Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 24:2 (2004) without comment, from one text to another. Ideas are propagated and disseminated anonymously, they are repeated without attribution; they have literally become idÃ©es reÃ§ues.â10 Said illustrates the point with Gustave Flaubertâs bumbling fictional clerks, Bouvard and Pecuchet, who spend their time contentedly copying their âreceived ideasâ from one book to another. Re ceived ideas about the Orient enabled British and French colonial expansion throughout the Eastern Mediterraneanâthe specific focus of Saidâs bookâbefore passing into the ideological arsenal of the United States following World War II. The bookâs impact was so powerful that following its publication it became impossible to separate the analysis of Orientalist scholarship from an awareness of the colonial contexts that created and sustained it.11 Yet this strong focus on a connection between Orientalism and a particular form of European colonialism excluded other Orientalisms from consideration. Conceptually, the topic was much broader, taking in a panoply of possible âinterests.â As Said writes, Orientalism was: a distribution of geopolitical awareness into aesthetic, scholarly, economic, sociological, historical and philological texts; it is an elaboration not only of a basic geographical distinction ... but also of a
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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