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Chapter 8 - Said, Postcolonial Studies, and World Literature

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2018

Bashir Abu-Manneh
Affiliation:
University of Kent
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Summary

This chapter offers a short overview of the various ways in which Said contributed to the emergence of postcolonial studies in the 1980s and to the more recent reiterations of world literature in the period since the end of the Cold War. Said’s Orientalism can usefully be read as an extension of and riposte to Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis that energized a contemporary body of scholarship that has critically insisted on the constitutive eurocentrism of Western scholarly knowledge, scholarly disciplines, and Western literature. Nevertheless, Said’s reverence for the range, ecumenism, and worldliness of Auerbach’s scholarship also paved the way for new literary comparativist studies that currently attempt, in their various modalities, and with obvious limitations, to engage more reflectively with non-Western literatures or to account for the ways in which “literary modernity” was defined by European and American literatures and institutional complexes.
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After Said
Postcolonial Literary Studies in the Twenty-First Century
, pp. 129 - 146
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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