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university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 2, spring 2004 LINDA HUTCHEON In Memory of Edward W. Said (1935B2003) >Passion, courage, boldness=: these words are not the usual ones used to describe professors of English and comparative literature, either inside or outside the academy. But >passion, courage, boldness= are the words you merely begin with when you try to describe Edward Said. From there, you move on to talk about fierce intellectual independence and equally fierce integrity, before passing on to exhilarating originality and creativity. Edward Said was a radically innovative thinker who changed forever the face of literary studies: by demanding that criticism be >worldly= and therefore acknowledge its investment in the political realm, he exercised a powerful moral pressure on the academy. As the many references scattered through the essays in this issue of University of Toronto Quarterly make clear, his groundbreaking 1979 book Orientalism inaugurated the important field of postcolonial studies. A revealing investigation of the impact of European imperial forces both on the colonized Orient (mostly the Middle East) and on the metropolitan culture itself, Orientalism was one of the first steps in what could be called Said=s lifelong articulation of what he would come to define as a >contrapuntal= theory that acknowledged the reciprocity of colony and empire. In other words, he gave us a very positive and productive theory that rejected the >politics of blame= or of >confrontation and hostility.= In some fifteen other books, written over three decades, he tackled issues as different from one another (but equally important to him) as the meaning and power of music and the question of Palestine. In all his books and many articles, the ethical responsibility of the intellectual and the potential complicity of academic forms of knowledge with institutions of power were in the foreground. As University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, Edward Said was a teacher and a scholar, but also a political person very much in the public arena, a man not afraid to take unpopular stands B stands that sometimes necessitated having bodyguards at academic conferences. Born in Jerusalem, he grew up in Cairo before moving to the United States to attend Princeton as an undergraduate and then Harvard for his graduate work. Said was no stranger to controversy and his moving autobiography of these early years B written during a time of what he called >debilitating sickness, treatment, and anxiety= B earned him more column-inches in the North American and international press 806 linda hutcheon university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 2, spring 2004 than even he expected. Not that any such response would ever have stopped him from being the public intellectual he always was: this was a man who published twice-monthly columns for Al-Hayat and Al-Ahram and regularly wrote for newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Spain, Pakistan, India, and Japan B not to mention, once again, in the Arab world. In addition, he was the music critic for the New YorkBbased magazine The Nation and, as a professional-level pianist, could occasionally be persuaded to perform in public. His long friendship with the Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim not only yielded splendid public discussions in places like Carnegie Hall and a new English version of Beethoven=s opera Fidelio in 1998 for performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra but, in recent years, joined the two of them with cellist Yo-Yo Ma for three weeks of master classes and joint performances B all in the name of musical and political understanding between Israel and Palestine. Always committed, always passionate, always willing to put himself on the line for what he believed B be it Palestine, literature, or music B Said was in great demand as a speaker, in person and through the media. In the 1980s, he held the Northrop Frye Chair in Literary Theory at the University of Toronto and developed, in his lectures and his course, part of his book Culture and Imperialism. He lectured in over 250 universities the world over and was awarded more honours than most people could dream of. I shall just mention two. He was elected president of the world...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 805-806
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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