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Autobiography, Exile, Home: The Egyptian Memoirs of Gini Alhadeff, AndrÉ Aciman, and Edward Said

Autobiography, Exile, Home: The Egyptian Memoirs of Gini Alhadeff, AndrÉ Aciman, and Edward Said 24-porter 4/9/01 3:20 PM Page 302 AUTOBIOGRAPHY, EXILE, HOME: THE EGYPTIAN MEMOIRS OF GINI ALHADEFF, ANDRÉ ACIMAN, AND EDWARD SAID ROGER J. PORTER What has led me to write about Egyptian autobiography, and what has turned my interest to exile? In 1983 I lived in Ma’adi, a small town outside of Cairo, where I was a visiting professor at Cairo American College and directed a production of The Crucible at the school’s new theatre. I vividly remember reading Edward Said’s Orientalism while sitting by the College’s swimming pool, and wanting to know more about the writer who, though not writing autobiographically, nevertheless seemed to me haunted by a nostalgia for a culture prior to its invasion and contamination by the West. In the summer of 2000, in the interstices of a conference on Corfu concerning the work of Lawrence Durrell, I read Said’s new memoir Out of Place and discovered that in the 1940s he had been a student at the very college where I had taught, in his day called Cairo School for American Children. As I recalled my time in Ma’adi I could picture exactly where Said’s humiliating encounters with the school’s British staff had taken place. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Autobiography, Exile, Home: The Egyptian Memoirs of Gini Alhadeff, AndrÉ Aciman, and Edward Said

Biography , Volume 24 (1) – Feb 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

24-porter 4/9/01 3:20 PM Page 302 AUTOBIOGRAPHY, EXILE, HOME: THE EGYPTIAN MEMOIRS OF GINI ALHADEFF, ANDRÉ ACIMAN, AND EDWARD SAID ROGER J. PORTER What has led me to write about Egyptian autobiography, and what has turned my interest to exile? In 1983 I lived in Ma’adi, a small town outside of Cairo, where I was a visiting professor at Cairo American College and directed a production of The Crucible at the school’s new theatre. I vividly remember reading Edward Said’s Orientalism while sitting by the College’s swimming pool, and wanting to know more about the writer who, though not writing autobiographically, nevertheless seemed to me haunted by a nostalgia for a culture prior to its invasion and contamination by the West. In the summer of 2000, in the interstices of a conference on Corfu concerning the work of Lawrence Durrell, I read Said’s new memoir Out of Place and discovered that in the 1940s he had been a student at the very college where I had taught, in his day called Cairo School for American Children. As I recalled my time in Ma’adi I could picture exactly where Said’s humiliating encounters with the school’s British staff had taken place.

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 1, 2001

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