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Introduction

  • Nicolas Vandeviver
Chapter

Abstract

The introduction discusses the consensus in postcolonial criticism that Said is its founder, as Orientalism, despite Said’s repeated denials, is considered to have initiated the discipline. This discussion serves two simultaneous goals: (1) to examine the authority of Said’s writings in postcolonial criticism, and (2) to dispose of that authoritative image by highlighting the disjunctions between Said’s criticism and the institutionalized forms of postcolonial criticism. By subsequently engaging with the most relevant strands of scholarship on Said’s career, I introduce my main intervention: that his work is grounded in literary criticism and that studying his earliest concepts of ‘literature’ and ‘agency’ reveals how he turned literary criticism into a form of political intervention. I round off by addressing my method which draws on rhetorical hermeneutics.

Keywords

Postcolonial studies Orientalism Literary criticism Political intervention Literature Agency 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Vandeviver
    • 1
  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGentBelgium

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