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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mapping of the essay by Ruchira Datta

MEL 132
Western Aesthetics

“Map of Edward Said’s Orienatalism”

i.1. The first paragraph provides an understanding of current status of the orient. Visit to-- war stricken Beirut--French journalist—regretfully describes—gutted downtown area—once belonging to the orient of Chateaubriand and Nerval--Orient—European construct—refer to—remarkable experience—exotic—antique—romantic—haunting memories--construction--verge of disappearing--lost in time—French journalist—his French readers--what matters--Beirut--bears no resemblance--European representation of the orient.
ii.1. Next paragraph talks about the differences in perception about the orient among the British the French and the Americans. 2.Unlike Americans--French and British—long history--coming to terms with orient--holds special place--European western experience--Said refers to this as “Orientalism”--orient represents--oldest and richest European colonies--influences the culture, lifestyle, and language of the west-- defines west--in opposition to the orient—thus integral part of western civilization-- To America--represents-- countries in the far east--following recent Japanese, Korean, Indochinese, adventures—horizon expands—after recent economic and political exploits--countries in the middle east included.
iii.1.This paragraph provides an understanding of the orient in the academic context. 2. Definitions of orientalism interdependent--individuals teaching, researching or studying orient--termed orientalist--irrespective of the discipline he/she is involved in—what they do is orientalism---term--widely used in academic institutions—however term loosing preference—due to ambiguity—and association with European colonialism—even if orientalism is losing importance—will survive academically--in orientalist doctrines and theses.
iv.1. Next paragraph talks about the orient as a concept that is epistemologically and ontologically in contrast to the occident.2 Academic tradition of orientalism—is subject of study—provides—general understanding of the orient—distinction--forms basis for-- epics, theories, accounts about orient-- by authors, novelists, theorists, poets , economists.
v.1.This paragraph provides a non academic understanding of orientalism. 2. Third definition of orientalism—more historical and materialistic—Beginning of late 18th century--orientalism regarded as corporate institution--for handling the orient--provides validation, authorization, statements, and description regarding the orient-- the western way of ruling the orient—orientalism a discourse—helps western culture—construct the orient politically, socially, ideologically, and imaginatively—in post-enlightenment period—book orientalism--helps understand “orient “as an entity--does not unilaterally determine the orient—but if orient is under question—helps understand it—through inevitable networks (in terms of the occident)—and explains-- how western culture derives identity and strength from orient.
vi.1. This paragraph talks about the difference in involvement of Britain France and America with the orient. 2. Britain, France and the orient -- closely knit--prior to the 19th century till the second world war--After war--America rose to power-- approached orient--the way Britain and France once did--within this dynamic power bound relationship between the orient and occident-- rests the origin of orientalist.
vii.1. This paragraph is about the existence of the orient, as one with past, tradition of thought, imagination and language. 2.orient--not mere imaginary entity—not just there—Vico-- man makes his own history where by he knows what he makes—concept extended to-- cultural and geographical entities—orient becomes man-made construct-- occident and orient--geographical entities--complimenting each other.
vii.1. This paragraph suggest that orient is not a mere concept. Disraeli—in Tanred--talked of East—as career--something west--could be passionate about—phenomenon of orientalism—deals with—stability in ideas—about orient—discrepancy in ideas—in terms of—real orient--D israeli—east is not a mere being.
vii.1. This paragraph tells us how the orient was orientalized. 2. Histories, cultures and ideas—understood—in the context of the hierarchy that existed--relationship between the orient and west--one of hegemony and dominance--not because--west found the orient to be oriental--on various accounts--but because--orient allowed west to orientalize them--so Flauberts’ description of Kuchuk Hamen-- as typically oriental--is because she is being represented by the one who holds power—in the power equation--this represents the relationship between the east and the west-- in general.
ix.1.This paragraph states that orientalism is no work of fiction and establishes it as collection of theory and principles. 2. Orientalism not mere structure of lies and myths—rather source of—European-Atlantic power over the orient—a veridic discourse—knitted-together--strength of this dicourse—ties—socio-economic and political institutions—thus has redoubtable durability—its ideas remain unchanged— from post renaissance to present day--hence it is not a body of lies—nor a European fantasy--about the orient—but a body of theory and practice—it involves considerable material investment—hence it is a system of knowledge about the orient.
x.1.This paragraph deals with the concept of Europe’s cultural hegemony. 2.Gramsci distinguishes between—civil and political society—civil society includes—school, family and so on—culture operating within civil society—and the civil society operates through consent—non totalitarian society—some ideas rule over others—these societies operates through hegemony-- west—product of cultural hegemony—European cultural hegemony within and outside Europe—gives Europeans identity--of superiority--in comparison to non-Europeans—moreover Europeans have ideas of superiority –regarding oriental backwardness-- hegemony provides durability and strength to orientalism.
xi.1. This paragraph shows how the west’s flexible yet superior status provides strategy to orientalism. 2. Orientalism derives strategy from—west’s positional flexibility—wherein west holds a superior position—superiority on account of west’s assent of power in post renaissance—the scholar, the scientist--thought of the orient—because they could—without resistance from orient—as a branch of knowledge—within the umbrella of hegemony— complex orient was created—for studying in academic institutions--for presenting in museums-- reconstructing colonial history—as such concept of oriental—emerged--outcome of unchallenged sovereign western consciousness—based on general ideas about the orient—then based on detailed logic—as an outcome of desires, repression and projections.
xii.1. this paragraph talks about the various generalized and specific ideas regarding orient. 2. In orientalism—what matters is—not generalized ideas—which are biased with European superiority, racism, imperialism—or other dogmatic views—that describe orient as unchanging abstraction—rather ideas provided by varied individual writers—however in both deals with--pioneers like William Jones, Nerval—however if both ideas are applied—chances of distortion occurs—and if one idea is too specific—or too particular—level of description is maintained systematically.
xii. 1. This paragraph talks about the contemporary realties. 2. Said fears—mutilation and inaccuracy—inaccuracy born of—generalization—deals with problems—addressing contemporary reality—solves problem of—methodological difficulties—writes in coarse polemic--writes in details—overuling generalization..
xiv.1. This paragraph shows how knowledge produced by ideological sciences like sociology, economics and so on is not political. 2. Arguing--knowledge about Shakespeare –is not political—and knowledge about contemporary china or the soviet union—is political--product of improper labeling-- Humanist who critiques wordsworth or keats --no direct impact on politics –while scholars working on soviet economy—are in a highly charged area—produce knowledge--with direct impact on political and government policies—thus-- work of the humanist--have incidental political influence—humanist work produced--not political.
xv.1. This paragraph explains how the knowledge produced by western scholar is non-political.2. knowledge produced should be —impartial, scholarly, and unbiased—not possible in practice- no means of separating scholar from the society to which he belongs—scholar is a product of the society--not free from the class and social beliefs--this influencs his/ her professional work—scholar can not free himself--inhibitions and impact of harsh reality-- So the knowledge he produces-- non-political.
xvi.1. This paragraph tells us how some disciplines receive political importance over other disciplines because of their ability to ascertain power. 2. True knowledge—is not political—all political knowledge--not necessarily true knowledge—thus today adjective of political—used as label—to discredit works--violating protocol of pretended suprapolitical objectivity—certain fields of knowledge--ranked higher than other--because political importance—given to--disciplines that generate economic benefits—and disciplines that help ascertain power--study of long-term Soviet energy potential and its effect on military capability--receives economic backing—but not--study of Tostoys’ early fiction--subject matter—political priority--importance to economics--than literature.
xvii.1.In the next paragraph he explains how knowledge produced is influenced by imperialists views as well as individual views. 2.Vietnam war--scholarship provided--for conducting military research--because the imperial states--cast their political-economic interests onto the civil society—thus—political knowledge produced--tainted with—gross political fact—Americans or Europeans—studying orient—influenced by imperialist and individual opinion.—but this is not a inert fact—to scholars.
Xviii 1. This paragraph explains west’s interest to study the east.2. political actualities—too undefined— to be interesting—problem—discrepancy-- between “big facts” and the realities of everyday life.—notion of big facts—deleted—imperial domination—can be applied--mechanically—west interested in—orient--political reasons oblivious from—historical accounts--interested in the culture also--cultural interests--accompanied by material, political and military—making orient—varied and complicated place—in field of orientalism.
xix.1.The concluding paragraph sums up what orientalism is. 2. Not mere political subject—nor—collection of texts—about orient—not even representative—of western imperialist ideas—to subjugate the orient—rather distribution of—geopolitical awareness—into other fields—elaboration of—geographical distinction—and connotations of orient—created and maintained—through—philological recognition—scholarly discovery—psychological analysis—and so on—a discourse—that is not—direct—and does not—merely represent—a modern political-intellectual cultural paradigm—it has less to do—with orient—than with—modern world.

Works cited
1.Said,Edward.”Introduction to Orientalism” Art In Modern Culture:Anthology of Critical
Texts.Editors,Frascina,Francis and Jonathan Harris.London/New York.Phaidon.19992.

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