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Edward Said's Concept of Exile: Identity and Cultural Migration in the Middle East

Edward Said's Concept of Exile: Identity and Cultural Migration in the Middle East
Rehnuma Sazzad

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Edward Said was an exiled individual - the 'out of place' Palestinian in the USA. He saw the consequences of the 1948 dismantling of Palestine and the establishment of Israel through his parents' experiences and through the collective statelessness imposed on the Palestinians. His own personal experience of exile intensified when he moved to the USA. Yet despite the significance of exile to Said's life and work, no scholarship has yet focused on this theme in his writings or traced its ongoing applicability and importance. Rehnuma Sazzad fulfils this pressing need in literary and cultural research by providing the first comprehensive definition of Said's theory of exile and revealing its legacy in relation to five Middle Eastern intellectuals: Naguib Mahfouz, Mahmoud Darwish, Leila Ahmed, Nawal El Saadawi and Youssef Chahine. Sazzad argues that for Said, the ideal intellectual is a metaphorical exile. This exile does not have to be spatially disconnected from a homeland, but must demonstrate a willing homelessness through specific strategies and techniques.

By selecting a novelist, poet, feminist, filmmaker and essayist, Sazzad shows how intellectuals from diverse fields become part of the Saidian discourse through the expression of these 'exilic' qualities. The book creates a portrait of redoubtable intellectual practice and in the twenty-first century context, when the frontiers of belonging are constantly redrawn, Edward Said's Concept of Exile adds new depths to discourses of resistance, home and identity.

Author Info

Rehnuma Sazzad is Research Associate at the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Her monograph Language and Nationalism in the Decolonized World is forthcoming and she has published various book chapters as well as articles in South Asian Cultural Studies, International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. She completed a PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies at Nottingham Trent University and was awarded MAs from both the University of Manchester and the University of Dhaka.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Written Culture and Identity

ISBN: 9781784536879
Publication Date: 27 Jul 2017
Number of Pages: 304
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 9 black and white illustrations

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