immensely detailed ideas of the scholarly world, Massignon maneuvered himself into a special position. He reconstructed and defended Islam against Europe on the one hand and against its own orthodoxy on the other. This intervention-for it was that-into the Orient as animator and champion symbolized his own acceptance of the Orient's difference, as well as his efforts to change it into what he wanted. Both together, the will to knowledge over the Orient and on its behalf in Massignon are very strong. His al-Hallaj represents that will perfectly. The disproportionate importance accorded al-Hallaj by Massignon signifies first, the scholar's decision to promote one figure above his sustaining culture, and second, the fact that al-Hallaj had come to represent a constant challenge, even an irritant, to the Western Christian for whom belief was not (and perhaps could not be) the extreme self-sacrifice it was for the Sufi. In either case, Massignon's al-Hallaj was intended literally to embody, to incarnate, values essentially outlawed by the main doctrinal system of Islam, a system that Massignon himself described mainly in order to circumvent it with al-Hallaj.

Nevertheless we need not say immediately of Massignon's work that it was perverse, or that its greatest weakness was that it misrepresented Islam as an "average" or "common" Muslim might adhere to the faith. A distinguished Muslim scholar has argued precisely for this last position, although his argument did not name Massignon as an offender.88 Much as one may be inclined to agree with such theses-since, as this book has tried to demonstrate, Islam has been fundamentally misrepresented in the West-the real issue is whether indeed ire can be a true representation of anything, or whether any and all representations, because they are representations, are embedded first in the language and then in the culture, institutions, and political ambience of the representer. If the latter alternative is the correct one (as I believe it is), then we must be prepared to accept the fact that a representation is eo ipso implicated, intertwined, embedded, interwoven with a great many other things besides the "truth," which is itself a representation. What this must lead us to methodologically is to view representations (or misrepresentations-the distinction is at best a matter of degree) as inhabiting a common field of play defined for than, not by some inherent common subject matter alone, but by some common history, tradition, universe of discourse. Within this field, which no single scholar can create but which each, scholar receives and in which he then finds a place for himself, the individual researcher makes his contribution. Such contributions, even for the exceptional genius, are strategies of redisposing material within the field; even the scholar who unearths a once-lost manuscript produces the "found" text in a context already prepared for it, for that is the real meaning of finding a new text. Thus each individual contribution first causes changes within the field and then promotes a new stability, in the way that on a surface covered with twenty compasses the introduction of a twenty-first will cause all the others to quiver, then to settle into a new accommodating configuration.

The representations of Orientalism in European culture amount to what we can call a discursive consistency, one that has not only history but material (and institutional) presence to show for itself. As I said in connection with Renan, such a consistency was a form of cultural praxis, a system of opportunities for making statements about the Orient. My whole point about this system is not that it is a misrepresentation of some Oriental essence-in which I do not for a moment believe-but that it operates as representations usually do, for a purpose, according to a tendency, in a specific historical, intellectual, and even economic setting. In other words, representations have purposes, they are effective much of the time they accomplish one or many tasks. Representations are formations, or as Roland Barthes has said of all the operations of language, they are deformations. The Orient as, a representation in Europe is formed-or deformed-out of a more and more specific sensitivity towards a geographical region called "the East." Specialists in this region do their work on it, so to speak, because in time their profession as Orientalists requires that they present their society with images of the Orient, knowledge about it, insight into it. And to a very large extent the Orientalist provides his own society with representations of the Orient (a) that bear his distinctive imprint, (b) that illustrate his conception of what the Orient can or ought to be, (c) that consciously contest someone else's view of the Orient, (d) that provide Orientalist discourse with what, at that moment, it seems most in need of, and (e) that respond to certain cultural, professional, national, political, and economic requirements of the epoch. It will be evident that even though it will never be absent, the role of positive knowledge is far from absolute. Rather, "knowledge"--never raw, unmediated, or simply objective-is what the five attributes of Orientalist representation listed above distribute, and redistribute.

Seen in such a way, Massignon is less a mythologized "genius" than he is a kind of system for producing certain kinds of statements, disseminated into the large mass of discursive formations that together make up the archive, or cultural material, of his time. I do not think that we dehumanize Massignon if we recognize this, nor do we reduce him to being subject to vulgar determinism. On the contrary, we will see in a sense how a very human being had, and was able to acquire more of, a cultural and productive capacity that had an institutional, or extrahuman, dimension to it: and this surely is what the finite human being must aspire to if he is not to be content with his merely mortal presence in time and space. When Massignon said "nous sommes tous des Smites" he was indicating the range of his ideas over his society, showing the extent to which his ideas about the Orient could transcend the local anecdotal circumstances of a Frenchman and of French society. The category of Semite drew its nourishment out of Massignon's Orientalism, but its force derived from its tendency to extend out of the confines of the discipline, out into a broader history and anthropology, where it seemed to have a certain validity and power.89

On one level at least, Massignon's formulations and his representations of the Orient did have a direct influence, if not an unquestioned validity: among the guild of professional Orientalists. As I said above, Gibb's recognition of Massignon's achievement constitutes an awareness that as an alternative to Gibb's own work (by implication, that is), Massignon was to be dealt with. I am of course imputing things to Gibb's obituary that are there only as traces, not as actual statements, but they are obviously important if we look now at Gibb's own career as a foil for Massignon's. Albert Hourani's memorial essay on Gibb for the British Academy (to which I have referred several times) admirably summarizes the man's career, his leading ideas, and the importance of his work: with Hourani's assessment, in its broad lines, I have no disagreement. Yet something is missing from it, although this lack is partly made up for in a lesser piece on Gibb, William Polk's "Sir Hamilton Gibb Between Orientalism and History."90 Hourani tends to view Gibb as the product of personal encounters, personal influences, and the like; whereas Polk, who is far less subtle in his general understanding of Gibb than Hourani, sees Gibb as the culmination of a specific academic tradition, what-to use an expression that does not occur in Polk's prose-we can call an academic-research consensus or paradigm.

Borrowed in this rather gross fashion from Thomas Kuhn, the idea has a worthwhile relevance to Gibb, who as Hourani reminds us was in many ways a profoundly institutional figure. Everything that Gibb said or did, from his early career at London to the middle years at Oxford to his influential years as director of Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, bears the unmistakable stamp of a mind operating with great ease inside established institutions. Massignon was irremediably the outsider, Gibb the insider. Both men, in any case, achieved the very pinnacle of prestige and influence in French and Anglo-American Orientalism, respectively The Orient for Gibb was not a place one encountered directly; it was something one read about, studied, wrote about within the confines of learned societies, the university, the scholarly conference. Like Massignon, Gibb boasted of friendships with Muslims, but they seemed-like Lane's-to have been useful friendships, not determining ones. Consequently Gibb is a dynastic figure within the academic framework of British (and later of American) Orientalism, a scholar whose work quite consciously demonstrated the national tendencies of an academic tradition, set inside universities, governments, and research foundations.

One index of this is that in his mature years Gibb was often to be met with speaking and writing for policy-determining organizations. In 1951, for instance, he contributed an essay to a book significantly entitled The Near East and the Great Powers, in which he tried to explain the need for an expansion in Anglo-American programs of Oriental studies:

...the whole situation of the Western countries in regard to the countries of Asia and Africa has changed. We can no longer rely on that factor of prestige which seemed to play a large part in prewar thinking, neither can we any longer expect the peoples of Asia and Africa or of Eastern Europe to come to us and learn from us, while we sit back. We have to learn about them so that we can learn to work with them in a relationship that is closer to terms of mutuality.91

The terms of this new relationship were spelled out later in "Area Studies Reconsidered." Oriental studies were to be thought of not so much as scholarly activities but as instruments of national policy towards the newly independent, and possibly intractable, nations of the postcolonial world. Armed with a refocused awareness of his importance to the Atlantic commonwealth, the Orientalist was to be the guide of policymakers, of businessmen, of a fresh generation of scholars.

What counted most in Gibb's later vision was not the Orientalist's positive work as a scholar (for example, the kind of scholar Gibb had been in his youth when he studied the Muslim invasions of Central Asia) but its adaptability for use in the public world. Hourani puts this well:

...it became clear to him [Gibb] that modern governments and elites were acting in ignorance or rejection of their own traditions of social life and morality, and that their failures sprang from this. Henceforth his main efforts were given to the elucidation, by careful study of the past, of the specific nature of Muslim society and the beliefs and culture which lay at the heart of it. Even this problem he tended to see at first mainly in political terms.92

Yet no such later vision could have been possible without a fairly rigorous amount of preparation in Gibb's earlier work, and it is there that we must first seek to understand his ideas. Among Gibb's earliest influences was Duncan Macdonald, from whose work Gibb clearly derived the concept that Islam was a coherent system of life, a system made coherent not so much by the people who led that life as by virtue of some body of doctrine, method of religious practice, idea of order, in which all the Muslim people participated. Between the people and "Islam" there was obviously a dynamic encounter of sorts, yet what mattered to the Western student was the supervening power of Islam to make intelligible the experiences of the Islamic people, not the other way around.

For Macdonald and subsequently for Gibb, the epistemological and methodological difficulties of "Islam" as an object (about which large, extremely general statements could be made) are never tackled. Macdonald for his part believed that in Islam one could perceive aspects of a still more portentous abstraction, the Oriental mentality. The entire opening chapter of his most influential book (whose importance for Gibb cannot be minimized), The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam, is an anthology of unarguable declaratives about the Eastern or Oriental mind. He begins by saying that "it is plain, I think,and admitted that the conception of the Unseen is much more immediate and real to the Oriental than to the western peoples." The "large modifying elements which seem, from time to time, almost to upset the general law" do not upset it, nor do they upset the other equally sweeping and general laws governing the Oriental mind. "The essential difference in the Oriental mind is not credulity as to unseen things, but inability to construct a system as to seen things." Another aspect of this difficulty-which Gibb was later to blame for the absence of form in Arabic literature and for the Muslim's essentially atomistic view of reality-is "that the difference in the Oriental is not essentially religiosity, but the lack of the sense of law. For him, there is no immovable order of nature." If such a "fact" seems not to account for the extraordinary achievements of Islamic science, upon which a great deal in modern Western science is based, then Macdonald remains silent. He continues his catalogue: "It is evident that anything is possible to the Oriental. The supernatural is so near that it may touch him at any moment." That an occasion-namely, the historical and geographical birth of monotheism in the Orient-should in Macdonald's argument become an entire theory off difference between East and West signifies the degree of intensity to which "Orientalism" has committed Macdonald. Here is his summary:

Inability, then, to see life steadily, and see it whole, to understand that a theory of life must cover all the facts, and liability to be stampeded by a single idea and blinded to everything else-therein, I believe, is the difference between the East and the West.93

None of this, of course, is particularly new. From Schlegel to Renan, from Robertson Smith to T. E. Lawrence, these ideas get repeated and rerepeated. They represent a decision about the Orient, not by any means a fact of nature. Anyone who, like Macdonald and Gibb, consciously entered a profession called Orientalism did so on the basis of a decision made: that the Orient was the Orient, that it was different, and so forth. The elaborations, refinements, consequent articulations of the field therefore sustain and prolong the decision to confine the Orient. There is no perceivable irony in Macdonald's (or Gibb's) views about Oriental liability to be stampeded by a single idea; neither man seems able to recognize the extent of Orientalism's liability to be stampeded by the single idea of Oriental difference. And neither man is concerned by such wholesale designations as "Islam" or "the Orient" being used as proper nouns, with adjectives attached and verbs streaming forth, as if they referred to persons and not to Platonic ideas.

It is no accident, therefore, that Gibb's master theme, in almost everything he wrote about Islam and the Arabs, was the tension between "Islam" as a transcendent, compelling Oriental fact and the realities of everyday human experience. His investment as a scholar and as a devout Christian was in "Islam," not so much in the (to him) relatively trivial complications introduced into Islam by nationalism, class struggle, the individualizing experiences of love, anger, or human work. Nowhere is the impoverishing character of this investment more evident than in Whither Islam?, a volume edited and contributed to, in the title essay, by Gibb in 1932. (It also includes an impressive article on North African Islam by Massignon.) Gibb's task as he saw it was to assess Islam, its present situation, its possible future course. In such a task the individual and manifestly different regions of the Islamic world were to be, not refutations of Islam's unity, but examples of it. Gibb himself proposed an introductory definition of Islam; then, in the concluding essay, he sought 'to pronounce on its actuality and its real future. Like Macdonald, Gibb seems entirely comfortable with the idea of a monolithic East, whose existential circumstances cannot easily be reduced to race or racial theory; in resolutely denying the value of racial generalization Gibb rises above what had been most reprehensible in preceding generations of Orientalists. Gibb has a correspondingly generous and sympathetic view of Islam's universalism and tolerance in letting diverse ethnic and religious communities coexist peacefully and democratically within its imperium. There is a note of grim prophecy in Gibb's singling out the Zionists and the Maronite Christians, alone amongst ethnic communities in the Islamic world, for their inability to accept coexistence.94

But the heart of Gibb's argument is that Islam, perhaps because it finally represents the Oriental's exclusive concern not with nature but with the Unseen, has an ultimate precedence and domination over all life in the Islamic Orient. For Gibb Islam is Islamic orthodoxy, is also the community of believers is life, unity, intelligibility, values. It is law and order too, the unsavory disruptions of jihadists and communist agitators notwithstanding. In page after page of Gibb's prose in Whither Islam?, we learn that the new commercial banks in Egypt and Syria are facts of Islam or an Islamic initiative; schools and an increasing literacy rate are Islamic facts, too, as are journalism, Westernization, and intellectual societies. At no point does Gibb speak of European colonialism when he discusses the rise of nationalism and its "toxins." That the history of modern Islam might be more intelligible for its resistance, political and nonpolitical, to colonialism, never occurs to Gibb, just as it seems to him finally irrelevant to note whether the "Islamic" governments he discusses are republican, feudal, or monarchical.

"Islam" for Gibb is a sort of superstructure imperiled both by politics (nationalism, communist agitation, Westernization) and by dangerous Muslim attempts to tamper with its intellectual sovereignty. In the passage that follows, note how the word religion and its cognates are made to color the tone of Gibb's prose, so much so that we feel a decorous annoyance at the mundane pressures directed at "Islam":

Islam, as a religion, has lost little of its force, but Islam as the arbiter of social life [in the modern world] is being dethroned; alongside it, or above it, new forces exert an authority which is sometimes in contradiction to its traditions and its social prescriptions, but nevertheless forces its way in their teeth. To put the position in its simplest terms, what has happened is this. Until recently, the ordinary Muslim citizen and cultivator had no political interests or functions, and no literature of easy access except religious literature, had no festivals and no communal life except in connection with religion, saw little or nothing of the outside world except through religious glasses. To him, in consequence, religion meant everything. Now, however, more in all the advanced countries, his interests have expanded and his activities are no longer bounded by religion. He has political questions thrust on his notice; he reads, or has read to him, a mass of articles on subjects of all kinds which have nothing to do with religion, and in which the religious point of view may not be discussed at all and the verdict held to lie with some quite different principles .... [Emphasis added] 95

Admittedly, the picture is a little difficult to see, since unlike any other religion Islam is or means everything. As a description of a human phenomenon the hyperbole is, I think, unique to Orientalism. Life itself -- politics, literature, energy, activity, growth -is an intrusion upon this (to a Westerner) unimaginable Oriental totality. Yet as "a complement and counterbalance to European civilisation" Islam in its modern form is nevertheless a useful object: this is the core of Gibb's proposition about modern Islam. For "in the broadest aspect of history, what is now happening between Europe and Islam is the reintegration of western civilization, artificially sundered at the Renaissance and now reasserting its unity with overwhelming force.96

Unlike Massignon, who made no effort to conceal his metaphysical speculations, Gibb delivered such observations as this as if they were objective knowledge (a category he found wanting in Massignon). Yet by almost any standards most of Gibb's general works on Islam are metaphysical, not only because he uses abstractions like "Islam" as if they have a clear and distinct meaning but also because it is simply never clear where in concrete time and space Gibb's "Islam" is taking place. If on the one hand, following Macdonald, he puts Islam definitively outside the West, on the other hand, in much of his work, he is to be found "reintegrating" it with the West. In 1955 he made this inside-outside question a bit clearer: the West took from Islam only those nonscientific elements that it had originally derived from the West, whereas in borrowing much from Islamic science, the West was merely following the law making "natural science and technology ...indefinitely transmissible."97 The net result is to make Islam in "art, aesthetics, philosophy and religious thought" a second-order phenomenon (since those came from the West), and so far as science and technology are concerned, a mere conduit for elements that are not sui generis Islamic.

Any clarity about what Islam is in Gibb's thought ought to be found within these metaphysical constraints, and indeed his two important works of the forties, Modern Trends in Islam and Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey, flesh out matters considerably. In both books Gibb is at great pains to discuss the present crisis in Islam, opposing its inherent, essential being to modern attempts at modifying it. I have already mentioned Gibb's hostility to modernizing currents in Islam and his stubborn commitment to Islamic orthodoxy. Now it is time to mention Gibb's preference for the word Mohammedanism over Islam (since he says that Islam is really based upon an idea of apostolic succession culminating in Mohammed) and his assertion that the Islamic master science is law, which early on replaced theology. The curious thing about these statements is that they are assertions made about Islam, not on the basis of evidence internal to Islam, but rather on the basis of a logic deliberately outside Islam. No Muslim would call himself a Mohammedan, nor so far as is known would he necessarily feel the importance of law over theology. But what Gibb does is to situate himself as a scholar within contradictions he himself discerns, at that point in "Islam" where "there is a certain unexpressed dislocation between the formal outward process and the inner realities.”98

The Orientalist, then, sees his task as expressing the dislocation and consequently speaking the truth about Islam, which by definition-since its contradictions inhibit its powers of self-discernment -it cannot express. Most of Gibb's general statements about Islam supply concepts to Islam that the religion or culture, again by his definition, is incapable of grasping: "Oriental philosophy had never appreciated the fundamental idea of justice in Greek philosophy." As for Oriental societies, "in contrast to most western societies, [they] have generally devoted [themselves] to building stable social organizations [more than] to constructing ideal systems of philosophical thought." The principal internal weakness of Islam is the "breaking of association between the religious orders and the Muslim upper and middle classes." But Gibb is also aware that Islam has never remained isolated from the rest of the world and therefore must stand in a series of external dislocations, insufficiencies, and disjunctions between itself and the world. Thus he says that modern Islam is the result of a classical religion coming into disynchronous contact with Romantic Western ideas. In reaction to this assault, Islam developed a school of modernists whose ideas everywhere reveal hopelessness, ideas unsuited to the modern world: Mahdism, nationalism, a revived caliphate. Yet the conservative reaction to modernism is no less unsuited to modernity, for it has produced a kind of stubborn Luddism. Well then, we ask, what is Islam finally, if it cannot conquer its internal dislocations nor deal satisfactorily with its external surroundings? The answer can be sought in the following central passage from Modern Trends:

Islam is a living and vital religion, appealing to the hearts, minds, and consciences of tens and hundreds of millions, setting them a standard by which to live honest, sober, and god-fearing lives. It is not Islam that is petrified, but its orthodox formulations, its systematic theology, its social apologetic. It is here that the dislocation lies, that the dissatisfaction is felt among a large proportion of its most educated and intelligent adherents, and that the danger for the future is most evident. No religion can ultimately resist disintegration if there is a perpetual gulf between its demands upon the will and its appeal to the intellect of its followers.

That for the vast majority of Muslims the problem of dislocation has not yet arisen justifies the ulema in refusing to be rushed into the hasty measures which the modernists prescribe; but the spread of modernism is a warning that re-formulation cannot be indefinitely shelved.

In trying to determine the origins and causes of this petrifaction of the formulas of Islam, we may possibly also find a clue to the answer to the question which the modernists are asking, but have so far failed to resolve the question, that is, of the way in which the fundamental principles of Islam may be re-formulated without affecting their essential elements.100

The last part of this passage is familiar enough: it suggests the now traditional Orientalist ability to reconstruct and reformulate the Orient, given the Orient's inability to do so for itself. In part, then, Gibb's Islam exists ahead of Islam as it is practiced, studied, or preached in the Orient. Yet this prospective Islam is no mere Orientalist fiction, spun out of his ideas: it is based on an "Islam" that-since it cannot truly exist-appeals to a whole community of believers. The reason that "Islam" can exist in some more or less future Orientalist formulation of it is that in the Orient Islam is usurped and traduced by the language of its clergy, whose claim is upon the community's mind. So long as it is silent in its appeal, Islam is safe; the moment the reforming clergy takes on its (legitimate) role of reformulating Islam in order for it to be able to enter modernity, the trouble starts. And that trouble, of course, is dislocation.

Dislocation in Gibb's work identifies something far more significant than a putative intellectual difficulty within Islam. It identifies, I think, the very privilege, the very ground on which the Orientalist places himself so as to write about, legislate for, and reformulate Islam. Far from being a chance discernment of Gibb's, dislocation is the epistemological passageway into his subject, and subsequently, the observation platform from which in all his writing, and in every one of the influential positions he filled, he could survey Islam. Between the silent appeal of Islam to a monolithic community of orthodox believers and a whole merely verbal articulation of Islam by misled corps of political activists, desperate clerks, and opportunistic reformers: there Gibb stood, wrote, reformulated. His writing said either what Islam could not say or what its clerics would not say. What Gibb wrote was in one sense temporally ahead of Islam, in that he allowed that at some point in the future Islam would be able to say what it could not say now. In another important sense, however, Gibb's writings on Islam predated the religion as a coherent body of "living" beliefs, since his writing was able to get hold of "Islam" as a silent appeal made to Muslims before their faith became a matter for worldly argument, practice, or debate.

The contradiction in Gibb's work-for it is a contradiction to speak of "Islam" as neither what its clerical adherents in fact say it is nor what, if they could, its lay followers would say about itis muted somewhat by the metaphysical attitude governing his work, and indeed governing the whole history of modern Orientalism which he inherited, through mentors like Macdonald. The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing the Orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist's work. Gibb's oeuvre purports to be Islam (or Mohammedanism) both as it is and as it might be. Metaphysically-and only metaphysically-essence and potential are made one. Only a metaphysical attitude could produce such famous Gibb essays as "The Structure of Religious Thought in Islam" or "An Interpretation of Islamic History" without being troubled by the distinction made between objective and subjective knowledge in Gibb's criticism of Massignon.101 The statements about "Islam" are made with a confidence and a serenity that are truly Olympian. There is no dislocation, no felt discontinuity between Gibb's page and the phenomenon it describes, for each, according to Gibb himself, is ultimately reducible to the other. As such, "Islam" and Gibb's description of it have a calm, discursive plainness whose common element is the English scholar's orderly page.

I attach a great deal of significance to the appearance of and to the intended model for the Orientalist's page as a printed object. I have spoken in this book about d'Herbelot's alphabetic encyclopedia, the gigantic leaves of the Description de l'Égypte, Renan's laboratory-museum notebook, the ellipses and short episodes of Lane's Modern Egyptians, Sacy's anthological excerpts, and so forth. These pages are signs of some Orient, and of some Orientalist, presented to the reader. There is an order to these pages by which the reader apprehends not only the "Orient" but also the Orientalist, as interpreter, exhibitor, personality, mediator, representative (and representing) expert. In a remarkable way Gibb and Massignon produced pages that recapitulate the history of Orientalist writing in the West as that history has been embodied in a varied generic and topographical style, reduced finally to a scholarly, monographic uniformity. The Oriental specimen; the Oriental excess; the Oriental lexicographic unit; the Oriental series; the Oriental exemplum: all these have been subordinated in Gibb and Massignon to the linear prose authority of discursive analysis, presented in essay, short article,scholarly book. In their time, from the end of World War I till the early sixties, three principal forms of Orientalist writing were radically transformed: the encyclopedia, the anthology, the personal record. Their authority was redistributed or dispersed or dissipated: to a committee of experts (The Encyclopedia of Islam, The Cambridge History of Islam); to a lower order of service (elementary instruction in language, which would prepare one not for diplomacy, as was the case with Sacy's Chrestomathie, but for the study of sociology, economics, or history), to the realm of sensational revelation (having more to do with personalities or governments-Lawrence is the obvious example-than with knowledge). Gibb, with his quietly heedless but profoundly sequential prose; Massignon, with the flair of an artist for whom no reference is too extravagant so long as it is governed by an eccentric interpretative gift: the two scholars took the essentially ecumenical authority of European Orientalism as far as it could go. After them, the new reality-the new specialized style was, broadly speaking, Anglo-American, and more narrowly speaking, it was American Social Scientese. In it, the old Orientalism was broken into many parts; yet all of them still served the traditional Orientalist dogmas.
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Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

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Part 1 of 3

IV- The Latest Phase

Since World War II, and more noticeably after each of the Arab-Israeli wars, the Arab Muslim has become a figure in American popular culture, even as in the academic world, in the policy planner's world, and in the world of business very serious attention is being paid the Arab. This symbolizes a major change in the international configuration of forces. France and Britain no longer occupy center stage in world politics; the American imperium has displaced them. A vast web of interests now links all parts of the former colonial world to the United States, just as a proliferation of academic subspecialties divides (and yet connects) all the former philological and European-based disciplines like Orientalism. The area specialist, as he is now called, lays claims to regional expertise, which is put at the service of government or business or both. The massive, quasimaterial knowledge stored in the annals of modern European Orientalism-as recorded, for example, in Jules Mohl's nineteenth-century logbook of the field-has been dissolved and released into new forms. A wide variety of hybrid representations of the Orient now roam the culture. Japan, Indochina, China, India, Pakistan: their representations have had, and continue to have, wide repercussions, and they have been discussed in many places for obvious reasons. Islam and the Arabs have their own representations, too, and we shall treat them here as they occur in that fragmentary-yet powerfully and ideologically coherent-persistence, a far less frequently discussed one, into which, in the United States, traditional European Orientalism disbursed itself.

1. Popular images and social science representations. Here are a few examples of how the Arab is often represented today. Note how readily "the Arab" seems to accommodate the transformations and reductions-all of a simply tendentious kind-into which he is continually being forced. The costume for Princeton's tenthreunion class in 1967 had been planned before the June War. The motif-for it would be wrong to describe the costume as more than crudely suggestive-was to have been Arab: robes, headgear, sandals. Immediately after the war, when it had become clear that the Arab motif was an embarrassment, a change in the reunion plans was decreed. Wearing the costume as had been originally planned, the class was now to walk in procession, hands above heads in a gesture of abject defeat. This was what the Arab had become. From a faintly outlined stereotype as a camel-riding nomad to an accepted caricature as the embodiment of incompetence and easy defeat: that was all the scope given the Arab.

Yet after the 1973 war the Arab appeared everywhere as something more menacing. Cartoons depicting an Arab sheik standing behind a gasoline pump turned up consistently. These Arabs, however, were clearly "Semitic": their sharply hooked noses, the evil mustachioed leer on their faces, were obvious reminders (to a largely non-Semitic population) that "Semites" were at the bottom of all "our" troubles, which in this case was principally a gasoline shortage. The transference of a popular anti- Semitic animus from a Jewish to an Arab target was made smoothly, since the figure was essentially the same.

Thus if the Arab occupies space enough for attention, it is as a negative value. He is seen as the disrupter of Israel's and the West's existence, or in another view of the same thing, as a surmountable obstacle to Israel's creation in 1948. Insofar as this Arab has any history, it is part of the history given him (or taken from him: the difference is slight) by the Orientalist tradition, and later, the Zionist tradition. Palestine was seen-by Lamartine and the early Zionists -as an empty desert waiting to burst into bloom; such inhabitants as it had were supposed to be inconsequential nomads possessing no real claim on the land and therefore no cultural or national reality. Thus the Arab is conceived of now as a shadow that dogs the Jew. In that shadow-because Arabs and Jews are Oriental Semites-can be placed whatever traditional, latent mistrust a Westerner feels towards the Oriental. For the Jew of pre-Nazi Europe has bifurcated: what we have now is a Jewish hero, constructed out of a reconstructed cult of the adventurer-pioneer- Orientalist (Burton, Lane, Renan), and his creeping, mysteriously fearsome shadow, the Arab Oriental. Isolated from everything except the past created for him by Orientalist polemic, the Arab is chained to a destiny that fixes him and dooms him to a series of reactions periodically chastised by what Barbara Tuchman gives the theological name "Israel's terrible swift sword."

Aside from his anti-Zionism, the Arab is an oil supplier. This is another negative characteristic, since most accounts of Arab oil equate the oil boycott of 1973-1974 (which principally benefitted Western oil companies and a small ruling Arab elite) with the absence of any Arab moral qualifications for owning such vast oil reserves. Without the usual euphemisms, the question most often being asked is why such people as the Arabs are entitled to keep the developed (free, democratic, moral) world threatened. From such questions comes the frequent suggestion that the Arab oil fields be invaded by the marines.

In the films and television the Arab is associated either with lechery or bloodthirsty dishonesty. He appears as an oversexed degenerate, capable, it is true, of cleverly devious intrigues, but essentially sadistic, treacherous, low. Slave trader, camel driver, moneychanger, colorful scoundrel: these are some traditional Arab roles in the cinema. The Arab leader (of marauders, pirates, "native" insurgents) can often be seen snarling at the captured Western hero and the blond girl (both of them steeped in whole-someness), "My men are going to kill you, but-they like to amuse themselves before." He leers suggestively as he speaks: this is a current debasement of Valentino's Sheik. In newsreels or newsphotos, the Arab is always shown in large numbers. No individuality, no personal characteristics or experiences. Most of the pictures represent mass rage and misery, or irrational (hence hopelessly eccentric) gestures. Lurking behind all of these images is the menace of jihad. Consequence: a fear that the Muslims (or Arabs) will take over the world.

Books and articles are regularly published on Islam and the Arabs that represent absolutely no change over the virulent anti-Islamic polemics of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. For no other ethnic or religious group is it true that virtually anything can be written or said about it, without challenge or demurral. The 1975 course guide put out by the Columbia College undergraduates said about the Arabic course that every other word in the language had to do with violence, and that the Arab mind as "reflected" in the language was unremittingly bombastic. A recent article by Emmett Tyrrell in Harper's magazine was even more slanderous and racist, arguing that Arabs are basically murderers and that violence and deceit are carried in the Arab genes.102 A survey entitled The Arabs in American Textbooks reveals the most astonishing misinformation, or rather the most callous representations of an ethnic-religious group. One book asserts that "few people of this [Arab] area even know that there is a better way to live," and then goes on to ask disarmingly, "What links the people of the Middle East together?" The answer, given unhesitatingly, is, "The last link is the Arab's hostility-hatred-toward the Jews and the nation of Israel." Along with such material goes this about Islam, in another book: "The Moslem religion, called Islam, began in the seventh century. It was started by a wealthy businessman of Arabia, called Mohammed. He claimed that he was a prophet. He found followers among other Arabs. He told them that they were picked to rule the world." This bit of knowledge is followed by another, equally accurate: "Shortly after Mohammed's death, his teachings were recorded in a book called the Koran. It became the holy book of Islam."103

These crude ideas are supported, not contradicted, by the academic whose business is the study of the Arab Near East. (It is worth noting incidentally that the Princeton event I referred to above took place in a university that prides itself on its department of Near Eastern Studies founded in 1927, the oldest such department in the country.) Take as an instance the report produced in 1967 by Morroe Berger, a professor of sociology and Near Eastern studies at Princeton, at the behest of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; he was then president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the professional association of scholars concerned with all aspects of the Near East, "primarily since the rise of Islam and from the viewpoint of the social science and humanistic disciplines,"104 and founded in 1967. He called his paper "Middle Eastern and North African Studies: Developments and Needs," and had it published in the second issue of the MESA Bulletin. After surveying the strategic, economic, and political importance of the region to the United States, and after endorsing the various United States government and private foundation projects to support programs in universities-the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (a directly Sputnik-inspired initiative), the establishing of links between the Social Science Research Council and Middle Eastern studies, and so on Berger came to the following conclusions:

The modern Middle East and North Africa is not a center of great cultural achievement, nor is it likely to become one in the near future. The study of the region or its languages, therefore, does not constitute its own reward so far as modern culture is concerned.

...Our region is not a center of great political power nor does it have the potential to become one.... The Middle East (less so North Africa) has been receding in immediate political importance to the U.S. (and even in "headline" or "nuisance" value) relative to Africa, Latin America and the Far East.

...The contemporary Middle East, thus, has only in small degree the kinds of traits that seem to be important in attracting scholarly attention. This does not diminish the validity and intellectual value of studying the area or affect the quality of work scholars do on it. It does, however, put limits, of which we should be aware, on the field's capacity for growth in the numbers who study and teach.105

As a prophecy, of course, this is fairly lamentable; what makes it even more unfortunate is that Berger was commissioned not only because he was an expert on the modern Near East but also-as is clear from the report's conclusion-because he was expected to be in a good position to predict its future, and the future of policy. His failure to see that the Middle East was of great political significance, and potentially of great political power, was no chance aberration of judgment, I think. Both of Berger's main mistakes derive from the first and last paragraphs, whose genealogy is the history of Orientalism as we have been studying it. In what Berger has to say about the absence of great cultural achievement, and in what he concludes about future study-that the Middle East does not attract scholarly attention because of its intrinsic weaknesses we have an almost exact duplication of the canonical Orientalist opinion that the Semites never produced a great culture and that, as Renan frequently said, the Semitic world was too impoverished ever to attract universal attention. Moreover, in making such time-honored judgments and in being totally blind to what is before his eyes-after all, Berger was not writing fifty years ago, but during a period when the United States was already importing about 10 percent of its oil from the Middle East and when its strategic and economic investments in the area were unimaginably huge-Berger was ensuring the centrality of his own position as Orientalist. For what he says, in effect, is that without people such as he the Middle East would be neglected; and that without his mediating, interpretative role the place would not be understood, partly because what little there is to understand is fairly peculiar, and partly because only the Orientalist can interpret the Orient, the Orient being radically incapable of interpreting itself.

The fact that Berger was not so much a classical Orientalist when he wrote (he wasn't and isn't) as he was a professional sociologist does not minimize the extent of his indebtedness to Orientalism and its ideas. Among those ideas is the specially legitimated antipathy towards and downgrading of the material forming the main basis of his study. So strong is this in Berger that it obscures the actualities before his eyes. And more impressively still, it makes it unnecessary for him to ask himself why, if the Middle East "is not a center of great cultural achievement," he should recommend that anyone devote his life, as he has, to the study of its culture. Scholars more than, say, doctors-study what they like and what interests them; only an exaggerated sense of cultural duty drives a scholar to the study of what he does not think well of. Yet it is just such a sense of duty Orientalism has fostered, because for generations the culture at large put the Orientalist at the barricades, where in his professional work he confronted the East-its barbarities, its eccentricities, its unruliness-and held it at bay on behalf of the West.

I mention Berger as an instance of the academic attitude towards the Islamic Orient, as an instance of how a learned perspective can support the caricatures propagated in the popular culture. Yet Berger stands also for the most current transformation overtaking Orientalism: its conversion from a fundamentally philological discipline and a vaguely general apprehension of the Orient into a social science specialty. No longer does an Orientalist try first to master the esoteric languages of the Orient; he begins instead as a trained social scientist and "applies" his science to the Orient, or anywhere else. This is the specifically American contribution to the history of Orientalism, and it can be dated roughly from the period immediately following World War II, when the United States found itself in the position recently vacated by Britain and France. The American experience of the Orient prior to that exceptional moment was limited. Cultural isolatos like Melville were interested in it; cynics like Mark Twain visited and wrote about it; the American Transcendentalists saw affinities between Indian thought and their own; a few theologians and Biblical students studied the Biblical Oriental languages; there were occasional diplomatic and military encounters with Barbary pirates and the like, the odd naval expedition to the Far Orient, and of course the ubiquitous missionary to the Orient. But there was no deeply invested tradition of Orientalism, and consequently in the United States knowledge of the Orient never passed through the refining and reticulating and reconstructing processes, whose beginning was in philological study, that it went through in Europe. Furthermore, the imaginative investment was never made either, perhaps because the American frontier, the one that counted, was the westward one. Immediately after World War II, then, the Orient became, not a broad catholic issue as it had been for centuries in Europe, but an administrative one, a matter for policy. Enter the social scientist and the new expert, on whose somewhat narrower shoulders was to fall the mantle of Orientalism. In their turn, as we shall see, they made such changes in it that it became scarcely recognizable. In any event, the new Orientalist took over the attitudes of cultural hostility and kept them.

One of the striking aspects of the new American social-science attention to the Orient is its singular avoidance of literature. You can read through reams of expert writing on the modern Near East and never encounter a single reference to literature. What seem to matter far more to the regional expert are "facts," of which a literary text is perhaps a disturber. The net effect of this remarkable omission in modern American awareness of the Arab or Islamic Orient is to keep the region and its people conceptually emasculated, reduced to "attitudes," "trends," statistics: in short, dehumanized. Since an Arab poet or novelist-and there are many-writes of his experiences, of his values, of his humanity (however strange that may be), he effectively disrupts the various patterns (images, cliches, abstractions) by which the Orient is represented. A literary text speaks more or less directly of a living reality. Its force is not that it is Arab, or French, or English; its force is in the power and vitality of words that, to mix in Flaubert's metaphor from La Tentation de Saint Antoine, tip the idols out of the Orientalists' arms and make them drop those great paralytic children -- which are their ideas of the Orient-that attempt to pass for the Orient.

The absence of literature and the relatively weak position of philology in contemporary American studies of the Near East are illustrations of a new eccentricity in Orientalism, where indeed my use of the word itself is anomalous. For there is very little in what academic experts on the Near East do now that resembles traditional Orientalism of the sort that ended with Gibb and Massignon; the main things that are reproduced are, as I said, a certain cultural hostility and a sense based not so much on philology as on "expertise." Genealogically speaking, modern American Orientalism derives from such things as the army language schools established during and after the war, sudden government and corporate interest in the non-Western world during the postwar period, Cold War competition with the Soviet Union, and a residual missionary attitude towards Orientals who are considered ripe for reform and reeducation. The nonphilological study of esoteric Oriental languages is useful for obvious rudimentary strategic reasons; but it is also useful for giving a cachet of authority, almost a mystique, to the "expert" who appears able to deal with hopelessly obscure material with firsthand skill.

In the social-science order of things, language study is a mere tool for higher aims, certainly not for reading literary texts. In 1958, for example, the Middle East Institute-a quasi-governmental body founded to oversee and sponsor research interest in the Middle East-produced a Report on Current Research. The contribution "Present State of Arabic Studies in the United States" (done, interestingly enough, by a professor of Hebrew) is prefaced by an epigraph announcing that "no longer is knowledge of foreign languages, for instance, the sole province of the scholars in the humanities. It is a working tool of the engineer, the economist, the social scientist, and many other specialists." The whole report stresses the importance of Arabic to oil-company executives, technicians, and military personnel. But the report's main talking point is this trio of sentences: "Russian universities are now producing fluent Arabic speakers. Russia has realized the importance of appealing to men through their minds, by using their own language. The United States need wait no longer in developing its foreign language program."106 Thus Oriental languages are part of some policy objective-as to a certain extent they have always been---or part of a sustained propaganda effort. In both these aims the study of Oriental languages becomes the instrument carrying out Harold Lasswell's theses about propaganda, in which what counts is not what people are or think but what they can be made to be and think.

The propagandist outlook in fact combines respect for individuality with indifference to formal democracy. The respect for individuality arises from the dependence of large scale operations upon the support of the mass and upon experience with the variability of human preferences.... This regard for men in the mass rests upon no democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests. The modern propagandist, like the modern psychologist, recognizes that men are often poor judges of their own interests, flitting from one alternative to the next without solid reason or clinging timorously to the fragments of some mossy rock of ages. Calculating the prospect of securing a permanent change in habits and values involves much more than the estimation of the preferences of men in general. It means taking account of the tissue of relations in which men are webbed, searching for signs of preference which may reflect no deliberation and directing a program towards a solution which fits in fact.... With respect to those adjustments which do require mass action the task of the propagandist is that of inventing goal symbols which serve the double function of facilitating adoption and adaptation. The symbols must induce acceptance spontaneously .... It follows that the management ideal is control of a situation not by imposition but by divination.... The propagandist takes it for granted that the world is completely caused but that it is only partly predictable....107

The acquired foreign language is therefore made part of a subtle assault upon populations, just as the study of a foreign region like the Orient is turned into a program for control by divination.

Yet such programs must always have a liberal veneer, and usually this is left to scholars, men of good will, enthusiasts to attend to. The idea encouraged is that in studying Orientals, Muslims, or Arabs "we" can get to know another people, their way of life and thought, and so on. To this end it is always better to let them speak for themselves, to represent themselves (even though underlying this fiction stands Marx's phrase-with which Lasswell is in agreement-for Louis Napoleon: "They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented"). But only up to a point, and in a special way. In 1973, during the anxious days of the October Arab-Israeli War, the New York Times Magazine commissioned two articles, one representing the Israeli and one the Arab side of the conflict. The Israeli side was presented by an Israeli lawyer; the Arab side, by an American former ambassador to an Arab country who had no formal training iii Oriental studies. Lest we jump immediately to the simple conclusion that the Arabs were believed incapable of representing themselves, we would do well to remember that both Arabs and Jews in this instance were Semites (in the broad cultural designation I have been discussing) and that both were being made to be represented for a Western audience. It is worthwhile here to remember this passage from Proust, in which the sudden appearance of a Jew into an aristocratic salon is described as follows:

The Rumanians, the Egyptians, the Turks may hate the Jews. But in a French drawing-room the differences between those people are not so apparent, and an Israelite making his entry as though he were emerging from the heart of the desert, his body crouching like a hyaena's, his neck thrust obliquely forward, spreading himself in proud "salaams," completely satisfies a certain taste for the oriental [un goŭt pour l'orientalisme].108

2. Cultural relations policy. While it is true to say that the United States did not in fact become a world empire until the twentieth century, it is also true that during the nineteenth century the United States was concerned with the Orient in ways that prepared for its later, overtly imperial concern. Leaving aside the campaigns against the Barbary pirates in 1801 and 1815, let us consider the founding of the American Oriental Society in 1842. At its first annual meeting in 1843 its president, John Pickering, made the very clear point that America proposed for itself the study of the Orient in order to follow the example of the imperial European powers. Pickering's message was that the framework of Oriental studies-then as now-was political, not simply scholarly. Note in the following summary how the lines of argument for Orientalism leave little room for doubt as to their intention:

At the first annual meeting of the American Society in 1843, President Pickering began a remarkable sketch of the field it was proposed to cultivate by calling attention to the especially favorable circumstances of the time, the peace that reigned everywhere, the freer access to Oriental countries, and the greater facilities for communication. The earth seemed quiet in the days of Metternich and Louis Philippe. The treaty of Nanking had opened Chinese ports. The screw-propellor had been adopted in oceangoing vessels; Morse had completed his telegraph and he had already suggested the laying of a trans-Atlantic cable. The objects of the Society were to cultivate learning in Asiatic, African, and Polynesian language, and in everything concerning the Orient, to create a taste for Oriental Studies in this country, to publish texts, translations and communications, and to collect a library and cabinet. Most of the work has been done in the Asiatic field, and particularly in Sanskrit and the Semitic languages.109

Metternich, Louis-Philippe, the Treaty of Nanking, the screw propellor: all suggest the imperial constellation facilitating Euro-American penetration of the Orient. This has never stopped. Even the legendary American missionaries to the Near East during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries took their role as set not so much by God as by their God, their culture, and their destiny.110 The early missionary institutions-printing presses, schools, universities, hospitals, and the like-contributed of course to the area's wellbeing, but in their specifically imperial character and their support by the United States government, these institutions were no different from their French and British counterparts in the Orient. During the First World War, what was to become a major United States policy interest in Zionism and the colonization of Palestine played an estimable role in getting the United States into the war; British discussions prior to and after the Balfour Declaration (November 1917) reflect the seriousness with which the declaration was taken by the United States.111 During and after the Second World War, the escalation in United States interest in the Middle East was remarkable. Cairo, Teheran, and North Africa were important arenas of war, and in that setting, with the exploitation of its oil, strategic, and human resources pioneered by Britain and France, the United States prepared for its new postwar imperial role.

Not the least aspect of this role was "a cultural relations policy," as it was defined by Mortimer Graves in 1950. Part of this policy was, he said, the attempt to acquire "every significant publication in every important Near Eastern language published since 1900," an attempt "which our Congress ought to recognize as a measure of our national security." For what was clearly at stake, Graves argued (to very receptive ears, by the way), was the need for "much better American understanding of the forces which are contending with the American idea for acceptance by the Near East. The principal of these are, of course, communism and Islam."112 Out of such a concern, and as a contemporary adjunct to the more backward-looking American Oriental Society, was born the entire vast apparatus for research on the Middle East. The model, both in its frankly strategic attitude and in its sensitivity to public security and policy (not, as is often postured, to pure scholarship), was the Middle East Institute, founded May 1946 in Washington under the aegis of, if not entirely within or by, the federal government.113 Out of such organizations grew the Middle East Studies Association, the powerful support of the Ford and other foundations, the various federal programs of support to universities, the various federal research projects, research projects carried out by such entities as the Defense Department, the RAND Corporation, and the Hudson Institute, and the consultative and lobbying efforts of banks, oil companies, multinationals, and the like. It is no reduction to say of all this that it retains, in most of its general as well as its detailed functioning, the traditional Orientalist outlook which had been developed in Europe.

The parallel between European and American imperial designs on the Orient (Near and Far) is obvious. What is perhaps less obvious is (a) the extent to which the European tradition of Orientalist scholarship was, if not taken over, then accommodated, normalized, domesticated, and popularized and fed into the postwar efflorescence of Near Eastern studies in the United States; and (b) the extent to which the European tradition has given rise in the United States to a coherent- attitude among most scholars, institutions, styles of discourse, and orientations, despite the contemporary appearance of refinement, as well as the use of (again) highly sophisticated-appearing social-science techniques. I have already discussed Gibb's ideas; it needs to be pointed out, however, that in the middle 1950s he became director of the Harvard Center for Middle East Studies, from which position his ideas and style exerted an important influence. Gibb's presence in the United States was different in what it did for the field from Philip Hitti's presence at Princeton since the late 1920s. The Princeton department produced a large group of important scholars, and its brand of Oriental studies stimulated great scholarly interest in the field. Gibb, on the other hand, was more truly in touch with the public-policy aspect of Orientalism, and far more than Hitti's at Princeton his position at Harvard focused Orientalism on a Cold War area-studies approach.

Gibb's own work, nevertheless, did not overtly employ the language of cultural discourse in the tradition of Renan, Becker, and Massignon. Yet this discourse, its intellectual apparatus, and its dogmas were impressively present, principally (although not exclusively) in the work and institutional authority, at Chicago and then at UCLA, of Gustave von Grunebaum. He came to the United States as part of the intellectual immigration of European scholars fleeing fascism."114 Thereafter he produced a solid Orientalist oeuvre that concentrated on Islam as a holistic culture about which, from beginning to end of his career, he continued to make the same set of essentially reductive, negative generalizations. His style, which bore often chaotic evidence of his Austro-Germanic polymathy, of his absorption of the canonical pseudoscientific prejudices of French, British, and Italian Orientalism, as well as of an almost desperate effort to remain the impartial scholar-observer, was next to unreadable. A typical page of his on the Islamic self-image will jam together half-a-dozen references to Islamic texts drawn from as many periods as possible, references as well to Husserl and the pre-Socratics, references to Lévi-Strauss and various American social scientists. All this, nevertheless, does not obscure von Grunebaum's almost virulent dislike of Islam. He has no difficulty presuming that Islam is a unitary phenomenon, unlike any other religion or civilization, and thereafter he shows it to be antihuman, incapable of development, self-knowledge, or objectivity, as well as uncreative, unscientific, and authoritarian. Here are two typical excerpts-and we must remember that von Grunebaum wrote with the unique authority of a European scholar in the United States, teaching, administering, giving grants to a large network of scholars in the field.

It is essential to realize that Muslim civilization is a cultural entity that does not share our primary aspirations. It is not vitally interested in the structured study of other cultures, either as an end in itself or as a means towards clearer understanding of its own character and history. If this observation were to be valid merely for contemporary Islam, one might be inclined to connect it with the profoundly disturbed state of Islam, which does not permit it to look beyond itself unless forced to do so. But as it is valid for the past as well, one may perhaps seek to connect it with the basic anti-humanism of this [Islamic] civilization, that is, the determined refusal to accept man to any extent whatever as the arbiter or the measure of things, and the tendency to be satisfied with the truth as the description of mental structures, or in other words, with psychological truth.

[Arab or Islamic nationalism] lacks, in spite of its occasional use as a catchword, the concept of the divine right of a nation, it lacks a formative ethic, it also lacks, it would seem, the later nineteenth century belief in mechanistic progress; above all it lacks the intellectual vigor of a primary phenomenon. Both power and the will to power are ends in themselves. [This sentence seems to serve no purpose in the argument; yet it doubtless gives von Grunebaum the security of a philosophical-sounding nonsentence, as if to assure himself that he speaks wisely, not disparagingly, of Islam.] The resentment of political slights [felt by Islam] engenders impatience and impedes long-range analysis and planning in the intellectual sphere.115

In most other contexts such writing would politely be called polemical. For Orientalism, of course, it is relatively orthodox, and it passed for canonical wisdom in American study of the Middle East after World War II, mainly because of the cultural prestige associated with European scholars. The point is, however, that von Grunebaum's work is accepted uncritically by the field, even though the field itself today cannot reproduce people like him. Yet only one scholar has undertaken a serious critique of von Grunebaum's views: Abdullah Laroui, a Moroccan historian and political theorist.han before.
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Using the motif of reductive repetition in von Grunebaum's work as a practical tool of critical anti-Orientalist study, Laroui manages his case impressively on the whole. He asks himself what it is that caused von Grunebaum's work, despite the enormous mass of its detail and its apparent range, to remain reductive. As Laroui says, "the adjectives that von Grunebaum affixes to the word Islam (medieval, classical, modern) are neutral or even superfluous: there is no difference between classical Islam and medieval Islam or Islam plain and simple .... There is therefore [for von Grunebaum] only one Islam that changes within itself."116 Modern Islam, according to von Grunebaum, has turned away from the West because it remains faithful to its original sense of itself; and yet Islam can modernize itself only by a self-reinterpretation from a Western point of view-which, of course, von Grunebaum shows is impossible. In describing von Grunebaum's conclusions, which add up to a portrait of Islam as a culture incapable of innovation, Laroui does not mention that the need for Islam to use Western methods to improve itself has, as an idea, perhaps because of von Grunebaum's wide influence, become almost a truism in Middle Eastern studies. (For example, David Gordon, in Self-Determination and History in the Third World, 117 urges "maturity" on Arabs, Africans, and Asians; he argues that this can be gained only by learning from Western objectivity.)

Laroui's analysis shows also how von Grunebaum employed A. L. Kroeber's culturalist theory to understand Islam, and how this tool necessarily entailed a series of reductions and eliminations by which Islam could be represented as a closed system of exclusions. Thus, each of the many diverse aspects of Islamic culture could be seen by von Grunebaum as a direct reflection of an unvarying matrix, a particular theory of God, that compels them all into meaning and order: development, history, tradition, reality in Islam are therefore interchangeable. Laroui rightly maintains that history as a complex order of events, temporalities, and meanings cannot be reduced to such a notion of culture, in the same way that culture cannot be reduced to ideology,nor ideology to theology. Von Grunebaum has fallen prey both to the Orientalist dogmas he inherited and to a particular feature of Islam which he has chosen to interpret as a shortcoming: that there is to be found in Islam a highly articulated theory of religion and yet very few accounts of religious experience, highly articulate political theory and few precise political documents, a theory of social structure and very few individualized actions, a theory of history and very few dated events, an articulated theory of economics and very few quantified series, and so on."118 The net result is a historical vision of Islam entirely hobbled by the theory of a culture incapable of doing justice to, or even examining, its existential reality in the experience of its adherents. Von Grunebaum's Islam, after all, is the Islam of the earlier European Orientalists monolithic, scornful of ordinary human experience, gross, reductive, unchanging.

At bottom such a view of Islam is political, not even euphemistically impartial. The strength of its hold on the new Orientalist (younger, that is, than von Grunebaum) is due in part to its traditional authority, and in part to its use-value as a handle for grasping a vast region of the world and proclaiming it an entirely coherent phenomenon. Since Islam has never easily been encompassed by the West politically-and certainly since World War II Arab nationalism has been a movement openly declaring its hostility to Western imperialism-the desire to assert intellectually satisfying things about Islam in retaliation increases. One authority has said of Islam (without specifying which Islam or aspect of Islam he means) that it is "one prototype of closed traditional societies." Note here the edifying use of the word Islam to signify all at once a society, a religion, a prototype, and an actuality. But all this will be subordinated by the same scholar to the notion that, unlike normal ("our") societies, Islam and Middle Eastern societies are totally "political," an adjective meant as a reproach to Islam for not being "liberal," for not being able to separate (as "we" do) politics from culture. The result is an invidiously ideological portrait of "us" and "them":

To understand Middle Eastern society as a whole must remain our great aim. Only a society [like "ours"] that has already achieved a dynamic stability can afford to think of politics, economics, or culture as genuinely autonomous realms of existence and not merely convenient divisions for study. In a traditional society that does not separate the things of Caesar from those of God, or that is entirely in flux, the connection between, say, politics and all other aspects of life is the heart of the issue. Today, for example, whether a man is to marry four wives or one, fast or eat, gain or lose land, rely on revelation or reason, have all become political issues in the Middle East .... No less than the Moslem himself, the new Orientalist must inquire anew what the significant structures and relationships of Islamic society may be.119

The triviality of most of the examples (marrying four wives, fasting or eating, etc.) is meant as evidence of Islam's all-inclusiveness, and its tyranny. As to where this is supposed to be happening, we are not told. But we are reminded of the doubtless nonpolitical fact that Orientalists "are largely responsible for having given Middle Easterners themselves an accurate appreciation of their past,"120 just in case we might forget that Orientalists know things by definition that Orientals cannot know on their own.

If this sums up the "hard" school of the new American Orientalism, the "soft" school emphasizes the fact that traditional Orientalists have given us the basic outlines of Islamic history, religion, and society but have been "all too often content to sum up the meaning of a civilization on the basis of a few manuscripts."121 Against the traditional Orientalist, therefore, the new area-studies specialist argues philosophically:

Research methodology and disciplinary paradigms are not to determine what is selected for study, and they are not to limit observation. Area studies, from this perspective, hold that true knowledge is only possible of things that exist, while methods and theories are abstractions, which order observations and offer explanations according to non-empirical criteria.122

Good. But how does one know the "things that exist," and to what extent are the "things that exist" constituted by the knower? This is left moot, as the new value-free apprehension of the Orient as something that exists is institutionalized in area-studies programs. Without tendentious theorizing, Islam is rarely studied, rarely researched, rarely known: the naiveté of this conception scarcely conceals what ideologically it means, the absurd theses that man plays no part in setting up both the material and the processes of knowledge, that the Oriental reality is static and "exists," that only a messianic revolutionary (in Dr. Kissinger's vocabulary) will not admit the difference between reality out there and in his head.

Between the hard and soft schools, however, more or less diluted versions of the old Orientalism flourish-in the new academic jargons in some cases, in the old ones in others. But the principal dogmas of Orientalism exist in their purest form today in studies of the Arabs and Islam. Let us recapitulate them here: one is the absolute and systematic difference between the West, which is rational, developed, humane, superior, and the Orient, which is aberrant, undeveloped inferior. Another dogma is that abstractions about the Orient, particularly those based on texts representing a "classical" Oriental civilization, are always preferable to direct evidence drawn from modern Oriental realities. A third dogma is that the Orient is eternal, uniform, and incapable of defining itself; therefore it is assumed that a highly generalized and systematic vocabulary for describing the Orient from a Western standpoint is inevitable and even scientifically "objective." A fourth dogma is that the Orient is at bottom something either to be feared (the Yellow Peril, the Mongol hordes, the brown dominions) or to be controlled (by pacification, research and development, outright occupation whenever possible).

The extraordinary thing is that these notions persist without significant challenge in the academic and governmental study of the modern Near Orient. Lamentably, there has been no demonstrable effect-if there has been a challenging gesture at all-made by Islamic or Arab scholars' work disputing the dogmas of Orientalism; an isolated article here or there, while important for its time and place, cannot possibly affect the course of an imposing research consensus maintained by all sorts of agencies, institutions, and traditions. The point of this is that Islamic Orientalism has led a contemporary fife quite different from that of the other Orientalist subdisciplines. The Committee of Concerned Asia Scholars (who are primarily Americans) led a revolution during the 1960s in the ranks of East Asia specialists; the African studies specialists were similarly challenged by revisionists; so too were other Third World area specialists. Only the Arabists and Islamologists still function unrevised. For them there are still such things as an Islamic society, an Arab mind, an Oriental psyche. Even the ones whose specialty is the modern Islamic world anachronistically use texts like the Koran to read into every facet of contemporary Egyptian or Algerian society. Islam, or a seventh century ideal of it constituted by the Orientalist, is assumed to possess the unity that eludes the more recent and important influences of colonialism, imperialism, and even ordinary politics. Cliches about how Muslims (or Mohammedans, as they are still sometimes called) behave are bandied about with a nonchalance no one would risk in talking about blacks or Jews. At best, the Muslim is a "native informant" for the Orientalist. Secretly, however, he remains a despised heretic who for his sins must additionally endure the entirely thankless position of being known-negatively, that is-as an anti-Zionist.

There is of course a Middle East studies establishment, a pool of interests, "old boy" or "expert" networks linking corporate business, the foundations, the oil companies, the missions, the military, the foreign service, the intelligence community together with the academic world. There are grants and other rewards, there are organizations, there are hierarchies, there are institutes, centers, faculties, departments, all devoted to legitimizing and maintaining the authority of a. handful of basic, basically unchanging ideas about Islam, the Orient, and the Arabs. A recent critical analysis of the Middle East studies operation in the United States shows, not that the field is "monolithic," but that it is complex, that it contains oldstyle Orientalists, deliberately marginal specialists, counterinsurgency specialists, policymakers, as well as "a small minority ...of academic power brokers."123 In any event, the core of Orientalist dogma persists.

As an instance of what, in its highest and most intellectually prestigious form, the field now produces, let us consider briefly the two-volume Cambridge History of Islam, which was first published in England in 1970 and is a regular summa of Orientalist orthodoxy. To say of this work by numerous luminaries that it is an intellectual failure by any standards other than those of Orientalism is to say that it could have been a different and better history of Islam. In fact, as several more thoughtful scholars have noted,124 this kind of history was already doomed when first planned and could not have been different or better in execution: too many ideas were uncritically accepted by its editors; there was too much reliance on vague concepts; little emphasis was placed on methodological issues (which were left as they have been standing in Orientalist discourse for almost two centuries); and no effort was put forth to make even the idea of Islam seem interesting. Moreover, not only does The Cambridge History of Islam radically misconceive and misrepresent Islam as a religion; it also has no corporate idea of itself as a history. Of few such enormous enterprises can it be true, as it is of this one, that ideas and methodological intelligence are almost entirely absent from it.

Erfan Shahid's chapter on pre-Islamic Arabia, which opens the history, intelligently sketches the fruitful consonance between topography and human economy out of which Islam appeared in the seventh century. But what can one fairly say of a history of Islam, defined by P. M. Holt's introduction rather airily as a "cultural synthesis,"125 that proceeds directly from pre-Islamic Arabia to a chapter on Mohammed, then to a chapter on the Patriarchal and Umayyad caliphates, and entirely bypasses any account of Islam as a system of belief, faith, or doctrine? For hundreds of pages in volume 1, Islam is understood to mean an unrelieved chronology of battles, reigns, and deaths, rises and heydays, comings and passings, written for the most part in a ghastly monotone.

Take the Abbasid period from the eighth to the eleventh century as an instance. Anyone who has the slightest acquaintance with Arab or Islamic history will know that it was a high point of Islamic civilization, as brilliant a period of cultural history as the High Renaissance in Italy. Yet nowhere in the forty pages of description does one get an inkling of any richness; what is found instead is sentences like this: "Once master of the caliphate, [al- Ma'mun] seemed henceforth to shrink from contact with Baghdad society and remained settled at Merv, entrusting the government of Iraq to one of his trusted men, al-Hasan b. Sahl, the brother of al-Fadl, who was faced almost at once with a serious Shi'i revolt, that of Abu'l-Saraya, who in Jumada lI 199/January 815 sent out a call to arms from Kufa in support of the Hasanid Ibn Tabataba."126 A non-Islamicist will not know at this point what a Shi'i or a Hasanid is. He will have no idea what Jumada 11 is, except that it clearly designates a date of some sort. And of course he will believe that the Abbasids, including Harun al-Rashid, were an incorrigibly dull and murderous lot, as they sat sulking in Merv.

The Central Islamic lands are defined as excluding North Africa and Andalusia, and their history is an orderly march from the past till modern times. In volume 1, therefore, Islam is a geographical designation applied chronologically and selectively as it suits the experts. But nowhere in the chapters on classical Islam is there an adequate preparation for the disappointments in store for us when we come to "recent times," as they are called. The chapter on the modern Arab lands is written without the slightest understanding of the revolutionary developments in the area. The author takes a schoolmarmish, openly reactionary attitude towards the Arabs ("it must be said that during this period the educated and uneducated youth of the Arab countries, with their enthusiasm and idealism, became a fertile soil for political exploitation and, at times, perhaps without realizing it, the tools of unscrupulous extremists and agitators"127), tempered by occasional praise of Lebanese nationalism (although we are never told that the appeal of fascism to a small number of Arabs during the thirties also infected the Lebanese Maronites, who in 1936 founded the Falanges libanaises as a copy of Mussolini's Black Shirts). "Unrest and agitation" are ascribed to 1936 without a mention of Zionism, and the very notions of anticolonialism and antiimperialism are never allowed to violate the serenity of the narrative. As for the chapters on "the political impact of the West" and "economic and social change"-ideas left no more specific than that they are tacked on as reluctant concessions to Islam as having something to do with "our" world in general. Change is unilaterally equated with modernization, even though it is nowhere made clear why other kinds of change need be so imperiously dismissed. Since it is assumed that Islam's only worthwhile relations have been with the West, the importance of Bandung or of Africa or of the Third World generally is ignored; this blithe indifference to a good three-quarters of reality somewhat explains the amazingly cheerful statement that "the historical ground has been cleared [by whom, for what, in what way?] for a new relationship between the West and Islam ...based on equality and cooperation."128

If by the end of volume 1 we are mired in a number of contradictions and difficulties about what Islam really is, there is no help to be had in volume 2. Half the book is devoted to covering the tenth to the twentieth centuries in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Spain, North Africa, and Sicily; there is more distinction in the chapters on North Africa, although the same combination of professional Orientalist jargon with unguided historical detail prevails pretty much everywhere. So far, after approximately twelve hundred pages of dense prose, "Islam" appears to be no more a cultural synthesis than any other roll call of kings, battles, and dynasties. But in the last half of volume 2, the great synthesis completes itself with articles on "The Geographical Setting," "Sources of Islamic Civilization," "Religion and Culture," and "Warfare."

Now one's legitimate questions and objections seem more justified. Why is a chapter commissioned on Islamic warfare when what is really discussed (interestingly, by the way) is the sociology of some Islamic armies? Is one to assume that there is an Islamic mode of war different, say, from Christian warfare? Communist war versus capitalist war proposes itself as a suitably analogous topic, Of what use for the understanding of Islam--except as a display of Gustave von Grunebaum's indiscriminate eruditionare the opaque quotations from Leopold von Ranke which, along with other equally ponderous and irrelevant material, dot his pages on Islamic civilization? Is it not mendacious thus to disguise the real Grunebaumian thesis, that Islamic civilization rests on an unprincipled borrowing by Muslims from the Judeo- Christian, Hellenistic, and Austro-Germanic civilizations? Compare with this idea that Islam is by definition a plagiaristic culture-the one put forward in volume 1 that "so-called Arabic literature" was written by Persians (no proof offered, no names cited). When Louis Gardet treats "Religion and Culture," we are told summarily that only the first five centuries of Islam are to be discussed; does this mean that religion and culture in "modern times" cannot be "synthesized," or does it mean that Islam achieved its final form in the twelfth century? Is there really such a thing as "Islamic geography," which seems to include the "planned anarchy" of Muslim cities, or is it mainly an invented subject to demonstrate a rigid theory of geographical-racial determinism? As a hint we are reminded of "the Ramadan fast with its active nights," from which we are expected to conclude that Islam is a religion "designed for town .dwellers." This is explanation in need of explanation.

The sections on economic and social institutions, on law and justice, mysticism, art and architecture, science, and the various Islamic literatures are on an altogether higher level than most of the History. Yet nowhere is there evidence that their authors have much in common with modern humanists or social scientists in other disciplines: the techniques of the conventional history of ideas, of Marxist analysis, of the New History, are noticeably absent. Islam, in short, seems to its historians to be best suited to a rather Platonic and antiquarian bias. To some writers of the History Islam is a politics and a religion; to others it is a style of being; to others it is "distinguishable from Muslim society"; to still others it is a mysteriously known essence; to all the authors Islam is a remote, tensionless thing, without much to teach us about the complexities of today's Muslims. Hanging over the whole disjointed enterprise which is The Cambridge History of Islam is the old Orientalist truism that Islam is about texts, not about people.

The fundamental question raised by such contemporary Orientalist texts as The Cambridge History is whether ethnic origins and religion are the best, or at least the most useful, basic, and clear, definitions of human experience. Does it matter more in understanding contemporary politics to know that X and Y are disadvantaged in certain very concrete ways, or that they are Muslims or Jews? This is of course a debatable question, and we are very likely in rational terms to insist on both the religious-ethnic and the socio-economic descriptions; Orientalism, however, clearly posits the Islamic category as the dominant one, and this is the main consideration about its retrograde intellectual tactics.

3. Merely Islam. So deeply entrenched is the theory of Semitic simplicity as it is to be found in modern Orientalism that it operates with little differentiation in such well-known anti-Semitic European writings as The Protocols of the Elders of Dori and in remarks such as these by Chaim Weizmann to Arthur Balfour on May 30, 1918:

The Arabs, who are superficially clever and quick witted, worship one thing, and one thing only-power and success.... The British authorities ...knowing as they do the treacherous nature of the Arabs ...have to watch carefully and constantly.... The fairer the English regime tries to be, the more arrogant the Arab becomes.... The present state of affairs would necessarily tend toward the creation of an Arab Palestine, if there were an Arab people in Palestine. It will not in fact produce that result because the fellah is at least four centuries behind the times, and the effendi ...is dishonest, uneducated, greedy, and as unpatriotic as he is inefficient.129

The common denominator between Weizmann and the European anti- Semite is the Orientalist perspective, seeing Semites (or subdivisions thereof) as by nature lacking the desirable qualities of Occidentals. Yet the difference between Renan and Weizmann is that the latter had already gathered behind his rhetoric the solidity of institutions whereas the former had not. Is there not in twentieth-century Orientalism that same unaging "gracious childhood heedlessly allied now with scholarship, now with a state and all its institutions-that Renan saw as the Semites' unchanging mode of being?

Yet with what greater harm has the twentieth-century version of the myth been maintained. It has produced a picture of the Arab as seen by an "advanced" quasi-Occidental society. In his resistance to foreign colonialists the Palestinian was either a stupid savage, or a negligible quantity, morally and even existentially. According to Israeli law only a Jew has full civic rights and unqualified immigration privileges; even though they are the land's inhabitants, Arabs are given less, more simple rights: they cannot immigrate, and if they seem not to have the same rights, it is because they are "less developed." Orientalism governs Israeli policy towards the Arabs throughout, as the recently published Koenig Report amply proves. There are good Arabs (the ones who do as they are told) and bad Arabs (who do not, and are therefore terrorists). Most of all there are all those Arabs who, once defeated, can be expected to sit obediently behind an infallibly fortified line, manned by the smallest possible number of men, on the theory that Arabs have had to accept the myth of Israeli superiority and will never dare attack. One need only glance through the pages of General Yehoshafat Harkabi's Arab Attitudes to Israel to see how-as Robert Alter put it in admiring language in Commentary 130 - the Arab mind, depraved, anti- Semitic to the core, violent, unbalanced, could produce only rhetoric and little more. One myth supports and produces another. They answer each other, tending towards symmetries and patterns of the sort that as Orientals the Arabs themselves can be expected to produce, but that as a human being no Arab can truly sustain.

Of itself, in itself, as a set of beliefs, as a method of analysis, Orientalism cannot develop. Indeed, it is the doctrinal antithesis of development. Its central argument is the myth of the arrested development of the Semites. From this matrix other myths pour forth, each of them showing the Semite to be the opposite of the Westerner and irremediably the victim of his own weaknesses. By a concatenation of events and circumstances the Semitic myth bifurcated in the Zionist movement; one Semite went the way of Orientalism, the other, the Arab, was forced to go the way of the Oriental. Each time tent and tribe are solicited, the myth is being employed; each time the concept of Arab national character is evoked, the myth is being employed. The hold these instruments have on the mind is increased by the institutions built around them. For every Orientalist, quite literally, there is a support system of staggering power, considering the ephemerality of the myths that Orientalism propagates. This system now culminates in the very institutions of the state. To write about the Arab Oriental world, therefore, is to write with the authority of a nation, and not with the affirmation of a strident ideology but with the unquestioning certainty of absolute truth backed by absolute force.

In its February 1974 issue Commentary gave its readers an article by Professor Gil Carl Alroy entitled "Do the Arabs Want Peace?" Alroy is a professor of political science and is the author of two works, Attitudes Towards Jewish Statehood in the Arab World and Images of Middle East Conflict; he is a man who professes to "know" the Arabs, and is obviously an expert on image making. His argument is quite predictable: that the Arabs want to destroy Israel, that the Arabs really say what they mean (and Alroy makes ostentatious use of his ability to cite evidence from Egyptian newspapers, evidence he everywhere identifies with "Arabs" as if the two, Arabs and Egyptian newspapers, were one), and so on and on, with unflagging, one-eyed zeal. Quite the center of his article, as it is the center of previous work by other "Arabists" (synonymous with "Orientalists"), like General Harkabi, whose province is the "Arab mind," is a working hypothesis on what Arabs, if one peels off all the outer nonsense, are really like. In other words, Alroy must prove that because Arabs are, first of all, as one in their bent for bloody vengeance, second, psychologically incapable of peace, and third, congenitally tied to a concept of justice that means the opposite of that, they are not to be trusted and must be fought interminably as one fights any other fatal disease. For evidence Alroy's principal exhibit is a quotation taken from Harold W. Glidden's essay "The Arab World" (to which I referred in Chapter One). Alroy finds Glidden able to have "captured the cultural differences between the Western and the Arab view" of things "very well." Alroy's argument is clinched, therefore-the Arabs are unregenerate savages-and thus an authority on the Arab mind has told a wide audience of presumably concerned Jews that they must continue to watch out. And he has done it academically, dispassionately, fairly, using evidence taken from the Arabs themselves -who, he says with Olympian assurance, have "emphatically ruled out ...real peace"-and from psychoanalysis.131

One can explain such statements by recognizing that a still more implicit and powerful difference posited by the Orientalist as against the Oriental is that the former writes about, whereas the latter is written about. For the latter, passivity is the presumed role; for the former, the power to observe, study, and so forth; as Roland Barthes has said, a myth (and its perpetuators) can invent itself (themselves) ceaselessly."132 The Oriental is given as fixed, stable, in need of investigation, in need even of knowledge about himself. No dialectic is either desired or allowed. There is a source of information (the Oriental) and a source of knowledge (the Orientalist), in short, a writer and a subject matter otherwise inert. The relationship between the two is radically a matter of power, for which there are numerous images. Here is an instance taken from Raphael Patai's Golden River to Golden Road:

In order properly to evaluate what Middle Eastern culture will willingly accept from the embarrassingly rich storehouses of Western civilization, a better and sounder understanding of Middle Eastern culture must first be acquired. The same prerequisite is necessary in order to gauge the probable effects of newly introduced traits on the cultural context of tradition directed peoples. Also, the ways and means in which new cultural offerings can be made palatable must be studied much more thoroughly than was hitherto the case. In brief, the only way in which the Gordian knot of resistance to Westernization in the Middle East can be unraveled is that of studying the Middle East, of obtaining a fuller picture of its traditional culture, a better understanding of the processes of change taking place in it at present, and a deeper insight into the psychology of human groups brought up in Middle Eastern culture. The task is taxing, but the prize, harmony between the West and a neighboring world area of crucial importance, is well worth it. 133

The metaphorical figures propping up this passage (I have indicated them by italics) come from a variety of human activities, some commercial, some horticultural, some religious, some veterinary, some historical. Yet in each case the relation between the Middle East and the West is really defined as sexual: as I said earlier in discussing Flaubert, the association between the Orient and sex is remarkably persistent. The Middle East is resistant, as any virgin would be, but the male scholar wins the prize by bursting open, penetrating through the Gordian knot despite "the taxing task." "Harmony" is the result of the conquest of maidenly coyness; it is not by any means the coexistence of equals. The underlying power relation between scholar and subject matter is never once altered: it is uniformly favorable to the Orientalist. Study, understanding, knowledge, evaluation, masked as blandishments to "harmony," are instruments of conquest.

The verbal operations in such writing as Patai's (who has outstripped even his previous work in his recent The Arab Mind 134) aim at a very particular sort of compression and reduction. Much of his paraphernalia is anthropological-he describes the Middle East as a "culture area"-but the result is to eradicate the plurality of differences among the Arabs (whoever they may be in fact) in the interest of one difference, that one setting Arabs off from everyone else. As a subject matter for study and analysis, they can be controlled more readily. Moreover, thus reduced they can be made to permit, legitimate, and valorize general nonsense of the sort one finds in works such as Sania Hamady's Temperament and Character of the Arabs. Item:

The Arabs so far have demonstrated an incapacity for disciplined and abiding unity. They experience collective outbursts of enthusiasm but do not pursue patiently collective endeavors, which are usually embraced halfheartedly. They show lack of coordination and harmony in organization and function, nor have they revealed an ability for cooperation. Any collective action for common benefit or mutual profit is alien to them. 135

The style of this prose tells more perhaps than Hamady intends. Verbs like "demonstrate," "reveal," "show," are used without an indirect object: to whom are the Arabs revealing, demonstrating, showing? To no one in particular, obviously, but to everyone in general. This is another way of saying that these truths are self-evident only to a privileged or initiated observer, since nowhere does Hamady cite generally available evidence for her observations. Besides, given the inanity of the observations, what sort of evidence could there be? As her prose moves along, her tone increases in confidence: "Any collective action ...is alien to them." The categories harden, the assertions are more unyielding, and the Arabs have been totally transformed from people into no more than the putative subject of Hamady's style. The Arabs exist only as an occasion for the tyrannical observer: "The world is my idea."

And so it is throughout the work of the contemporary Orientalist: assertions of the most bizarre sort dot his or her pages, whether it is a Manfred Halpern arguing that even though all human thought processes can be reduced to eight, the Islamic mind is capable of only four, 136 or a Morroe Berger presuming that since the Arabic language is much given to rhetoric Arabs are consequently incapable of true thought."137 One can call these assertions myths in their function and structure, and yet one must try to understand what other imperatives govern their use. Here one is speculating, of course. Orientalist generalizations about the Arabs are very detailed when it comes to itemizing Arab characteristics critically, far less so when it comes to analyzing Arab strengths. The Arab family, Arab rhetoric, the Arab character, despite copious descriptions by the Orientalist, appear denatured, without human potency, even as these same descriptions possess a fullness and depth in their sweeping power over the subject matter. Hamady again:

Thus, the Arab lives in a hard and frustrating environment. He has little chance to develop his potentialities and define his position in society, holds little belief in progress and change, and finds salvation only in the hereafter.138

What the Arab cannot achieve himself is to be found in the writing about him. The Orientalist is supremely certain of his potential, is not a pessimist, is able to define his position, his own and the Arab's. The picture of the Arab Oriental that emerges is determinedly negative; yet, we ask, why this endless series of works on him? What grips the Orientalist, if it is not-as it certainly is not-love of Arab science, mind, society, achievement? In other words, what is the nature of Arab presence in mythic discourse about him?

Two things: number and generative power. Both qualities are reducible to each other ultimately, but we ought to separate them for the purposes of analysis. Almost without exception, every contemporary work of Orientalist scholarship (especially in the social sciences) has a great deal to say about the family, its male-dominated structure, its all-pervasive influence in the society. Patai's work is a typical example. A silent paradox immediately presents itself, for if the family is an institution for whose general failures the only remedy is the placebo of "modernization," we must acknowledge that the family continues to produce itself, is fertile, and is the source of Arab existence in the world, such as it is. What Berger refers to as "the great value men place upon their own sexual prowess"139 suggests the lurking power behind Arab presence in the world. If Arab society is represented in almost completely negative and generally passive terms, to be ravished and won by the Orientalist hero, we can assume that such a representation is a way of dealing with the great variety and potency of Arab diversity, whose source is, if not intellectual and social, then sexual and biological. Yet the absolutely inviolable taboo in Orientalist discourse is that that very sexuality must never be taken seriously. It can never be explicitly blamed for the absence of achievement and "real" rational sophistication the Orientalist everywhere discovers among the Arabs. And yet this is, I think, the missing link in arguments whose main object is criticism of "traditional" Arab society, such as Hamady's, Berger's, and Lerner's. They recognize the power of the family, note the weaknesses of the Arab mind, remark the "importance" of the Oriental world to the West, but never say what their discourse implies, that what is really left to the Arab after all is said and done is an undifferentiated sexual drive. On rare occasions-as in the work of Leon Mugniery-we do find the implicit made clear: that there is a "powerful sexual appetite ...characteristic of those hot-blooded southerners."140 Most of the time, however, the belittlement of Arab society and its reduction of platitudes inconceivable for any except the racially inferior are carried on over an undercurrent of sexual exaggeration: the Arab produces himself, endlessly, sexually, and little else. The Orientalist says nothing about this, although his argument depends on it: "But co-operation in the Near East is still largely a family affair and little of it is found outside the blood group or village. 141 Which is to say that the only way in which Arabs count is as mere biological beings; institutionally, politically, culturally they are nil, or next to nil. Numerically and as the producers of families, Arabs are actual.
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Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

Postby admin » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:17 am

Part 3 of 3

The difficulty with this view is that it complicates the passivity amongst Arabs assumed by Orientalists like Patai and even Hamady and the others. But it is in the logic of myths, like dreams, exactly to welcome radical antitheses. For a myth does not analyze or solve problems. It represents them as already analyzed and solved; that is, it presents them as already assembled images, in the way a scarecrow is assembled from bric-a-brac and then made to stand for a man. Since the image uses all material to its own end, and since by definition the myth displaces life, the antithesis between an over-fertile Arab and a passive doll is not functional. The discourse papers over the antithesis. An Arab Oriental is that impossible creature whose libidinal energy drives him to paroxysms of over-stimulation -- and yet, he is as a puppet in the eyes of the world, staring vacantly out at a modern landscape he can neither understand nor cope with.

It is in recent discussions of Oriental political behavior that such an image of the Arab seems to be relevant, and it is often occasioned by scholarly discussion of those two recent favorites of Orientalist expertise, revolution and modernization. Under the auspices of the School of Oriental and African Studies there appeared in 1972 a volume entitled Revolution in the Middle East and Other Case Studies, edited by P. J. Vatikiotis. The title is overtly medical, for we are expected to think of Orientalists as finally being given the benefit of what "traditional" Orientalism usually avoided: psychoclinical attention. Vatikiotis sets the tone of the collection with a quasi-medical definition of revolution, but since Arab revolution is in his mind and in his readers', the hostility of the definition seems acceptable. There is a very clever irony here about which I shall speak later. Vatikiotis's theoretical support is Camus-whose colonial mentality was no friend of revolution or of the Arabs, as Conor Cruise O'Brien has recently shown-but the phrase "revolution destroys both men and principles" is accepted from Camus as having "fundamental sense." Vatikiotis continues:

...all revolutionary ideology is in direct conflict with (actually, is a head-on attack upon) man's rational, biological and psychological make-up.

Committed as it is to a methodical metastasis, revolutionary ideology demands fanaticism from its adherents. Politics for the revolutionary is not only a question of belief, or a substitute for religious belief. It must stop being what it has always been, namely, an adaptive activity in time for survival. Metastatic, soteriological politics abhors adaptiveness, for how else can it eschew the difficulties, ignore and bypass the obstacles of the complex biological-psychological dimension of man, or mesmerize his subtle though limited and vulnerable rationality? It fears and shins the concrete and discrete nature of human problems and the preoccupations of political life: it thrives on the abstract and the Promethean. It subordinates all tangible values to the one supreme value: the harnessing of man and history in a grand design of human liberation. It is not satisfied with human politics, which has so many irritating limitations. It wishes instead to create a new world, not adaptively, precariously, delicately, that is, humanly, but by a terrifying act of Olympian pseudo-divine creation. Politics in the service of man is a formula that is unacceptable to the revolutionary ideologue. Rather man exists to serve a politically contrived and brutally decreed order. 142

Whatever else this passage says-purple writing of the most extreme sort, counterrevolutionary zealotry-it is saying nothing less than that revolution is a bad kind of sexuality (pseudo-divine act of creation), and also a cancerous disease. Whatever is done by the "human," according to Vatikiotis, is rational, right, subtle, discrete, concrete; whatever the revolutionary proclaims is brutal, irrational, mesmeric, cancerous. Procreation, change, and continuity are identified not only with sexuality and with madness but, a little paradoxically, with abstraction.

Vatikiotis's terms are weighted and colored emotionally by appeals (from the right) to humanity and decency and by appeals (against the left) safeguarding humanity from sexuality, cancer, madness, irrational violence, revolution. Since it is Arab revolution that is in question, we are, to read the passage as follows: This is what revolution is, and if the Arabs want it, then that is a fairly telling comment on them, on the kind of inferior race they are. They are only capable of sexual incitement and not of Olympian (Western, modern) reason. The irony of which I spoke earlier now comes into play, for a few pages later we find that the Arabs are so inept that they cannot even aspire to, let alone consummate, the ambitions of revolution. By implication, Arab sexuality need not be feared for itself but for its failure. In short, Vatikiotis asks his reader to believe that revolution in the Middle East is a threat precisely because revolution cannot be attained.

The major source of political conflict and potential revolution in many countries of the Middle East, as well as Africa and Asia today, is the inability of so-called radical nationalist regimes and movements to manage, let alone resolve, the social, economic and political problems of independence.... Until the states in the Middle East can control their economic activity and create or produce their own technology, their access to revolutionary experience will remain limited. The very political categories essential to a revolution will be lacking.143

Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. In this series of dissolving definitions revolutions emerge as figments of sexually crazed minds which on closer analysis turn out not to be capable even of the craziness Vatikiotis truly respects-which is human, not Arab, concrete, not abstract, asexual, not sexual.

The scholarly centerpiece of Vatikiotis's collection is Bernard Lewis's essay "Islamic Concepts of Revolution." The strategy here appears refined. Many readers will know that for Arabic speakers today the word thawra and its immediate cognates mean revolution; they will know this also from Vatikiotis's introduction. Yet Lewis does not describe the meaning of thawra until the very end of his article, after he has discussed concepts such as dawla, fitna, and bughat in their historical and mostly religious context. The point there is mainly that "the Western doctrine of the right to resist bad government is alien to Islamic thought," which leads to "defeatism" and "quietism" as political attitudes. At no point in the essay is one sure where all these terms are supposed to be taking place except somewhere in the history of words. Then near the end of the essay we have this:

In the Arabic-speaking countries a different word was used for [revolution] thawra. The root th-w-r in classical Arabic meant to rise up (e.g. of a camel), to be stirred or excited, and hence, especially in Maghribi usage, to rebel. It is often used in the context of establishing a petty, independent sovereignty; thus, for example, the so-called party kings who ruled in eleventh century Spain after the break-up of the Caliphate of Cordova are called thuwwar (sing. tha'ir). The noun thawra at first means excitement, as in the phrase, cited in the Sihah, a standard medieval Arabic dictionary, intazir hatta taskun hadhihi 'lthawra, wait till this excitement dies down-a very apt recommendation. The verb is used by al-Iji, in the form of thawaran or itharat fitna, stirring up sedition, as one of the dangers which should discourage a man from practising the duty of resistance to bad government. Thawra is the term used by Arabic writers in the nineteenth century for the French Revolution, and by their successors for the approved revolutions, domestic and foreign, of our own time.144

The entire passage is full of condescension and bad faith. Why introduce the idea of a camel rising as an etymological root for modern Arab revolution except as a clever way of discrediting the modern? Lewis's reason is patently to bring down revolution from its contemporary valuation to nothing more noble (or beautiful) than a camel about to raise itself from the ground. Revolution is excitement, sedition, setting up a petty sovereignty-nothing more; the best counsel (which presumably only a Western scholar and gentleman can give) is "wait till the excitement dies down." One wouldn't know from this slighting account of thawra that innumerable people have an active commitment to it, in ways too complex for even Lewis's sarcastic scholarship to comprehend. But it is this kind of essentialized description that is natural for students and policymakers concerned with the Middle East: that revolutionary stirrings among "the Arabs" are about as consequential as a camel's getting up, as worthy of attention as the babblings of yokels. All the canonical Orientalist literature will for the same ideological reason be unable to explain or prepare one for the confirming revolutionary upheaval in the Arab world in the twentieth century.

Lewis's association of thawra with a camel rising and generally with excitement (and not with a struggle on behalf of values) hints much more broadly than is usual for him that the Arab is scarcely more than a neurotic sexual being. Each of the words or phrases he uses to describe revolution is tinged with sexuality: stirred, excited, rising up. But for the most part it is a "bad" sexuality he ascribes to the Arab. In the end, since Arabs are really not equipped for serious action, their sexual excitement is no more noble than a camel's rising up. Instead of revolution there is sedition, setting up a petty sovereignty, and more excitement, which is as much as saying that instead of copulation the Arab can only achieve foreplay, masturbation, coitus interruptus. These, I think, are Lewis's implications, no matter how innocent his sir of learning, or parlorlike his language. For since he is so sensitive to the nuances of words, he must be aware that his words have nuances as well.

Lewis is an interesting case to examine further because his standing in the political world of the Anglo-American Middle Eastern Establishment is that of the learned Orientalist, and everything he writes is steeped in the "authority" of the field. Yet for at least a decade and a half his work in the main has been aggressively ideological, despite his various attempts at subtlety and irony. I mention his recent writing as a perfect exemplification of the academic whose work purports to be liberal objective scholarship but is in reality very close to being propaganda against his subject material. But this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of Orientalism; it is only the latest-and in the West, the most uncriticized-of the scandals of "scholarship."

So intent has Lewis become upon his project to debunk, to whittle down, and to discredit the Arabs and Islam that even his energies as a scholar and historian seem to have failed him. He will, for example, publish a chapter called "The Revolt of Islam" in a book in 1964, then republish much of the same material twelve years later, slightly altered to suit the new place of publication (in this case Commentary) and retitled "The Return of Islam." From "Revolt" to "Return" is of course a change for the worse, a change intended by Lewis to explain to his latest public why it is that the Muslims (or Arabs) still will not settle down and accept Israeli hegemony over the Near East.

Let us look more closely at how he does this. In both of his pieces he mentions an anti-imperialist riot in Cairo in 1945, which in both cases he describes as anti-Jewish. Yet in neither instance does he tell us how it was anti-Jewish; in fact, as his material evidence for anti-Jewishness, he produces the somewhat surprising intelligence that "several churches, Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox, were attacked and damaged." Consider the first version, done in 1964:

On November 2, 1945 political leaders in Egypt called for demonstrations on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. These rapidly developed into anti-Jewish riots, in the course of which a Catholic, an Armenian, and a Greek Orthodox church were attacked and damaged. What, it may be asked, had Catholics, Armenians and Greeks to do with the Balfour Declaration? 145

And now the Commentary version, done in 1976:

As the nationalist movement has become genuinely popular, so it has become less national and more religious-in other words less Arab and more Islamic. In moments of crisis-and these have been many in recent decades-it is the instinctive communal loyalty which outweighs all others. A few examples may suffice. On November 2, 1945, demonstrations were held in Egypt [note here how the phrase "demonstrations were held" is an attempt to show instinctive loyalties; in the previous version "political leaders" were responsible for the deed] on the anniversary of the issue by the British Government of the Balfour Declaration. Though this was certainly not the intention of the political leaders who sponsored it, the demonstration soon developed into an anti-Jewish riot and the anti-Jewish riot into a more general outbreak in the course of which several churches, Catholic, Armenian, and Greek Orthodox [another instructive change: the impression here is that many churches, of three kinds, were attacked; the earlier version is specific about three churches], were attacked and damaged.146

Lewis's polemical, not scholarly, purpose is to show, here and elsewhere, that Islam is an anti-Semitic ideology, not merely a religion. He has a little logical difficulty in trying to assert that Islam is a fearful mass phenomenon and at the same time "not genuinely popular," but this problem does not detain him long. As the second version of his tendentious anecdote shows, he goes on to proclaim that Islam is an irrational herd or mass phenomenon, ruling Muslims by passions, instincts, and unreflecting hatreds. The whole point of his exposition is to frighten his audience, to make it never yield an inch to Islam. According to Lewis, Islam does not develop, and neither do Muslims; they merely are, and they are to be watched, on account of that pure essence of theirs (according to Lewis), which happens to include a long-standing hatred of Christians and Jews. Lewis everywhere restrains himself from making such inflammatory statements fiat out; he always takes care to say that of course the Muslims are not anti-Semitic the way the Nazis were, but their religion can too easily accommodate itself to anti-Semitism and has done so.Similarly with regard to Islam and racism, slavery, and other more or less "Western" evils. The core of Lewis's ideology about Islam is that it never changes, and his whole mission is now to inform conservative segments of the Jewish reading public, and anyone else who cares to listen, that any political, historical, and scholarly account of Muslims must begin and end with the fact that Muslims are Muslims.

For to admit that an entire civilization can have religion as its primary loyalty is too much.Even to suggest such a thing is regarded as offensive by liberal opinion, always ready to take protective umbrage on behalf of those whom it regards as its wards. This is reflected in the present inability, political, journalistic, and scholarly alike, to recognize the importance of the factor of religion in the current affairs of the Muslim world and in the consequent recourse to the language of left-wing and rightwing, progressive and conservative, and the rest of the Western terminology, the use of which in explaining Muslim political phenomena is about as accurate and as enlightening as an account of a cricket match by a baseball correspondent. [Lewis is so fond of this last simile that he quotes it verbatim from his 1964 polemic.]147

In a later work Lewis tells us what terminology is more accurate and useful, although the terminology seems no less "Western" (whatever "Western" means): Muslims, like most other former colonial peoples, are incapable of telling the truth or even of seeing it. According to Lewis, they are addicted to mythology, along with "the so-called revisionist school in the United States, which look back to a golden age of American virtue and ascribe virtually all the sins and crimes of the world to the present establishment in their country. 148 Aside from being a mischievous and totally inaccurate account of revisionist history, this kind of remark is designed to put Lewis as a great historian above the petty underdevelopment of mere Muslims and revisionists.

Yet so far as being accurate is concerned, and so far as living up to his own rule that "the scholar, however, will not give way to his prejudices,"149 Lewis is cavalier with himself and with his cause. He will, for example, recite the Arab case against Zionism (using the "in" language of the Arab nationalist) without at the same time mentioning-anywhere, in any of his writings-that there was such a thing as a Zionist invasion and colonization of Palestine despite and in conflict with the native Arab inhabitants. No Israeli would deny this, but Lewis the Orientalist historian simply leaves it out. He will speak of the absence of democracy in the Middle East, except for Israel, without ever mentioning the Emergency Defense Regulations used in Israel to rule the Arabs; nor has he anything to say about "preventive detention" of Arabs in Israel, nor about the dozens of illegal settlements on the militarily occupied West Bank of Gaza, nor about the absence of human rights for Arabs, principal among them the right of immigration, in former Palestine. Instead, Lewis allows himself the scholarly liberty to say that "imperialism and Zionism [so far as the Arabs are concerned were] long familiar under their older names as the Christians and Jews."150 He quotes T. E. Lawrence on "the Semites" to bolster his case against Islam, he never discusses Zionism in parallel with Islam (as if Zionism were a French, not a religious, movement), and he tries everywhere to demonstrate that any revolution anywhere is at best a form of "secular millenarianism."

One would find this kind of procedure less objectionable as political propaganda-which is what it is, of course--were it not accompanied by sermons on the objectivity, the fairness, the impartiality of a real historian, the implication always being that Muslims and Arabs cannot be objective but that Orientalists like Lewis writing about Muslims and Arabs are, by definition, by training, by the mere fact of their Westernness. This is the culmination of Orientalism as a dogma that not only degrades its subject matter but also blinds its practitioners. But let us listen finally to Lewis telling us how the historian ought to conduct himself. We may well ask whether it is only the Orientals who are subject to the prejudices he chastises.

[The historian's] loyalties may well influence his choice of subject of research; they should not influence his treatment of it. If, in the course of his researches, he finds that the group with which he identifies himself is always right, and those other groups with which it is in conflict are always wrong, then he would be well advised to question his conclusions, and to reexamine the hypothesis on the basis of which he selected and interpreted his evidence; for it is not in the nature of human communities [presumably, also, the community of Orientalists] always to be right.

Finally the historian must be fair and honest in the way he presents his story. That is not to say that he must confine himself to a bare recital of definitely established facts. At many stages in his work the historian must formulate hypotheses and make judgments. The important thing is that he should do so consciously and explicitly, reviewing the evidence for and against his conclusions, examining the various possible interpretations, and stating explicitly what his decision is, and how and why he reached it. 151

To look for a conscious, fair, and explicit judgment by Lewis of the Islam he has treated as he has treated it is to look in vain. He prefers to work, as we have seen, by suggestion and insinuation. One suspects, however, that he is unaware of doing this (except perhaps with regard to "political" matters like pro-Zionism, anti-Arab nationalism, and strident Cold Warriorism), since he would be certain to say that the whole history of Orientalism, of whom he is the beneficiary, has made these insinuations and hypotheses into indisputable truths.

Perhaps the most indisputable of these rock-bottom "truths," and the most peculiar (since it is hard to believe it could be maintained for any other language), is that Arabic as a language is a dangerous ideology. The contemporary locus classicus for this view of Arabic is E. Shouby's essay "The Influence of the Arabic Language on the Psychology of the Arabs."152 The author is described as "a psychologist with training in both Clinical and Social Psychology," and one presumes that a main reason his views have such wide currency is that he is an Arab himself (a self-incriminating one, at that). The argument he proposes is lamentably simpleminded, perhaps because he has no notion of what language is and how it operates. Nevertheless the subheadings of his essay tell a good deal of his story; Arabic is characterized by "General vagueness of Thought," "Overemphasis on Linguistic Signs," "Overassertion and Exaggeration." Shouby is frequently quoted as an authority because he speaks like one and because what he hypostasizes is a sort of mute Arab who at the same time is a great word-master playing games without much seriousness or purpose. Muteness is an important part of what Shouby is talking about, since in his entire paper he never once quotes from the literature of which the Arab is so inordinately proud. Where, then, does Arabic influence the Arab mind? Exclusively within the mythological world created for the Arab by Orientalism. The Arab is a sign for dumbness combined with hopeless overarticulateness, poverty combined with excess. That such a result can be attained by philological means testifies to the sad end of a formerly complex philological tradition, exemplified today only in very rare individuals. The reliance of today's Orientalist on "philology" is the last infirmity of a scholarly discipline completely transformed into social-science ideological expertise.

In everything I have been discussing, the language of Orientalism plays the dominant role. It brings opposites together as "natural," it presents human types in scholarly idioms and methodologies, it ascribes reality and reference to objects (other words) of its own making. Mythic language is discourse, that is, it cannot be anything but systematic; one does not really make discourse at will, or statements in it, without first belonging-in some cases unconsciously, but at any rate involuntarily-to the ideology and the institutions that guarantee its existence. These latter ate always the institutions of an advanced society dealing with a less advanced society, a strong culture encountering a weak one. The principal feature of mythic discourse is that it conceals its own origins as well as those of what it describes. "Arabs" are presented in the imagery of static, almost ideal types, and neither as creatures with a potential in the process of being realized nor as history being made. The exaggerated value heaped upon Arabic as a language permits the Orientalist to make the language equivalent to mind, society, history, and nature. For the Orientalist the language speaks the Arab Oriental, not vice versa.

4. Orientals Orientals Orientals. The system of ideological fictions I have been calling Orientalism has serious implications not only because it is intellectually discreditable. For the United States today is heavily invested in the Middle East, more heavily than anywhere else on earth: the Middle East experts who advise policy-makers are imbued with Orientalism almost to a person. Most of this investment, appropriately enough, is built on foundations of sand, since the experts instruct policy on the basis of such marketable abstractions as political elites, modernization, and stability, most of which are simply the old Orientalist stereotypes dressed up in policy jargon, and most of which have been completely inadequate to describe what took place recently in Lebanon or earlier in Palestinian popular resistance to Israel. The Orientalist now tries to see the Orient as an imitation West which, according to Bernard Lewis, can only improve itself when its nationalism "is prepared to come to terms with the West."153 If in the meantime the Arabs, the Muslims, or the Third and Fourth Worlds go unexpected ways after all, we will not be surprised to have an Orientalist tell us that this testifies to the incorrigibility of Orientals and therefore proves that they are not to be trusted.

The methodological failures of Orientalism cannot be accounted for either by saying that the real Orient is different from Orientalist portraits of it, or by saying that since Orientalists are Westerners for the most part, they cannot be expected to have an inner sense of what the Orient is all about. Both of these propositions are false. It is not the thesis of this book to suggest that there is such a thing as a real or true Orient (Islam, Arab, or whatever); nor is it to make an assertion about the necessary privilege of an "insider" perspective over an "outsider" one, to use Robert K. Merton's useful distinction.[154] On the contrary, I have been arguing that "the Orient" is itself a constituted entity, and that the notion that there are geographical spaces with indigenous, radically "different" inhabitants who can be defined on the basis of some religion, culture, or racial essence proper to that geographical space is equally a highly debatable idea. I certainly do not believe the limited proposition that only a black can write about blacks, a Muslim about Muslims, and so forth.

And yet despite its failures, its lamentable jargon, its scarcely concealed racism, its paper-thin intellectual apparatus, Orientalism flourishes today in the forms I have tried to describe. Indeed, there is some reason for alarm in the fact that its influence has spread to "the Orient" itself: the pages of books and journals in Arabic (and doubtless in Japanese, various Indian dialects, and other Oriental languages) are filled with second-order analyses by Arabs of "the Arab mind," "Islam," and other myths. Orientalism has also spread in the United States now that Arab money and resources have added considerable glamour to the traditional "concern" felt for the strategically important Orient. The fact is that Orientalism has been successfully accommodated to the new imperialism, where its ruling paradigms do not contest, and even confirm, the continuing imperial design to dominate Asia.

In the one part of the Orient that I can speak about with some direct knowledge, the accommodation between the intellectual class and the new imperialism might very well be accounted one of the special triumphs of Orientalism. The Arab world today is an intellectual, political, and cultural satellite of the United States. This is not in itself something to be lamented; the specific form of the satellite relationship, however, is. Consider first of all that universities in the Arab world are generally run according to some pattern inherited from, or once directly imposed by, a former colonial power. New circumstances make the curricular actualities almost grotesque: classes populated with hundreds of students, badly trained, overworked, and underpaid faculty, political appointments, the almost total absence of advanced research and of research facilities, and most important, the lack of a single decent library in the entire region. Whereas Britain and France once dominated intellectual horizons in the East by virtue of their prominence and wealth, it is now the United States that occupies that place, with the result that the few promising students who manage to make it through the system are encouraged to come to the United States to continue their advanced work. And while it is certainly true that some students from the Arab world continue to go to Europe to study, the sheer numerical preponderance comes to the United States; this is as true of students from so-called radical states as it is of students from conservative states like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Besides, the patronage system in scholarship, business, and research makes the United States a virtual hegemonic commander of affairs; the source, however much it may not be a real source, is considered to be the United States.

Two factors make the situation even more obviously a triumph of Orientalism. Insofar as one can make a sweeping generalization, the felt tendencies of contemporary culture in the Near East are guided by European and American models. When Taha Hussein said of modern Arab culture in 1936 that it was European, not Eastern, he was registering the identity of the Egyptian cultural elite, of which he was so distinguished a member. The same is true of the Arab cultural elite today, although the powerful current of anti-imperialist Third World ideas that has gripped the region since the early 1950s has tempered the Western edge of the dominant culture. In addition, the Arab and Islamic world remains a second-order power in terms of the production of culture, knowledge, and scholarship. Here one must be completely realistic about using the terminology of power politics to describe the situation that obtains. No Arab or Islamic scholar can afford to ignore what goes on in scholarly journals, .institutes, and universities in the United States and Europe; the converse is not true. For example, there is no major journal of Arab studies published in the Arab world today, just as there is no Arab educational institution capable of challenging places like Oxford, Harvard, or UCLA in the study of the Arab world, much less in any non-Oriental subject matter. The predictable result of all this is that Oriental students (and Oriental professors) still want to come and sit at the feet of American Orientalists, and later to repeat to their local audiences the clichés I have been characterizing as Orientalist dogmas. Such a system of reproduction makes it inevitable that the Oriental scholar will use his American training to feel superior to his own people because he is able to "manage" the Orientalist system; in his relations with his superiors, the European or American Orientalists, he will remain only a "native informant." And indeed this is his role in the West, should he be fortunate enough to remain there after his advanced training. Most elementary courses in Oriental languages are taught by "native informants" in United States universities today; also, power in the system (in universities, foundations, and the like) is held almost exclusively by non-Orientals, although the numerical ratio of Oriental to non-Oriental resident professionals does not favor the latter so overwhelmingly.

There are all kinds of other indications of how the cultural domination is maintained, as much by Oriental consent as by direct and crude economic pressure from the United States. It is sobering to find, for instance, that while there are dozens of organizations in the United States for studying the Arab and Islamic Orient, there are none in the Orient itself for studying the United States, by far the greatest economic and political influence in the region. Worse, there are scarcely any institutes of even modest stature in the Orient devoted to study of the Orient. But all this, I think, is small in comparison with the second factor contributing to the triumph of Orientalism: the fact of consumerism in the Orient. The Arab and Islamic world as a whole is hooked into the Western market system. No one needs to be reminded that oil, the region's greatest resource, has been totally absorbed into the United States economy. By that I mean not only that the great oil companies are controlled by the American economic system; I mean also that Arab oil revenues, to say nothing of marketing, research, and industry management, are based in the United States. This has effectively made the oil-rich Arabs into huge customers of American exports: this is as true of states in the Persian Gulf as it is of Libya, Iraq, and Algeriaradical states all. My point is that the relationship is a one-sided one, with the United States a selective customer of a very few products (oil and cheap manpower, mainly), the Arabs highly diversified consumers of a vast range of United States products, material and ideological:

This has had many consequences. There is a vast standardization of taste in the region, symbolized not only by transistors, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola but also by cultural images of the Orient supplied by American mass media and consumed unthinkingly by the mass television audience. The paradox of an Arab regarding himself as an "Arab" of the sort put out by Hollywood is but the simplest result of what I am referring to. Another result is that the Western market economy and its consumer. Orientation have produced (and are producing at an accelerating rate) a class of educated people whose intellectual formation is directed to satisfying market needs. There is a heavy emphasis on engineering, business, and economics, obviously enough; but the intelligentsia itself is auxiliary to what it considers to be the main trends stamped out in the West. Its role has been prescribed and set for it as a "modernizing" one, which means that it gives legitimacy and authority to ideas about modernization, progress, and culture that it receives from the United States for the most part. Impressive evidence for this is found in the social sciences and, surprisingly enough, among radical intellectuals whose Marxism is taken wholesale from Marx's own homogenizing view of the Third World, as I discussed it earlier in this book. So if all told there is an intellectual acquiescence in the images and doctrines of Orientalism, there is also a very powerful reinforcement of this in economic, political, and social exchange: the modern Orient, in short, participates in its own Orientalizing.

But in conclusion, what of some alternative to Orientalism? Is this book an argument only against something, and not for something positive? Here and there in the course of this book I have spoken about "decolonializing" new departures in the so-called area studies-the work of Anwar Abdel Malek, the studies published by members of the Hull group on Middle Eastern studies, the innovative analyses and proposals of various scholars in Europe, the United States, and the Near East155-but I have not attempted to do more than mention them or allude to them quickly. My project has been to describe a particular system of ideas, not by any means to displace the system with a new one. In addition, I have attempted to raise a whole set of questions that are relevant in discussing the problems of human experience: How does one represent other cultures? What is another culture? Is the notion of a distinct culture (or race, or religion, or civilization) a useful one, or does it always get involved either in self-congratulation (when one discusses one's own) or hostility and aggression (when one discusses the "other")? Do cultural, religious, and racial differences matter more than socio-economic categories, or politicohistorical ones? How do ideas acquire authority, "normality," and even the status of "natural" truth? What is the role of the intellectual? Is he there to validate the culture and state of which he is a part? What importance must he give to an independent critical consciousness, an oppositional critical consciousness?

I hope that some of my answers to these questions have been implicit in the foregoing, but perhaps I can speak a little more explicitly about some of them here. As I have characterized it in this study, Orientalism calls in question not only the possibility of nonpolitical scholarship but also the advisability of too close a relationship between the scholar and the state. It is equally apparent, I think, that the circumstances making Orientalism a continuingly persuasive type of thought will persist: a rather depressing matter on the whole. Nevertheless there is some rational expectation in my own mind that Orientalism need not always be so unchallenged, intellectually, ideologically, and politically, as it has been.

I would not have undertaken a book of this sort if I did not also believe that there is scholarship that is not as corrupt, or at least as blind to human reality, as the kind I have been mainly depicting. Today there are many individual scholars working in such fields as Islamic history, religion, civilization, sociology, and anthropology whose production is deeply valuable as scholarship. The trouble sets in when the guild tradition of Orientalism takes over the scholar who is not vigilant, whose individual consciousness as a scholar is not on guard against idées reçues all too easily handed down in the profession. Thus interesting work is most likely to be produced by scholars whose allegiance is to a discipline defined intellectually and not to a "field" like Orientalism defined either canonically, imperially, or geographically. An excellent recent instance is the anthropology of Clifford Geertz, whose interest in Islam is discrete and concrete enough to be animated by the specific societies and problems he studies and not by the rituals, preconceptions, and doctrines of Orientalism.

On the other hand, scholars and critics who are trained in the traditional Orientalist disciplines are perfectly capable of freeing themselves from the old ideological straitjacket. Jacques Berque's and Maxime Rodinson's training ranks with the most rigorous available, but what invigorates their investigations even of traditional problems is their methodological self-consciousness. For if Orientalism has historically been too smug, too insulated, too positivistically confident in its ways and its premises; then one way of opening oneself to what one studies in or about the Orient is reflexively to submit one's method to critical scrutiny. This is what characterizes Berque and Rodinson, each in his own way. What one finds in their work is always, first of all, a direct sensitivity to the material before them, and then a continual self-examination of their methodology and practice, a constant attempt to keep their work responsive to the material and not to a doctrinal preconception. Certainly Berque and Rodinson, as well as Abdel Malek and Roger Owen, are aware too that the study of man and society-whether Oriental or not-is best conducted in the broad field of all the human sciences; therefore these scholars are critical readers, and students of what goes on in other fields. Berque's attention to recent discoveries in structural anthropology, Rodinson's to sociology and political theory, Owen's to economic history: all these are instructive correctives brought from the contemporary human sciences to the study of so-called Oriental problems.

But there is no avoiding the fact that even if we disregard the Orientalist distinctions between "them" and "us," a powerful series of political and ultimately ideological realities inform scholarship today. No one can escape dealing with, if not the East/West division, then the North/South one, the have/have-not one, the imperialist/anti-imperialist one, the white/colored one. We cannot get around them all by pretending they do not exist; on the contrary, contemporary Orientalism teaches us a great deal about the intellectual dishonesty of dissembling on that score, the result of which is to intensify the divisions and make them both vicious and permanent. Yet an openly polemical and right-minded "progressive" scholarship can very easily degenerate into dogmatic slumber, a prospect that is not edifying either.

My own sense of the problem is fairly shown by the kinds of questions I formulated above. Modern thought and experience have taught us to be sensitive to what is involved in representation, in studying the other, in racial thinking, in unthinking and uncritical acceptance of authority and authoritative ideas, in the sociopolitical role of intellectuals, in the great value of a skeptical critical consciousness. Perhaps if we remember that the study of human experience usually has an ethical, to say nothing of a political, consequence in either the best or worst sense, we will not be indifferent to what we do as scholars. And what better norm for the scholar than human freedom and knowledge? Perhaps too we should remember that the study of man in society is based on concrete human history and experience, not on donnish abstractions, or on obscure laws or arbitrary systems. The problem then is to make the study fit and in some way be shaped by the experience, which would be illuminated and perhaps changed by the study. At all costs, the goal of Orientalizing the Orient again and again is to be avoided, with consequences that cannot help but refine knowledge and reduce the scholar's conceit. Without "the Orient" there would be scholars, critics, intellectuals, human beings, for whom the racial, ethnic, and national distinctions were less important than the common enterprise of promoting human community.

Positively, I do believe-and in my other work have tried to show -that enough is being done today in the human sciences to provide the contemporary scholar with insights, methods, and ideas that could dispense with racial, ideological, and imperialist stereotypes of the sort provided during its historical ascendancy by Orientalism. I consider Orientalism's failure to have been a human as much as an intellectual one; for in having to take up a position of irreducible opposition to a region of the world it considered alien to its own, Orientalism failed to identify with human experience, failed also to see it as human experience. The worldwide hegemony of Orientalism and all it stands for can now be challenged, if we can benefit properly from, the general twentieth-century rise to political and historical awareness of so many of the earth's peoples. If this book has any future use, it will be as a modest contribution to that challenge, and as a warning: that systems of thought like Orientalism, discourses of power, ideological fictions -- mind-forg'd manacles -- are all too easily made, applied, and guarded. Above all, I hope to have shown my reader that the answer to Orientalism is not Occidentalism. No former "Oriental" will be comforted by the thought that having been an Oriental himself he is likely-too likely-to study new "Orientals"-or "Occidentals"-of his own making. If the knowledge of Orientalism has any meaning, it is in being a reminder of the seductive degradation of knowledge, of any knowledge, anywhere, at any time. Now perhaps more than before.
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Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

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Part 1 of 2



1. Thierry Desjardins, Le Martyre du Liban (Paris: Plon, 1976), p. 14.

2. K. M. Panikkar, Asia and Western Dominance (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1959).

3. Denys Hay, Europe: The Emergence of an Idea, 2nd ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1968).

4. Steven Marcus, The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid- Nineteenth Century England (1966; reprint ed., New York: Bantam Books, 1967), pp. 200- 19.

5. See my Criticism Between Culture and System (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, forthcoming).

6. Principally in his American Power and the New Mandarins: Historical and Political Essays (New York: Pantheon Books, 1969) and For Reasons of State (New York: Pantheon Books, 1973).

7. Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, trans. Harry Zohn (London: New Left Books, 1973), p. 71. & Harry Bracken, "Essence, Accident and Race," Hermathena 116 (Winter 1973): 81-96.

9. In an interview published in Diacritics 6, no. 3 (Fall 1976): 38.

10. Raymond Williams, The Long Revolution (London: Chatto & Windus, 1961), pp. 66-7.

11. In my Beginnings: Intention and Method (New York: Basic Books, 1975).

12. Louis Althusser, For Marx, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: Pantheon Books,1969), pp. 65-7.

13. Raymond Schwab, La Renaissance orientale (Paris: Payot, 1950); Johann W. Flick, Die Arabischen Studien in Europa bis in den Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz, 1955); Dorothee Metlitzki, The Matter of Araby in Medieval England (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1977).

14. E. S. Shaffer, "Kubla Khan" and The Fall of Jerusalem: The Mythological School in Biblical Criticism and Secular Literature, 1770-1880 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975).

15. George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1872; reprint ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1956), p. 164.

16. Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks: Selections, trans. and ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971), p. 324. The full passage, unavailable in the Hoare and Smith translation, is to be found in Gramsci, Quaderni del Carcere, ed. Valentino Gerratana (Turin: Einaudi Editore, 1975), 2: 1363.

17. Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1958), p. 376.

Chapter 1: The Scope of Orientalism

1. This and the preceding quotations from Arthur James Balfour's speech to the House of Commons are from Great Britain, Parliamentary Debates (Commons), 5th ser., 17 (1910): 1140-46. See also A. P. Thornton, The Imperial Idea and Its Enemies: A Study in British Power (London: Mao Millan & Co., 1959), pp. 357-60. Balfour's speech was a defense of Eldon Gorst's policy in Egypt; for a discussion of that see Peter John Dreyfus Mellini, "Sir Eldon Gorst and British Imperial Policy in Egypt," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1971.

2. Denis Judd, Balfour and the British Empire: A Study in Imperial Evolution, 1874- 1932 (London: MacMillan & Co., 1968), p. 286. See also p. 292: as late as 1926 Balfour spoke-without irony-of Egypt as an "independent nation."

3. Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer, Political and Literary Essays, 1908-1913 (1913; reprint ed., Freeport, N. Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1969), pp. 40, 53, 12-14.

4. Ibid., p. 171.

5. Roger Owen, "The Influence of Lord Cromer's Indian Experience on British Policy in Egypt 1883-1907," in Middle Eastern Affairs, Number Four: St. Antony's Papers Number 17, ed. Albert Hourani (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), pp. 109-39.

6. Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer, Modern Egypt (New York: Macmillan Co., 1908), 2: 146-67. For a British view of British policy in Egypt that runs totally counter to Cromer's, see Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Secret History of the English Occupation of Egypt: Being a Personal Narrative of Events (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1922). There is a valuable discussion of Egyptian opposition to British rule in Mounah A. Khouri, Poetry and the Making of Modern Egypt, 1882-1922 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1971).

7. Cromer, Modern Egypt, 2: 164.

8. Cited in John Marlowe, Cromer in Egypt (London: Elek Books, 1970), p. 271.

9. Harry Magdoff, "Colonialism (1763-c. 1970)," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed. (1974), pp. 893-4. See also D. K. Fieldhouse, The Colonial Empires: A Comparative Survey from the Eighteenth Century (New York: Delacorte Press, 1967), p. 178.

10. Quoted in Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid, Egypt and Cromer. A Study in Anglo-Egyptian Relations (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 3.

11. The phrase is to be found in Ian Hacking, The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas About Probability, Induction and Statistical Inference (London: Cambridge University Press, 1975), p. 17.

12. V. G. Kiernan, The Lords of Human Kind: Black Man, Yellow Man, and White Man in an Age of Empire (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1969), p. 55.

13. Edgar Quinet, Le Génie des religions, in Oeuvres complètes (Paris: Paguerre, 1857), pp. 55-74.

14. Cromer, Political and Literary Essays, p. 35.

15. See Jonah Raskin, The Mythology of Imperialism (New York: Random House, 1971), p. 40.

16. Henry A. Kissinger, American Foreign Policy (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1974), pp. 48-9.

17. Harold W. Glidden, "The Arab World," American Journal of Psychiatry 128, no. 8 (February 1972): 984-8.

18. R. W. Southern, Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962), p. 72. See also Francis Dvornik, The Ecumenical Councils (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1961), pp. 65-6: "Of special interest is the eleventh canon directing that chairs for teaching Hebrew, Greek, Arabic and Chaldean should be created at the main universities. The suggestion was Raymond Lull's, who advocated learning Arabic as the best means for the conversion of the Arabs. Although the canon remained almost without effect as there were few teachers of Oriental languages, its acceptance indicates the growth of the missionary idea in the West. Gregory X had already hoped for the conversion of the Mongols, and Franciscan friars had penetrated into the depths of Asia in their missionary zeal. Although these hopes were not fulfilled, the missionary spirit continued to develop." See also Johann W. Fűck, Die Arabischen Studien in Europa bis in den Anfang des 20.Jahrhunderts (Leipzig: Otto Harrasso witz, 1955).

19. Raymond Schwab, La Renaissance orientale (Paris: Payot, 1950). See also V: V. Barthold, La Découverte de l'Asie: Histoire de l'orientalisme en Europe et en Russie, trans.

19. Nikitine (Paris: Payot, 1947), and the relevant pages in Theodor Benfey, Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft and Orientalischen Philologie in Deutschland (Munich: Gottafschen, 1869). For an instructive contrast see James T. Monroe, Islam and the Arabs in Spanish Scholarship (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970).

20. Victor Hugo, Oeuvres poétiques, ed. Pierre Albouy (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), 1: 580.

21. Jules Mohl, Vingt-sept Ans d'histoire des études orientales: Rapports laits à la Société asiatique de Paris de 1840 à 1867, 2 vols. (Paris: Reinwald, 1879-80).

22. Gustave Dugat, Histoire des orientalistes de l’Europe du X11 au XIX siècle, 2 vols. (Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve, 1868-70).

23. See René Gérard, L'Orient et la pensée romantique allemande (Paris:Didier, 1963) , p. 112.

24. Kiernan, Lords of Human Kind, p. 131.

25. University Grants Committee, Report of the Sub-Committee on Oriental, Slavonic, East European and African Studies (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1961).

26. H. A. R. Gibb, Area Studies Reconsidered (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, 1964).

27. See Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), chaps.1-7.

28. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas (New York: Orion Press, 1964).

29. Southern, Western Views of Islam, p. 14.

30. Aeschylus, The Persians, trans. Anthony J. Podleck (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970), pp. 73-4.

31. Euripides, The Bacchae, trans. Geoffrey S. Kirk (Englewood Cliffs, N. 1.: Prentice- Hall, 1970), p. 3. For further discussion of the Europe-Orient distinction see Santo Mazzarino, Fra oriente e occidente: Ricerche di storia greca arcaica (Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1947), and. Denys Hay, Europe: The Emergence of an Idea (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1968).

32. Euripides, Bacchae, p. 52.

33. René Grousset, L'Empire du Levant: Histoire de la question d'Orient (Paris: Payot, 1946).

34. Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1855), 6: 399.

35. Norman Daniel, The Arabs and Medieval Europe (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1975), p. 56.

36. Samuel C. Chew, The Crescent and the Rose: Islam and England During the Renaissance (New York: Oxford University Press, 1937), p. 103.

37. Norman Daniel, Islam and the West: The Making of an Image (Edinburgh: University Press, 1960), p. 33. See also James Kritzeck, Peter the Venerable and Islam (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1964).

38. Daniel, Islam and the West, p. 252.

39. Ibid., pp. 259-60.

40. See for example William Wistar Comfort, "The Literary Role of the Saracens in the French Epic," PMLA 55 (1940): 628-59.

41. Southern, Western Views of Islam, pp. 91-2, 108-9.

42. Daniel, Islam and the West, pp. 246, 96, and passim.

43. Ibid., p. 84.

44. Duncan Black Macdonald, "Whither Islam?" Muslim World 23 (January 1933): 2.

45. P. M. Holt, Introduction to The Cambridge History of Islam, ed. P. M. Holt, Anne K. S. Lambton, and Bernard Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), p. xvi.

46. Antoine Galland, prefatory "Discours" to Barthélemy d'Herbelot, Bibliothèque orientale, ou Dictionnaire universel contenant tout ce qui fait connaître les peuples de l'Orient (The Hague: Neaulme & van Daalen, 1777), 1: vii.Galland's. point is that d'Herbelot presented real knowledge, not legend or myth of the sort associated with the "marvels of the East." See R. Wittkower, "Marvels of the East: A Study in the History of Monsters," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942): 159-97.

47. Galland, prefatory "Discours" to d'Herbelot, Bibliothèque orientale, pp. xvi, xxxiii. For the state of Orientalist knowledge immediately before d'Herbelot, see V. J. Parry, "Renaissance Historical Literature in Relation to the New and Middle East (with Special Reference to Paolo Giovio)," in Historians of the Middle East, ed. Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), pp. 277-89.

48. Barthold, La Découverte de l'Asie, pp. 137-8.

49. D'Herbelot, Bibliothèque orientale, 2: 648.

50. See also Montgomery Watt, "Muhammad in the Eyes of the West," Boston University Journal 22, no. 3 (Fall 1974): 61-9.

51. Isaiah Berlin, Historical Inevitability (London: Oxford University Press, 1955), pp. 13-14.

52. Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne, trans. Bernard Miall (New York: W. W. Norton & Co.,1939), pp. 234, 283.

53. Quoted by Henri Baudet in Paradise on Earth: Some Thoughts on European Images of Non-European Man, trans. Elizabeth Wentholt (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1965), p. xiii.

54. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 6: 289.

55. Baudet, Paradise on Earth, p. 4.

56. See Fieldhouse, Colonial Empires, pp. 138-61.

57. Schwab, La Renaissance orientale, p. 30.

58. A. J. Arberry, Oriental Essays: Portraits of Seven Scholars (New York: Macmillan Co., 1960), pp. 30, 31.

59. Raymond Schwab, Vie d'Anquetil-Duperron suivie des Usages civils et religieux des Perses par Anquetil-Duperron (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1934), pp. 10, 96, 4, 6.

60. Arberry, Oriental Essays, pp. 62-6.

61. Frederick Eden Pargiter, ed., Centenary Volume of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1823-1923 (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1923), p. viii.

62. Quinet, Le Génie des religions, p. 47.

63. Jean Thiry, Bonaparte en Égypte décembre 1797-24 août 1799 (Paris: Berger- Levrault, 1973), p. 9.

64. Constantin-François Volney, Voyage en Égypte et en Syrie (Paris: Bossange, 1821), 2: 241 and passim.

65. Napoleon, Campagnes d’Égypte et de Syrie, 1798-1799: Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Napoléon (Paris: Comou, 1843), 1: 211.

66. Thiry, Bonaparte en Egypte, p. 126. See also Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery of Europe: A Study in Cultural Encounters (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 12-20.

67. Abu-Lughod, Arab Rediscovery of Europe, p. 22.

68. Quoted from Arthur Helps, The Spanish Conquest of America (London, 1900), p. 196, by Stephen J. Greenblatt, "Learning to Curse: Aspects of Linguistic Colonialism in the Sixteenth Century," in First Images of America: The Impact of the New World on the Old, ed. Fredi Chiapelli (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), p. 573.

69. Thiry, Bonaparte en Égypte, p. 200. Napoleon was not just being cynical. It is reported of him that he discussed Voltaire's Mahomet with Goethe, and defended Islam. See Christian Cherfils, Bonaparte et l'Islam d'après les documents français arabes (Paris: A. Pedone, 1914), p. 249 and passim.

70. Thiry, Bonaparte en Égypte, p. 434.

71. Hugo, Les Orientales, in Oeuvres poétiques, 1: 684.

72. Henri Dehérain, Silvestre de Sacy, ses contemporains et ses disciples (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1938), p. v.

73. Description de l’Égypte, ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites in Égypte pendant l'expédition de l'armée française, publié par les ordres de sa majesté l'empereur Napoléon le grand, 23 vols. (Paris:Imprimerie impériale, 1809-28).

74. Fourier, Préface historique, vol. 1 of Description de l'Égypte, p. 1.

75. Ibid., p. iii.

76. Ibid., p. xcii.

77. Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Histoire naturelle des poissons du Nil, vol. 17 of Description de l'Égypte, p. 2.

78. M. de Chabrol, Essai sur les moeurs des habitants modernes de l'Égypte, vol. 14 of Description de l'Égypte, p. 376.

79. This is evident in Baron Larrey, Notice sur la conformation physique des égyptiens et des différentes races qui habitent en Égypte, suivie de quelques réflexions sur l'embaumement des momies, vol. 13 of Description de l'Égypte.

80. Cited by John Marlowe, The Making of the Suez Canal (London: Cresset Press, 1964), p. 31.

81. Quoted in John Pudney, Suez: De Lesseps' Canal (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), pp. 141-2.

82. Marlowe, Making of the Suez Canal, p. 62.

83. Ferdinand de Lesseps, Lettres, journal et documents pour servir à l'histoire du Canal de Suez (Paris: Didier, 1881), 5: 310. For an apt characterization of de Lesseps and Cecil Rhodes as mystics, see Baudet, Paradise on Earth, p. 68.

84. Cited in Charles Beatty, De Lesseps of Suez: The Man and His Times (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), p. 220.

85. De Lesseps, Lettres, journal et documents, 5: 17.

86. Ibid., pp. 324-33.

87. Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973), p. 12.

88. Anwar Abdel Malek, "Orientalism in Crisis," Diogenes 44 (Winter 1963):107-8.

89. Friedrich Schlegel, Uber die Sprache and Weisheit der Indier: Ein Beitrag zur Begrundung der Altertumstunde (Heidelberg: Mohr & Zimmer,1808), pp. 44-59; Schlegel, Philosophie der Geschichte: In achtzehn Vorlesungen gehalten zu Wien im Jahre 1828, ed. Jean-Jacques Anstett, vol. 9 of Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe, ed. Ernest Behler (Munich: Ferdinand Schôningh, 1971), p. 275.

90. Léon Poliakov, The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe, trans. Edmund Howard (New York: Basic Books, 1974).

91. See Derek Hopwood, The Russian Presence in Syria and Palestine, 1843-1943: Church and Politics in the Near East (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969).

92. A. L. Tibawi, British Interests in Palestine, 1800-1901 (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 5.

93. Gérard de Nerval, Oeuvres, ed. Albert Béguin and Jean Richet (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 1: 933.

94. Hugo, Oeuvres poétiques, 1: 580.

95. Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman (1825; reprint ed., London: J. M. Dent, 1914), pp. 38-9.

96. See Albert Hourani, "Sir Hamilton Gibb, 1895-1971," Proceedings of the British Academy 58 (1972): 495.

97. Quoted by B. R. Jerman, The Young Disraeli (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1960), p. 126. See also Robert Blake, Disraeli (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1966), pp. 59-70.

98. Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour, trans. and ed. Francis Steegmuller (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1973), pp. 44-5. See Gustave Flaubert, Correspondance, ed. Jean Bruneau (Paris: Gallimard, 1973), 1: 542.

99. This is the argument presented in Carl H. Becker, Das Erbe der Antike im Orient and Okzident (Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer, 1931).

100. See Louis Massignon, La Passion d’al-Hosayn-ibn-Mansour al-Hallaf (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1922).

101. Abdel Malek, "Orientalism in Crisis," p'. 112.

102. H. A. R. Gibb, Modern Trends in Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947), p. 7.

103. Gibb, Area Studies Reconsidered, pp. 12, 13.

104. Bernard Lewis, "The Return of Islam," Commentary, January 1976, pp. 39-49.

105. See Daniel Lerner and Harold Lasswell, eds., The Policy Sciences: Recent Developments in Scope and Method (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1951).

106. Morroe Berger, The Arab World Today (Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1962), p. 158.

107. There is a compendium of such attitudes listed and criticized in Maxime Rodinson, Islam and Capitalism, trans. Brian Pearce (New York: Pantheon Books, 1973).

108. Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, "Retreat from the Secular Path? Islamic Dilemmas of Arab Politics," Review of Politics 28, no. 4 (October 1966) : 475.

Chapter 2: Orientalist Structures and Restructures

1. Gustave Flaubert, Bouvard et Pécuchet, vol. 2 of Oeuvres, ed. A. Thibaudet and R. Dumesnil (Paris: Gallimard, 1952), p. 985.

2. There is an illuminating account of these visions and utopias in Donald G. Charlton, Secular Religions in France, 1815-1870 (London: Oxford University Press, 1963).

3. M. H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1971), p. 66.

4. For some illuminating material see John P. Nash, "The Connection of Oriental Studies with Commerce, Art, and Literature During the 18th-19th Centuries," Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society Journal 15 (1930) 33-9; also John F. Laffer, "Roots of French Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century: The Case of Lyon," French Historical Studies 6, no. 1 (Spring 1969): 78-92, and R. Leportier, L'Orient Porte des Indes (Paris: Éditions France-Empire, 1970). There is a great deal of information in Henri Omont, Missions archéologiques françaises en Orient aux XVII et XVlll siècles, 2 vols. (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1902), and in Margaret T. Hodgen, Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1964), as well as in Norman Daniel, Islam, Europe and Empire (Edinburgh: University Press, 1966). Two indispensable short studies are Albert Hourani, "Islam and the Philosophers of History," Middle Eastern Studies 3, no. 3 (April 1967): 206-68, and Maxime Rodinson, "The Western Image and Western Studies of Islam," in The Legacy of Islam, ed. Joseph Schacht and C. E. Bosworth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), pp. 9-62.

5. P. M. Holt, "The Treatment of Arab History by Prideaux, Ockley, and Sale," in Historians of the Middle East, ed. Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 302. See also Holt's The Study of Modern Arab History (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, 1965).

6. The view of Herder as populist and pluralist is advocated by Isaiah Berlin, Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas (New York: Viking Press, 1976).

7. For a discussion of such motifs and representations, see Jean Starobinski, The Invention of Liberty, 1700-1789, trans. Bernard C. Smith (Geneva: Skira, 1964).

8. There are a small number of studies on this too-little-investigated subject. Some wellknown ones are: Martha P. Conant, The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteenth Century (1908; reprint ed., New York: Octagon Books, 1967); Marie E. de Meester, Oriental Influences in the English Literature of the Nineteenth Century, Anglistische Forschungen, no. 46 (Heidelberg, 1915); Byron Porter Smith, Islam in English Literature (Beirut: American Press, 1939). See also Jean-Luc Doutrelant, "L'Orient tragique au XVIII siècle," Revue des Sciences Humaines 146 (April-June 1972): 25582.

9. Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Pantheon Books, 1970), pp. 138, 144. See also Francois Jacob, The Logic of Life: A History of Heredity, trans. Betty E. Spillmann (New York: Pantheon Books, 1973), p. 50 and passim, and Georges Canguilhem, La Connaissance de la vie (Paris: Gustave- Joseph Vrin, 1969), pp. 44-63.

10. See John G. Burke, "The Wild Man's Pedigree: Scientific Method and Racial Anthropology," in The Wild Man Within: An Image in Western Thought from the Renaissance to Romanticism, ed. Edward Dudley and Maximillian E. Novak (Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972), pp. 262-8. See also Jean Biou, "Lumières et anthropophagie," Revue des Sciences Humaines 146 (April-June 1972): 223-34.

11. Henri Dehérain, Silvestre de Sacy: Ses Contemporains et ses disciples (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1938), p. 111.

12. For these and other details see ibid., pp. i-xxxiii.

13. Duc de Broglie, "Éloge de Silvestre de Sacy," in Sacy, Mélanges de littérature orientale (Paris: E. Ducrocq, 1833), p. xii.

14. Bon Joseph Dacier, Tableau historique de l'érudition française, ou Rapport sur les progrès de l'histoire et de la littérature ancienne depuis 1789 (Paris: Imprimerie impériale, 1810), pp. 23, 35, 31.

15. Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon Books, 1977), pp. 193-4.

16. Broglie, "Éloge de Silvestre de Sacy," p. 107.

17. Sacy, Mélanges de littérature orientale, pp. 107, 110, 111-12.

18. Silvestre de Sacy, Chrestomathie arabe, ou Extraits de divers écrivains arabes, tant en prose qu'en vers, avec une traduction française et des notes, d l'usage des élèves de l'École royale et spéciale des langues orientales vivantes (vol. 1, 1826; reprint ed., Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag, 1973), p. viii.

19. For the notions of "supplementarity," "supply," and "supplication," see Jacques Derrida, De la grammatologie (Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1967), p. 203 and passim.

20. For a partial list of Sacy's students and influence see Johann W. Flick, Die Arabischen Studien in Europa bis in den Anfang des 20.Jahrhunderts (Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz, 1955), pp. 156-7.

21. Foucault's characterization of an archive can be found in The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith and Rupert Sawyer (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), pp. 79-131. Gabriel Monod, one of Renan's younger and very perspicacious contemporaries, remarks that Renan was by no means a revolutionary in linguistics, archaeology, or exegesis, yet because he had the widest and the most precise learning of anyone in his period, he was its most eminent representative (Renan, Taine, Michelet [Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1894], pp. 40-1). See also Jean-Louis Dumas, "La Philosophic de l'histoire de Renan," Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 77, no. 1 (January-March 1972: 100-28.

22. Honoré de Balzac, Louis Lambert (Paris: Calmann-Levy, n.d.), p. 4.

23. Nietzsche's remarks on philology are everywhere throughout his works. See principally his notes for "Wir Philologen" taken from his notebooks for the period January- July 1875, translated by William Arrowsmith as "Notes for 'We Philologists,"' Arion, N. S. 1h (1974) : 279-380; also the passages on language and perspectivism in The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage Books, 1968).

24. Ernest Renan, L'Avenir de la science: Pensées de 1848, 4th ed. (Paris: Calmann- Lévy, 1890), pp. 141, 142-5, 146, 148, 149.

25. Ibid., p. xiv and passim.

26. The entire opening chapter-bk. 1, chap. 1---of the Histoire générale et système comparé des langues sémitiques, in Oeuvres complètes, ed. Henriette Psichari (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1947-61), 8: 143-63, is a virtual encyclopedia of race prejudice directed against Semites (i.e., Moslems and Jews). The rest of the treatise is sprinkled generously with the same notions, as are many of Renan's other works, including L'Avenir de la science, especially Renan's notes.

27. Ernest Renan, Correspondance; 1846-1871 (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1926), 1: 7-12.

28. Ernest Renan, Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse, in Oeuvres complètes, 2: 892. Two works by Jean Pommier treat Renan's mediation between religion and philology in valuable detail: Renan, d'après des documents inédits (Paris: Perrin, 1923), pp. 48-68, and La Jeunesse cléricale d'Ernest Renan (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1933). There is a more recent account in J. Chaix-Ruy, Ernest Renan (Paris: Emmanuel Vitte, 1956), pp. 89-111. The standard description--done more in terms of Renan's religious vocation -is still valuable also: Pierre Lasserre, La Jeunesse d'Ernest Renan: Histoire de la crise religieuse au XIX siècle, 3 vols. (Paris: Garnier Frères, 1925). In vol. 2, pp. 50-166 and 265-98 are useful on the relations between philology, philosophy, and science.

29. Ernest Renan, "Des services rendus aux sciences historiques par la philologie," in Oeuvres complètes 8: 1228.

30. Renan, Souvenirs, p. 892.

31. Foucault, The Order of Things, pp. 290-300. Along with the discrediting of the Edenic origins of language, a number of other events-the Deluge, the building of the Tower Babel-also were discredited as explanations. The most comprehensive history of theories of linguistic origin is Arno Borst Der Turmbau von Babel: Geschichte der Meinungen über Ursprung and Vielfalt der Sprachen and Volker, 6 vols. (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1957-63).

32. Quoted by Raymond Schwab, La Renaissance orientale (Paris: Payot, 1950), p. 69. On the dangers of too quickly succumbing to generalities about Oriental discoveries, see the reflections of the distinguished contemporary, Sinologist Abel Rémusat, Mélanges postumes d'histoire et littérature orientales (Paris: Imprimerie royale, 1843), p. 226 and passim.

33. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, chap. 16, in Selected Poetry and Prose of Coleridge, ed. Donald A. Stauffer (New York: Random House, 1951), pp. 276-7.

34. Benjamin Constant, Oeuvres, ed. Alfred Roulin (Paris: Gallimard, 1957), p. 78.

35. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism, p. 29.

36. Renan, De l'origine du langage, in Oeuvres complètes, 8: 122.

37. Renan, "De la part des peuples sémitiques dans l'histoire de la civilisation," in Oeuvres complètes, 2: 320.

38. Ibid., p. 333.

39. Renan, "Trois Professeurs au Collège de France: Étienne Quatremère," in Oeuvres complètes, 1: 129. Renan was not wrong about Quatremère, who had a talent for picking interesting subjects to study and then making them quite uninteresting. See his essays "Le Goût des livres chez les orientaux" and "Des sciences chez les arabes," in his Mélanges d'histoire et de philologie orientales (Paris: E. Ducrocq, 1861), pp. 1-57.

40. Honoré de Balzac, La Peau de chagrin, vol. 9 (Etudes philosophiques 1) of La Comédie humaine, ed. Marcel Bouteron (Paris: Gallimard, 1950), p. 39; Renan, Histoire générale des langues sémitiques, p. 134.

41. See, for instance, De l'origine du langage, p. 102, and Histoire générale, p. 180.

42. Renan, L'Avenir de la science, p. 23. The whole passage reads as follows: "Pour moi, je ne connais qu'un seul résultat à la science, c'est de résoudre l'énigme, c'est de dire définitivement à l'homme le mot des choses, c'est de l'expliquer à lui-même, c'est de lui donner, au nom de la seule autorité légitime qui est la nature humaine toute entière, le symbole qué les religions lui donnaient tout fait et qu'ils ne peut plus accepter."

43. See Madeleine V.-David, Le Débat sur les écritures et l'hiéroglyphe aux XVll et XVIII siècles et l'application de la notion de déchiffrement aux écritures mortes (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1965), p. 130.

44. Renan is mentioned only in passing in Schwab's La Renaissance orientale, not at all in Foucault's The Order of Things, and only somewhat disparagingly in Holger Pederson's The Discovery of Language: Linguistic Science in the Nineteenth Century, trans. John Webster Spargo (1931; reprint ed., Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972). Max Müller in his Lectures on the Science of Language (1861-64; reprint ed., New York: Scribner, Armstrong, & Co., 1875) and Gustave Dugat in his Histoire des orientalistes de l'Europe du Xll au XIX siècle, 2 vols. (Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve, 1868-70) do not mention Renan at all. James Darmesteter's Essais Orientaux (Paris: A. Lévy, 1883) -whose first item is a history, "L'Orientalisme en France"-is dedicated to Renan but does not mention his contribution. There are half-a dozen short notices of Renan's production in Jules Mohl's encyclopedic (and extremely valuable) quasi-logbook, Vingtsept ans d'histoire des études orientales: Rapports.Faits à la Société asiatique de Paris de 1840 à 1867, 2 vols. (Paris: Reinwald, 1879-80).

45. In works dealing with race and racism Renan occupies a position of some importance. He is treated in the following: Ernest Seillière, La Philosophiede l'impérialisme, 4 vols. (Paris: Plon, 1903-8); Théophile Simar, Étude critique sur la formation de la doctrine des races au XVIII siècle et son expansion au XIX siècle (Brussels: Hayez, 1922); Erich Voegelin, Rasse and Staat (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1933), and here one must also mention his Die Rassenidee in der Geistesgeschichte von Ray bis Carus (Berlin: Junker and Dunnhaupt, 1933), which, although it does not deal with Renan's period, is an important complement to Rasse and Staat; Jacques Barzun, Race: A Study in Modern Superstition (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1937).

46. In La Renaissance orientale Schwab has some brilliant pages on the museum, on the parallelism between biology and linguistics, and on Cuvier, Balzac, and others; see p. 323 and passim. On the library and its importance for mid-nineteenth-century culture, see Foucault, "La Bibliothèque fantastique," which is his preface to Flaubert's La Tentation de Saint Antoine (Paris: Gallimard, 1971), pp. 7-33. 1 am indebted to Professor Eugenio Donato for drawing my attention to these matters; see his "A Mere Labyrinth of Letters: Flaubert and the Quest for Fiction," Modern Language Notes 89, no. 6 (December 1974): 885-910.

47. Renan, Histoire générale, pp. 145-6.

48. See L'Avenir de la science, p. 508 and passim.

49. Renan, Histoire générale, p. 214.

50. Ibid., p. 527. This idea goes back to Friedrich Schlegel's distinction between organic and agglutinative languages, of which latter type Semitic is an instance. Humboldt makes the same distinction, as have most Orientalists since Renan.

51. Ibid., pp. 531-2.

52. Ibid., p. 515 and passim.

53. See Jean Seznec, Nouvelles Études sur "La Tentation de Saint Antoine" (London: Warburg Institute, 1949), p. 80.

54. See Êtienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Philosophie anatomique: Des monstruosités humaines (Paris: published by the author, 1822). The complete title of Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's work is: Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l'organisation chez l'homme et les animaux, ouvrage comprenante des recherches sur les caractères, la classification, l'influence physiologique et pathologique, les rapports généraux, les lois et les causes des monstruosités, des variétés et vices de conformation, ou traité de tératologie, 3 vols. (Paris: J.-B. Baillière, 1832-36). There are some valuable pages on Goethe's biological ideas in Erich Heller, The Disinherited Mind (New York: Meridian Books, 1959), pp. 3-34. See also Jacob, The Logic of Life, and Canguilhem, La Connaissance de la vie, pp. 174-84, for very interesting accounts of the Saint-Hilaires' place in the development of the life sciences.

55. E. Saint-Hilaire, Philosophie anatomique, pp. xxii-xxiii.

56. Renan, Histoire générale, p. 156.

57. Renan, Oeuvres complètes, 1: 621-2 and passim. See H. W. Wardman, Ernest Renan: A Critical Biography (London: Athlone Press, 1964), p. 66 and passim, for a subtle description of Renan's domestic life; although one would not wish to force a parallel between Renan's biography and what I have called his "masculine" world, Wardman's descriptions here are suggestive indeed-at least to me.

58. Renan, "Des services rendus au sciences historiques par la philologie," in Oeuvres complètes, 8: 1228, 1232.

59. Ernst Cassirer, The Problem of Knowledge: Philosophy, Science, and History since Hegel, trans. William H. Woglom and Charles W. Hendel (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1950), p. 307.

60. Renan, "Réponse au discours de réception de M. de Lesseps (23 avril 1885)," in Oeuvres complètes, 1: 817. Yet the value of being truly contemporary was best shown with reference to Renan by Sainte-Beuve in his articles of June 1862. See also Donald G. Charlton, Positivist Thought in France During the Second Empire (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), and his Secular Religions in France. Also Richard M. Chadbourne, "Renan and Sainte-Beuve," Romanic Review 44, no. 2 (April 1953): 126-35.

61. Renan, Oeuvres complètes, 8: 156.

62. In his letter of June 26, 1856, to Gobineau, Oeuvres complètes, 10: 203-4. Gobineau's ideas were expressed in his Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines (1853-55).

63. Cited by Albert Hourani in his excellent article "Islam and the Philosophers of History," p. 222.

64. Caussin de Perceval, Essai sur l'histoire des Arabes avant l'Islamisme, pendant l'époque de Mahomet et jusqu'à la réduction de toutes les tribus sous la loi musulmane (1847-48; reprint ed., Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- and Verlagsanstalt, 1967), 3: 332-9.

65. Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841; reprint ed., New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1906), p. 63.

66. Macaulay's Indian experiences are described by G. Otto Trevelyan, The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875), 1: 344-71. The complete text of Macaulay's "Minute" is conveniently to be found in Philip D. Curtin, ed., Imperialism: The Documentary History of Western Civilization (New York: Walker & Co., 1971), pp. 178-91. Some consequences of Macaulay's views for British Orientalism are discussed in A. J. Arberry, British Orientalists (London: William Collins, 1943).

67. John Henry Newman, The Turks in Their Relation to Europe, vol. 1 of his Historical Sketches (1853; reprint ed., London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1920).

68. See Marguerite-Louise Ancelot, Salons de Paris, foyers éteints (Paris: Jules Tardieu, 1858).

69. Karl Marx, Surveys from Exile, ed. David Fernbach (London: Pelican Books, 1973), pp. 306-7.

70. Ibid., p. 320.

71. Edward William Lane, Author's Preface to An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836; reprint ed., London: J. M. Dent, 1936), pp. xx, xxi.

72. Ibid., p. 1.

73. Ibid., pp. 160-1. The standard biography of Lane, published in 1877, was by his great-nephew, Stanley Lane-Poole. There is a sympathetic account of Lane by A. J. Arberry in his Oriental Essays: Portraits of Seven Scholars (New York: Macmillan Co., 1960), pp. 87-121.

74. Frederick Eden Pargiter, ed., Centenary Volume of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1823-1923 (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1923) , p. x.

75. Société asiatique: Livre du centenaire, 1822-1922 (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1922), pp. 5-6.

76. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Westostlicher Diwan (1819; reprint ed., Munich: Wilhelm Golmann, 1958), pp. 8-9, 12. Sacy's name is invoked with veneration in Goethe's apparatus for the Diwan.

77. Victor Hugo, Les Orientales, in Oeuvres poétiques, ed. Pierre Albouy (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), 1: 616-18.

78. François-René de Chateaubriand, Oeuvres romanesques et voyages, ed. Maurice Regard (Paris: Gallimard, 1969), 2: 702.

79. See Henri Bordeaux, Voyageurs d'Orient: Des pélerins aux méharistes de Palmyre (Paris: Plon, 1926). I have found useful the theoretical ideas about pilgrims and pilgrimages contained in Victor Turner, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1974), pp. 166-230.

80. Hassan al-Nouty, Le Proche-Orient dans la littérature française de Nerval à Barrès (Paris: Nizet, 1958), pp. 47-8, 277, 272.

81. Chateaubriand, Oeuvres, 2: 702 and note, 1684, 769-70, 769, 701, 808, 908.

82. Ibid., pp. 1011, 979, 990, 1052.

83. Ibid., p. 1069.

84. Ibid., p. 1031.

85. Ibid., p. 999.

86. Ibid., pp. 1126-27, 1049.

87. Ibid., p. 1137.

88. Ibid., pp. 1148, 1214.

89. Alphonse de Lamartine, Voyage en Orient (1835; reprint ed., Paris: Hachette, 1887), 1: 10, 48-9, 179, 178, 148, 189, 118, 245-6, 251.

90. Ibid., 1: 363; 2: 74-5; 1: 475.

91. Ibid., 2: 92-3.

92. Ibid., 2: 526-7, 533. Two important works on French writers in the Orient are Jean- Marie Carré, Voyageurs et écrivains français en Égypte, 2 vols. (Cairo: Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 1932), and Moënis Taha-Hussein, Le Romantisme français et l'Islam (Beirut: Dar-el-Maeref, 1962).

93. Gérard de Nerval, Les Filles du feu, in Oeuvres, ed. Albert Béguin and Jean Richet (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 1: 297-8.

94. Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony, trans. Angus Davison (Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing Co., 1967).

95. Jean Bruneau, Le "Conte Orientale" de Flaubert (Paris: Denoel, 1973), p. 79.

96. These are all considered by Bruneau in ibid.

97. Nerval, Voyage en Orient, in Oeuvres, 2: 68, 194, 96, 342.

98. Ibid., p. 181.

99. Michel Butor, "Travel and Writing," trans. John Powers and K. Lisker, Mosaic 8, no. 1 (Fall 1974): 13.

100. Nerval, Voyage en Orient, p. 628.

101. Ibid., pp. 706, 718.

102. Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour, trans. and ed. Francis Steegmuller (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1973), p. 200. I have also consulted the following texts, in which all Flaubert's "Oriental" material is to be found: Oeuvres complètes de Gustave Flaubert (Paris: Club de l'Honnête homme, 1973), vols. 10, 11; Les Lettres d'Égypte, de Gustave Flaubert, ed. A. Youssef Naaman (Paris: Nizet, 1965); Flaubert, Correspondance, ed. Jean Bruneau (Paris, Gallimard, 1973), 1: 518 ff.

103. Harry Levin, The Gates of Horn: A Study of Five French Realists (New York: Oxford University Press, 1963), p. 285.

104. Flaubert in Egypt, pp. 173, 75.

105. Levin, Gates of Horn, p. 271.

106. Flaubert, Catalogue des opinions chic, in Oeuvres, 2: 1019.

107. Flaubert in Egypt, p. 65.

108. Ibid., pp. 220, 130.

109. Flaubert, La Tentation de Saint Antoine, in Oeuvres, 1: 85.

110. See Flaubert, Salammbô, in Oeuvres, 1: 809 ff. See also Maurice Z. Shroder, "On Reading Salammbô," L'Esprit créateur 10, no. 1 (Spring 1970) 24-35.

111. Flaubert in Egypt, pp. 198-9.

112. Foucault, "La Bibliothèque fantastique," in Flaubert, La Tentation de Saint Antoine, pp. 7-33.

113. Flaubert in Egypt, p. 79.

114. Ibid., pp. 211-2.

115. For a discussion of this process see Foucault, Archaeology of Knowledge; also Joseph Ben-David, The Scientist's Role in Society (Englewood Cliffs, N.1.: Prentice-Hall, 1971). See also Edward W. Said, "An Ethics of Language," Diacritics 4, no. 2 (Summer 1974): 28-37.

116. See the invaluable listings in Richard Bevis, Bibliotheca Cisorientalia: An Annotated Checklist of Early English Travel Books on the Near and Middle East (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1973).

117. For discussions of the American travelers see Dorothee Metlitski Finkelstein, Melville's Orienda (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1961), and Franklin Walker, Irreverent Pilgrims: Melville, Browne, and Mark Twain in the Holy Land (Seattle; University of Washington Press, 1974).

118. Alexander William Kinglake, Eothen, or Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East, ed. D. G. Hogarth (1844; reprint ed., London: Henry Frowde, 1906), pp. 25, 68, 241, 220.

119. Flaubert in Egypt, p. 81.

120. Thomas J. Assad, Three Victorian Travellers: Burton, Blunt and Doughty (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964), p. 5.

121. Richard Burton, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to al-Madinah and Meccah, ed. Isabel Burton (London: Tylston & Edwards, 1893), 1: 9, 108-10.

122. Richard Burton, "Terminal Essay," in The Book of the Thousand and One Nights (London: Burton Club, 1886), 10: 63-302.

123. Burton, Pilgrimage, 1: 112, 114.
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Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

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Part 2 of 2

Chapter 3: Orientalism Now

1. Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense," in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Viking Press, 1954), pp. 46-7.

2. The number of Arab travelers to the West is estimated and considered by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod in Arab Rediscovery of Europe: A Study in Cultural Encounters (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 75-6 and passim.

3. See Philip D. Curtin, ed., Imperialism: The Documentary History of Western Civilization (New York: Walker & Co., 1972), pp. 73-105.

4. See Johann W. Mick, "Islam as an Historical Problem in European Historiography since 1800," in Historians of the Middle East, ed. Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 307.

5. Ibid., p. 309.

6. See Jacques Waardenburg, L'Islam dans le miroir de l'Occident (The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1963).

7. Ibid., p. 311.

8. P. Masson-Oursel, "La Connaissance scientifique de l'Asie en France depuis 1900 et les variétés de l'Orientalisme," Revue Philosophique 143, nos. 7-9 (July-September 1953): 345.

9. Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer, Modern Egypt (New York: Macmillan Co., 1908), 2: 237-8.

10. Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer, Ancient and Modern Imperialism (London: John Murray, 1910), pp. 118, 120.

11. George Nathaniel Curzon, Subjects of the Day: Being a Selection of Speeches and Writings (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1915), pp. 4-5, 10, 28.

12. Ibid., pp. 184, 191-2. For the history of the school, see C. H. Phillips, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1917-1967: An Introduction (London: Design for Print, 1967).

13. Eric Stokes, The English Utilitarians and India (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959).

14. Cited in Michael Edwardes, High Noon of Empire: India Under Curzon (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1965), pp. 38-9.

15. Curzon, Subjects of the Day, pp. 155-6.

16. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, in Youth and Two Other Stories (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page, 1925), p. 52.

17. For an illustrative extract from de Vattel's work see Curtin, ed., Imperialism, pp. 42- 5.

18. Cited by M. de Caix, La Syrie in Gabriel Hanotaux, Histoire des colonies françaises, 6 vols. (Paris: Société de l'histoire nationale, 1929-33), 3: 481.

19. These details are to be found in Vernon McKay, "Colonialism in the French Geographical Movement," Geographical Review 33, no. 2 (April 1943): 214-32.

20. Agnes Murphy, The Ideology of French Imperialism, 1817-1881 (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1948), pp. 46, 54, 36, 45.

21. Ibid., pp. 189, 110, 136.

22. Jukka Nevakivi, Britain, France, and the Arab Middle East, 1914-1920 (London: Athlone Press, 1969), p. 13.

23. Ibid., p. 24.

24. D. G. Hogarth, The Penetration of Arabia: A Record of the Development of Western Knowledge Concerning The Arabian Peninsula (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1904). There is a good recent book on the same subject: Robin Bidwell, Travellers in Arabia (London: Paul Hamlyn, 1976).

25. Edmond Bremond, Le Hedjaz dans la guerre mondiale (Paris: Payot, 1931), pp. 242 ff.

26. Le Comte de Cressaty, Les Intérêts de la France en Syrie (Paris: Floury, 1913).

27. Rudyard Kipling, Verse (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1954), p. 280.

28. The themes of exclusion and confinement in nineteenth-century culture have played an important role in Michel Foucault's work, most recently in his Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Pantheon Books, 1977), and The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).

29. The Letters of T. E. Lawrence of Arabia, ed. David Garnett (1938; reprint ed., London: Spring Books, 1964), p. 244.

30. Gertrude Bell, The Desert and the Sown (London: William Heinemann, 1907), p. 244.

31. Gertrude Bell, From Her, Personal Papers, 1889-1914, ed. Elizabeth Burgoyne (London: Ernest Benn, 1958), p. 204.

32. William Butler Yeats, "Byzantium," The Collected Poems (New York: Macmillan Co., 1959), p. 244.

33. Stanley Diamond, In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1974), p. 119.

34. See Harry Bracken, "Essence, Accident and Race," Hermathena 116 (Winter 1973): pp. 81-96.

35. George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1872; reprint ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1956), p. 13.

36. Lionel Trilling, Matthew Arnold (1939; reprint ed., New York: Meridian Books, 1955), p. 214.

37. See Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), p. 180, note 55.

38. W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, ed. Stanley Cook (1907; reprint ed., Oesterhout, N.B.: Anthropological Publications, 1966), pp. xiii, 241.

39. W. Robertson Smith, Lectures and Essays, ed. John Sutherland Black and George Chrystal (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1912), pp. 492-3.

40. Ibid., pp. 492, 493, 511, 500, 498-9.

41. Charles M. Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (New York: Random House, n.d.), 1: 95. See also the excellent article by Richard Bevis, "Spiritual Geology: C. M. Doughty and the Land of the Arabs," Victorian Studies 16 (December 1972), 163-81.

42. T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (1926; reprint ed., Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1935), p. 28.

43. For a discussion of this see Talal Asad, "Two European Images of Non-European Rule," in Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter, ed. Talal Asad (London: Ithaca Press, 1975), pp. 103-18.

44. Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 218.

45. T. E. Lawrence, Oriental Assembly, ed. A. W. Lawrence (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1940), p. 95.

46. Cited in Stephen Ely Tabachnick, "The Two Veils of T. E. Lawrence," Studies in the Twentieth Century 16 (Fall 1975): 96-7.

47. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, pp. 42-3, 661.

48. Ibid., pp. 549, 550-2.

49. E. M. Forster, A Passage to India (1924; reprint ed., New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1952), p. 322.

50. Maurice Barrès, Une Enquête aux pays du Levant (Paris: Plon, 1923), 1: 20; 2: 181, 192, 193, 197.

51. D. G. Hogarth, The Wandering Scholar (London: Oxford University Press, 1924). Hogarth describes his style as that of "the explorer first and the scholar second" (p. 4).

52. Cited by H. A. R. Gibb, "Structure of Religious Thought in Islam," in his Studies on the Civilization of Islam, ed. Stanford J. Shaw and William R. Polk (Boston: Beacon Press, 1962), p. 180.

53. Frédéric Lefèvre, "Une Heure avec Sylvain Lévi," in Mémorial Sylvain Lévi, ed. Jacques Bacot (Paris: Paul Hartmann, 1937), pp. 123-4.

54. Paul Valéry, Oeuvres, ed. Jean Hytier (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 2: 1556-7.

55. Cited in Christopher Sykes, Crossroads to Israel (1965; reprint ed., Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973), p. 5.

56. Cited in Alan Sandison, The Wheel of Empire: A Study of the Imperial Idea in Some Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Fiction (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1967), p. 158. An excellent study of the French equivalent is Martine Astier Loutfi, Littérature et colonialisme: L'Expansion coloniale vue dans la littérature romanesque française, 1871-1914 (The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1971).

57. Paul Valéry, Variété (Paris: Gallimard, 1924), p. 43.

58. George Orwell, "Marrakech," in A Collection of Essays (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1954), p. 187.

59. Valentine Chirol, The Occident and the Orient (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1924), p. 6.

60. Elie Faure, "Orient et Occident," Mercure de France 229 (July 1August 1, 1931): 263, 264, 269, 270, 272.

61. Fernand Baldensperger, "Où s'affrontent l'Orient et l'Occident intellectuels," in Etudes d'histoire littéraire, 3rd ser. (Paris: Droz, 1939), p. 230.

62. I. A. Richards, Mencius on the Mind: Experiments in Multiple Definitions (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932), p. xiv.

63. Selected Works of C. Snouck Hurgronje, ed. G. H. Bousquet and 1. Schacht (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1957), p. 267.

64. H. A. R. Gibb, "Literature," in The Legacy of Islam, ed. Thomas Arnold and Alfred Guillaume (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931), p. 209.

65. The best general account of this period in political, social, economic, and cultural terms is to be found in Jacques Berque, Egypt: Imperialism and Revolution, trans. Jean Stewart (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972).

66. There is a useful account of the intellectual project informing their work in Arthur R. Evans, Jr., ed., On Four Modern Humanists: Hofmannsthal, Gundolf, Curtius, Kantorowicz (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1970).

67. Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard R. Trask (1946; reprint ed., Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1968), and his Literary Language and Its Public in Late Latin Antiquity and in the Middle Ages, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Bollingen Books, 1965).

68. Erich Auerbach, "Philology and Weltliteratur," trans. M. and E. W. Said, Centennial Review 13, no. 1 (Winter 1969): 11.

69. Ibid., p. 17.

70. For example, in H. Stuart Hughes, Consciousness and Society: The Reconstruction of European Social Thought, 1890-1930 (1958; reprint ed., New York: Vintage Books, 1961).

71. See Anwar Abdel Malek, "Orientalism in Crisis," Diogenes 44 (Winter 1963):103- 40.

72. R. N. Cust, "The International Congresses of Orientalists," Hellas 6, no. 4 (1897): 349.

73. See W. F. Wertheim, "Counter-insurgency Research at the Turn of the Century- Snouck Hurgronje and the Acheh War," Sociologische Gids 19 (September-December 1972).

74. Sylvain Lévi, "Les Parts respectives des nations occidentales dans les progrès de l'indianisme," in Mémorial Sylvain Lévi, p. 116.

75. H. A. R. Gibb, "Louis Massignon (1882-1962)," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1962), pp. 120, 121.

76. Louis Massignon, Opera Minora, ed. Y. Moubarac (Beirut: Dar-el-Maaref, 1963), 3: 114. I have used the complete bibliography of Massignon's work by Moubarac: L'Oeuvre de Louis Massignon (Beirut: Editions du Cénacle libanais, 1972-73).

77. Massignon, "L'Occident devant l'Orient: Primauté d'une solution culturelle," in Opera Minora, 1: 208-23.

78. Ibid., p. 169.

79. See Waardenburg, L'Islam dans le miroir de l'Occident, pp. 147, 183, 186, 192, 211, 213.

80. Massignon, Opera Minora, 1: 227.

81. Ibid., p. 355.

82. Quoted from Massignon's essay on Biruni in Waardenburg, L'Islam dans le miroir de l'Occident, p. 225.

83. Massignon, Opera Minora, 3: 526.

84. Ibid., pp. 610-11.

85. Ibid., p. 212.Also p. 211 for another attack on the British, and pp. 423-7 for his assessment of Lawrence.

86. Quoted in Waardenburg, L'Islam dans le miroir de l'Occident, p. 219.

87. Ibid., pp. 218-19.

88. See A. L. Tibawi, "English-Speaking Orientalists: A Critique of Their Approach to Islam and Arab Nationalism, Part I," Islamic Quarterly 8, nos. 1, 2 (January-June 1964): 25-44; "Part II," Islamic Quarterly 8, nos. 3, 4 (July-December 1964): 73-88.

89. "Une figure domine tous les genres [of Orientalist work], celle de Louis Massignon": Claude Cahen and Charles Pellat, "Les Études arabes et islamiques," Journal asiatique 261, nos. 1, 4 (1973): 104. There is a very detailed survey of the Islamic- Orientalist field to be found in Jean Sauvaget, Introduction à l'histoire de l'Orient musulman: Éléments de bibliographie, ed. Claude Cahen (Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve, 1961).

90. William Polk, "Sir Hamilton Gibb Between Orientalism and History," International Journal of Middle East Studies 6, no. 2 (April 1975): 131-9. I have used the bibliography of Gibb's work in Arabic and Islamic Studies in Honor of Hamilton A. R. Gibb, ed. George Makdisi (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1965), pp. 1-20.

91. H. A. R. Gibb, "Oriental Studies in the United Kingdom," in The Near East and the Great Powers, ed. Richard N. Frye (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1951), pp. 86-7.

92. Albert Hourani, "Sir Hamilton Gibb, 1895-1971," Proceedings of the British Academy 58 (1972): p. 504.

93. Duncan Black Macdonald, The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam (1909; reprint ed., Beirut: Khayats Publishers, 1965), pp. 2-11.

94. H. A. R. Gibb, "Whither Islam?" in Whither Islam? A Survey of Modern Movements in the Moslem World, ed. H. A. R. Gibb (London: Victor Gollancz, 1932), pp. 328, 387.

95. Ibid., p. 335.

96. Ibid., p. 377.

97. H. A. R. Gibb, "The Influence of Islamic Culture on Medieval Europe," John Rylands Library Bulletin 38, no. 1 (September 1955): 98.

98. H. A. R. Gibb, Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey (London: Oxford University Press, 1949), pp. 2, 9, 84.

99. Ibid., pp. 111, 88, 189.

100. H. A. R. Gibb, Modern Trends in Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947), pp. 108, 113, 123.

101. Both essays are to be found in Gibb's Studies on the Civilization of Islam, pp. 176- 208 and 3-33.

102. R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr., "Chimera in the Middle East," Harper's, November 1976, pp. 35-8.

103. Cited in Ayad al-Qazzaz, Ruth Afiyo, et al., The Arabs in American Textbooks, California State Board of Education, June 1975, pp. 10, 15.

104. "Statement of Purpose," MESA Bulletin 1, no. 1 (May 1967): 33.

105. Morroe Berger, "Middle Eastern and North African Studies: Developments and Needs," MESA Bulletin 1, no. 2 (November 1967): 16.

106. Menachem Mansoor, "Present State of Arabic Studies in the United States," in Report on Current Research 1958, ed. Kathleen H. Brown (Washington: Middle East Institute, 1958), pp. 55-6.

107. Harold Lasswell, "Propaganda," Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (1934), 12: 527. 1 owe this reference to Professor Noam Chomsky.

108. Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way, trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff (1925; reprint ed., New York: Vintage Books, 1970), p. 135.

109. Nathaniel Schmidt, "Early Oriental Studies in Europe and the Work of the American Oriental Society, 1842-1922," Journal of the American Oriental Society 43 (1923): 11. See also E. A. Speiser, "Near Eastern Studies in America, 1939-45," Archiv Orientalni 16 (1948): 76-88.

110. As an instance there is Henry Jessup, Fifty-Three Years in Syria, 2 vols. (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1910).

111. For the connection between the issuing of the Balfour Declaration and United States war policy, see Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 19171922: Seeds of Conflict (London: Cox & Syman, 1972), pp. 10 ff.

112. Mortimer Graves, "A Cultural Relations Policy in the Near East," in The Near East and the Great Powers, ed. Frye, pp. 76, 78.

113. George Camp Keiser, "The Middle East Institute: Its Inception and Its Place in American International Studies," in The Near East and the Great Powers, ed. Frye, pp. 80, 84.

114. For an account of this migration, see The Intellectual Migration: Europe and America, 1930-1960, ed. Donald Fleming and Bernard Bailyn (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969).

115. Gustave von Grunebaum, Modern Islam: The Search for Cultural Identity (New York: Vintage Books, 1964), pp. 55, 261.

116. Abdullah Laroui, "Pour une méthodologie des études islamiques. L'Islam au miroir de Gustave von Grunebaum," Diogène 38 (July-September 1973): 30. This essay has been collected in Laroui's The Crisis of the Arab Intellectuals: Traditionalism or Historicism? trans. Diarmid Cammell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976).

117. David Gordon, Self-Determination and History in the Third World (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971).

118. Laroui, "Pour une méthodologie des études islamiques," p. 41.

119. Manfred Halpern, "Middle East Studies: A Review of the State of the Field with a Few Examples," World Politics 15 (October 1962): 121-2.

120. Ibid., p. 117.

121. Leonard Binder, "1974 Presidential Address," MESA Bulletin 9, no. 1 (February 1975): 2.

122. Ibid., p. 5.

123. "Middle East Studies Network in the United States," MERIP Reports 38 (June 1975): 5.

124. The two best critical reviews of the Cambridge History are by Albert Hourani, The English Historical Review 87, no. 343 (April 1972) : 348-57, and Roger Owen, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 4, no. 2 (Autumn 1973): 287-98.

125. P. M. Holt, Introduction, The Cambridge History of Islam, ed. P. M. Holt, Anne K. S. Lambton, and Bernard Lewis, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), 1: xi.

126. D. Sourdel, "The Abbasid Caliphate," Cambridge History of Islam, ed. Holt et al., 1: 121.

127. Z. N. Zeine, "The Arab Lands," Cambridge History of Islam, ed. Holt et al., 1: 575.

128. Dankwart A. Rustow, "The Political Impact of the West," Cambridge History of Islam, ed. Holt et al., 1: 697.

129. Cited in Ingrams, Palestine Papers, 1917-1922, pp. 31-2.

130. Robert Alter, "Rhetoric and the Arab Mind," Commentary, October 1968, pp. 61- 85. Alter's article was an adulatory review of General Yehoshafat Harkabi's Arab Attitudes to Israel (Jerusalem: Keter Press, 1972).

131. Gil Carl Alroy, "Do The Arabs Want Peace?" Commentary, February 1974, pp. 56-61.

132. Roland Barthes, Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers (New York: Hill & Wang, 1972), pp. 109-59.

133. Raphael Patai, Golden River to Golden Road: Society, Culture, and Change in the Middle East (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962; 3rd rev. ed., 1969), p. 406.

134. Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973). For an even more racist work see John Laffin, The Arab Mind Considered: A Need for Understanding (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., 1976).

135. Sania Hamady, Temperament and Character of the Arabs (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1960), p. 100. Hamady's book is a favorite amongst Israelis and Israeli apologists; Alroy cites her approvingly, and so does Amos Elon in The Israelis: Founders and Sons (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971). Morroe Berger (see note 137 below) also cites her frequently. Her model is Lane's Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, but she has none of Lane's literacy or general learning.

136. Manfred Halpern's thesis is presented in "Four Contrasting Repertories of Human Relations in Islam: Two Pre-Modern and Two Modern Ways of Dealing with Continuity and Change, Collaboration and Conflict and the Achieving of Justice," a paper presented to the 22nd Near East Conference at Princeton University on Psychology and Near Eastern Studies, May 8, 1973. This treatise was prepared for by Halpern's "A Redefinition of the Revolutionary Situation," Journal of International Afairs 23, no. 1 (1969): 54-75.

137. Morroe Berger, The Arab World Today (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1964), p. 140. Much the same sort of implication underlies the clumsy work of quasi- Arabists like Joel Carmichael and Daniel Lerner; it is there more subtly in political and historical scholars such as Theodore Draper, Walter Laqueur, and Elie Kedourie. It is strongly in evidence in such highly regarded works as Gabriel Baer's Population and Society in the Arab East, trans. Hanna Szoke (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1964), and Alfred Bonné's State and Economics in the Middle East: A Society in Transition (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1955). The consensus seems to be that if they think at all, Arabs think differently - i.e., not necessarily with reason, and often without it. See also Adel Daher's RAND study, Current Trends in Arab Intellectual Thought (RM-5979-FF, December 969) and its typical conclusion that "the concrete problem-solving approach is conspicuously absent from Arab thought" (p. 29). In a review-essay for the Journal of Interdisciplinary History (see note 124 above), Roger Owen attacks the very notion of "Islam" as a concept for the study of history. His focus is The Cambridge History of Islam, which, he finds, in certain ways perpetuates an idea of Islam (to be found in such writers as Carl Becker and Max Weber) "defined essentially as a religious, feudal, and antirational system, [that] lacked the necessary characteristics which had made European progress possible." For a sustained proof of Weber's total inaccuracy, see Maxime Rodinson's Islam and Capitalism, trans. Brian Pearce (New York: Pantheon Books, 1974), pp. 76-117.

138. Hamady, Character and Temperament, p. 197.

139. Berger, Arab World, p. 102.

140. Quoted by Irene Gendzier in Frantz Fanon: A Critical Study (New' York: Pantheon Books, 1973), p. 94.

141. Berger, Arab World, p. 151.

142. P. J. Vatikiotis, ed., Revolution in the Middle East, and Other Case Studies; proceedings of a seminar (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1972), pp. 8-9.

143. Ibid., pp. 12, 13.

144. Bernard Lewis, "Islamic Concepts of Revolution," in ibid., pp. 33, 38-9. Lewis's study Race and Color in Islam (New York: Harper & Row, 1971) expresses similar disaffection with an air of great learning; more explicitly political-but no less acid-is his Islam in History: Ideas, Men and Events in the Middle East (London: Alcove Press, 1973).

145. Bernard Lewis, "The Revolt of Islam," in The Middle East and The West (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964), p. 95.

146. Bernard Lewis, "The Return of Islam," Commentary, January 1976, p. 44.

147. Ibid., p. 40.

148. Bernard Lewis, History-Remembered, Recovered, Invented (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975), p. 68.

149. Lewis, Islam in History, p. 65.

150. Lewis, The Middle East and the West, pp. 60, 87.

151. Lewis, Islam in History, pp. 65-6.

152. Originally published in Middle East Journal 5 (1951).Collected in Readings in Arab Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures, ed. Abdulla Lutfiyye and Charles W. Churchill (The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1970), pp. 688-703.

153. Lewis, The Middle East and the West, p. 140.

154. Robert K. Merton, "The Perspectives of Insiders and Outsiders," in his The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, ed. Norman W. Storer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), pp. 99136.

155. See, for example, the recent work of Anwar Abdel Malek, Yves Lacoste, and the authors of essays published in Review of Middle East Studies 1 and 2 (London: Ithaca Press, 1975, 1976), the various analyses of Middle Eastern politics by Noam Chomsky, and the work done by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP). A good prospectus is provided in Gabriel Ardant, Kostas Axelos, Jacques Berque, et al., De l'impérialisme à la décolonisation (Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1965).
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Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

Postby admin » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:45 am

About the Author

Edward W. Said, one of the country's most distinguished literary critics, is Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He was Visiting Professor in Comparative Literature at Harvard and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and delivered the Gauss lectures in criticism at Princeton in 1977. In 1976 his book Beginnings: Intention and Method won the first annual Lionel Trilling Award given at Columbia University.
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Re: Orientalism, by Edward W. Said

Postby admin » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:45 am

Also by Edward W. Said


In this study of one of the most intractable of international problems, Said formulates a plea to the West to recognize the real problems of Palestine and its people, particularly with reference to the Palestinian- Israeli war. To many Israel; s, Palestine is not only a threat to national security, it is also an unmentionable subject. The Western media, Said argues, have largely concurred in the view of the Palestinian as either a refugee, an extremist, or a terrorist; he shows that this derives from an entrenched cultural attitude towards Palestinians, revealing age-old prejudices about Islam, the Arabs and the Orient. There is no other way, as Said shows, to explain how fundamental concepts of freedom, such as self-determination from colonialism, and freedom of information, are denied the Palestinians in the councils of the West.
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