Introduction Edward Said and the Politics of Subjectivity
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Although Edward Wadie Said always hated the idea of origins, most biographical accounts portray him as an Arab-Palestinian Christian born in Jerusalem—referring to this geographical place as a point of his origin. However, for Said, Palestine was only a beginning rather than an origin. For, “[b]eginning is basically an activity,” writes Said, “which ultimately implies return and repetition rather than simple linear accomplishment.” While origin often implies a theological/divine association, both beginning and beginning-again confirm “a radical severity and verify evidence of at least some innovation—of having begun” (Beginnings: Intention and Method xiii).1 In this sense, it is appropriate to say that Said began his life with Palestine rather than he originated in Palestine.
KeywordsPolitical Subjectivity Colonial Experience Geographical Place Subject Formation Postcolonial Theory
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