This long-awaited collection brings together Said's essays on literary and cultural topics from over three decades. As the title piece, the widely admired 'Reflections on Exile', makes clear, the fact of Said's own exile and the fate of the Palestinians have given both form and intimacy to the questions he has pursued. Taken together, these essays give a rare insight into the formation of a critic and the development of an intellectual vocation. They cover a wide, and sometimes surprising range of topics - from the heroics of Tarzan to the machismo of Ernest Hemingway to the shades of difference that divide Alexandria and Cairo. Said also offers major reconsiderations of writers and artists such as George Orwell, Giambattista Vico, Georg Lukacs, E. M.Cioran, Naguib Mahfouz, Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Antonio Gramsci and Raymond Williams. Most of the key debates in the humanities over the last thirty years are taken up in this book, and given definitive treatment.Reflections on Exile reconfirms that Said is one of the most important and elegant critics of our time.
Edward Said is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Colombia University and the author of eighteen books.