This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
481-484 Published by: Association for Asian Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2054675 . Accessed: 12/05/2013 08:21
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
Association for Asian Studies is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Asian Studies.
This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Sun, 12 May 2013 08:21:25 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
xiii. 12 May 2013 08:21:25 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and edits TheJournal of Asian Studies. Index. XXXIX. for example. As he analyzes the structure and content of the Orientalist discourse. At the same time. t Orientalism. the interrelationships among Orientalist tourism. Metzger's Escape from Predicament. and what he considers the latter-day Orientalist table scraps-social science-based "area studies" and the pattern of American domination they support. the organizer of the group effort came to the Journal with a proposal which the editor ultimately encouraged.VOL. so we need not elaborate those here at great length. a potential for abuse of editorial discretion. The three essays which follow convey most of Orientalism's central arguments in the process of critically discussing Said and his book. $ I 5.. Said.75 on Sun. I therefore wish to deal here with two other matters: the nature of Orientalism's significance.By Edward W. I would hold that occasionally crossing the line from processing to initiating-in the case of a work like Said's. $4. the reasons for developing such extensive treatment of Orientalism Orientalismis important because it addresses issues which are (or ought to be) central to the self-conception of scholars who are professionally socialized in and work in one culture but who devote themselves to the study of another culture (e. Notes. that there is a built-in conflict of interest. New York: Pantheon Books. Said's notion of discourse is broad. persuaded his colleagues to participate.95 (paper). Orientalist philological classicism. 3 JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES MAY I980 Review Symposium: Edward Said's Orientalism Introduction ROBERTA. the symposium does not assume that its readers have already consumed the book and formed their opinions on it. which does not fall within the ordinary domain of the Journal's primary readership-can be constructive. No. Said builds his case with literary evidence (he has been faulted elsewhere for failing to distinguish the literary fan* Robert A. he analyzes the assumptions. In the case of the recent JAS symposium on Thomas A. 48I This content downloaded from 140. if the editor not only decides what ought to be accepted for publication but also dabbles in what ought to be written about in the first place. 368 pp. KAPP* Introducing these three critical essays on Edward Said's Orientalismtraises perplexing questions of scholarly and professional definition. Kapp taught Chinese history at Rice University and the University of Washington. Said writes about what he calls (borrowing from Michel Foucault) the "discourse" of nineteenth and twentieth century Anglo-French Orientalism as it confronted the Islamic Near East. 00 (cloth). from which nineteenth century Orientalist conceptions of Islamic societies emerged. I978. and brought to pu4blication. Asianists professionally rooted in Western societies). and then subjected them to varying degrees of editorial suggestion before sending the whole package off to the printer. accepted. As is obvious from this symposium's appearance in the Journal.112. Orientalist apologias for colonial domination.25. It might well be suggested that editors should stick to processing and avoid initiating. rooted in religious conviction and conflict. this time the editor initiated the Said symposium himself.g. and in this journal.
circumstances. to say nothing of economic and social production. 12 May 2013 08:21:25 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . or historiography. the accumulation the Orient-constituted. social and religious customs.The result for Orientalismhas certainthings. was a vital factor in the formation and refinement of Orientalist assumptions. and so forth). as of Orientalist lore reached a point where the lore created it were. Where Egypt to their own country's Islam.fantasy. philology).are embeddedfirstin the languageand then in the culture. The Orient is taught. his very specific points-about Western stereotypes of the Near East (passivity. racial inferiority. work have seemed for the Orientalist correct. nature of any learned enterprise:these. trading companies.25.because they are representations. Said maintains. then we If the latteralternative ambienceof the representer.482 ROBERT A.. To my mind. and cultural assault from the Orientalist West. . public institutions (governments. and conclusions.administered. the Orientalist landscape was itself transformed.S. KAPP tasies of French novelists from the scholarly contributions of learned Orientalist scholar-sleuths). andgenericallydetermined graphicalsocieties. culturally. Said dwells on the ways in which putative knowledge about the "Orient" in fact grows within a complex milieu of institutions. interwovenwith a great many other things besides the (p. military. and about contemporary political conflicts between the U. and structures of power are woven together. The persisting reality of Western predominance over the Islamic Orient in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . had represented at first Orientalists had represented readers (a form of aggression and expropriation itself. and the exercise of power: the institutionallife of a scholarlyfield. embedded.tend to diminish the effectsof the individualscholar's A field like Orientalism has a cumulative and corporateidentity. whether all of his arguments succeed or not-is the problem of what might be called the affiliations of knowledge: how can one "know" about something which is the figment of a socially. and in the end linguistically formed imagination? of anything. The essential issue he grapples with-and for which he ought to be read. certaintypesof statement. constituting the discourse. Thus Said's work cannot simply be considered literary criticism. .exotic description). sexual allure..75 on Sun. (The point is obliquely challenged by Professor Minear in his essay here. . vocabularies. What he aims to unearth is the matrix within which ideas. universities) books of exploration. . the discourse took on a life of its own. an Orientalist Orient that in turn became the object of the most tangible kinds of political. must be preparedto accept the fact that a representation intertwined.-dominated West and the no longer quiescent Islamic peoples of the Near East-are frosting on his cake. geowriting (travelbooks. .the with traditional stronggiven its associations particularly Bible. creates the discursive object. Said is especially sensitive to the language in which the Orientalist discourse is at once framed and expressed-the language which. reupon in certaindiscreteways. is eo ipso implicated. institutions.112. in his view).and political is the correctone . language. one that is learning(the classics. 202) andpronounced searched. the collective The work of predecessors.certaintypesof been a sort of consensus.) Said also argues that as the artifacts of Orientalist thought piled up. 272) "truth.(p. the realissue is whetherindeedtherecan be a true representation or whether any and all representations. subject matter."which is itself a representation. This content downloaded from 140.
the book. I966) explore the question of socially validated knowledge at length. to the author." and so forth. An unusual development (less rare in the case of Japan. drawn from his doctoral dissertation. Can it be that the thing-the study. he acknowledges his own debt to Foucault on these central points. and would argue that the American scholar in the above case should seek to publish an informing preface to the Chinese edition: "This is how the book came to be. Said is not the first writer to confront these issues. this is what went into the researchand training. is what Said means when he writes of helping scholars to understand their own genealogy. through the formation of contemporary documents. 12 May 2013 08:21:25 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in professional and even financial terms. perhaps. against every historical backdrop?I doubt it. this is what completion of the study seemed to mean.75 on Sun. and studies in the sociology of knowledge such as Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality (Garden City: Doubleday. How far can one go in pursuit of the ineffable relationships of object and word. for any reader. is simply not the same thing when it is put into Chinese and offered to the participants in the various modes of discourse that prevail there? That. in the final analysis. in any language. Let me close with a concrete example of the issue which gives Said his significance. Is it not essential to recognize that this study. One can. but Japan has a very different relationship with the United States): the foreigner's written work-the product of absolutely no personal experience in the part of China with which it deals. of course.really does stand alone and self-defined. left nearly everyone asleep within minutes. and finally the ultimate manipulation-the professorial lecture). this is how the topic came to be chosen. is to be translated into Chinese and published in China.112. only go on protesting against the tyranny of the document or of language itself for so long. even an ardent proponent of Said's critical approach would do well to decide where it must all end. the physical object which expresses the labor and thinking of the author. inseparably. Now. for every culture.INTRODUCTION 483 To be sure. The point is the same for cross-cultural scholarly endeavor in general. with the professionally-ordained life to be lived). An American scholar of twentieth century Chinese history learns to his surprise that his slim published monograph. then one either has to reach some sort of agreement with oneself and get on with the scholarly work at hand (and. even textual reconstruction of the development of a broad and comprehensive field of discourseone of particular relevance to Asianists in the West today. the result of his first half-dozen years' labor with the Chinese language and a few years' exposure to library holdings and archives-is rendered into the language of its own documents and offered to readers in precisely that region of China on which its research had focused. is Said's question. synthesizing of research into textbooks. why should the self-recognition and sensitivity to the complex contexts of knowledge which are so clearly necessary in the case of the translated monograph be any less necessarywhen scholarsare communicating within their own world of discourse? This. one early September day. put in specific concrete circumstances. however. it seems to me. or else one must face up to the fact of ultimate inexpressibility and depart from the scene of the struggle-into silence or This content downloaded from 140. to engage a fresh class of undergraduates on the subject (the chain of corruption leading from the past. historical document and the reality of the past? An optimistic attempt. the culminating artifact of a highly formalized and structured process of academic training and identity certification in the community of American academics. What Said gives us. is a detailed. then latter-day research and writing.25.
112. 12 May 2013 08:21:25 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .484 ROBERT A. This content downloaded from 140.25. notwithstanding his failure to tell his readers what oughtto havebeenin the place of the Orientalist vision of reality that was and still is-Said is the optimist. In this sense. KAPP into some other walk of life. for all his railing and his bitterness. Lacking that optimism. his repetitiousness and tendentiousness-indeed. it deserves careful thought. Orientalism might not be worth serious pursuit. possessing it.75 on Sun.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.