Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures

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Vintage Books, 1996 - Literary Collections - 121 pages
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Celebrated humanist, teacher, and scholar, Edward W. Said here examines the ever-changing role of the intellectual today. In these six stunning essays - delivered on the BBC as the prestigious Reith Lectures - Said addresses the ways in which the intellectual can best serve society in the light of a heavily compromised media and of special interest groups who are protected at the cost of larger community concerns. Said suggests a recasting of the intellectual's vision to resist the lures of power, money, and specialization. in these powerful pieces, Said eloquently illustrates his arguments by drawing on such writers as Antonio Gramsci, Jean-Paul Sartre, Regis Debray, Julien Benda, and Adorno, and by discussing current events and celebrated figures in the world of science and politics: Robert Oppenheimer, Henry Kissinger, Dan Quayle, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. Said sees the modern intellectual as an editor, journalist, academic, or political adviser - in other words, a highly specialized professional - who has moved from a position of independence to an alliance with powerful institutional organizations. He concludes that it is the exile-immigrant, the expatriate, and the amateur who must uphold the traditional role of the intellectual as the voice of integrity and courage, able to speak out against those in power.

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Review: Representations of the Intellectual

User Review  - Aziff - Goodreads

The role of intellectuals have always been foggy. How does one define an intellectual? What do they do and what is their place in society? Edward S. answers these questions via a series of collected ... Read full review

Review: Representations of the Intellectual

User Review  - Jay Szydzik - Goodreads

Anyone who wants to take themselves seriously as an intellectual or even as a political activist should read Edward Said's shrewd, embracing, and captivating series of lectures about the ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Born in Jerusalem and educated at Victoria College in Cairo and at Princeton and Harvard universities, Edward Said has taught at Columbia University since 1963 and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University. He has had an unusual dual career as a professor of comparative literature, a recognized expert on the novelist and short story writer Joseph Conrad, (see Vol. 1) and as one of the most significant contemporary writers on the Middle East, especially the Palestinian question and the plight of Palestinians living in the occupied territories. Although he is not a trained historian, his Orientalism (1978) is one of the most stimulating critical evaluations of traditional Western writing on Middle Eastern history, societies, and literature. In the controversial Covering Islam (1981), he examined how the Western media have biased Western perspectives on the Middle East. A Palestinian by birth, Said has sought to show how Palestinian history differs from the rest of Arabic history because of the encounter with Jewish settlers and to present to Western readers a more broadly representative Palestinian position than they usually obtain from Western sources. Said is presently Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia, editor of Arab Studies Quarterly, and chair of the board of trustees of the Institute of Arab Studies. He is a member of the Palestinian National Council as well as the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

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