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Edward Said on Intellectuals’ Identity and Ideology of Difference

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.4, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1825-1829

Keywords : exile; Intellectuals; Jewish Identity; Palestinians; Radical Politics; Zionism;

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There is no doubt that Said battles throughout his life with an intricate identity conflict which demarcates his views on politics and identity at large. As an intellectual who lives on the crossroad of cultures, and out of a place, that one might call a homeland, he learned painfully to live more than one life and embrace more than one identity. When filiative bonds are out of reach, the affiliative ones might serve the urgency of survival but never take roots in him or create a romantic sense of belonging. It seems exile, and the exilic rootless spirit is so essential to him as an intellectual and his scholarly and political project. The present paper delves into Said's views of the identity of the intellectual as well as identity politics of difference represented in Zionism as a movement of liberation against the Palestinians rights. I argue that in his Canaanite reading of Walzer's Exodus and Revolution and the roots of the Jewish identity in Freud's Moses and the Monotheism, Said attempts to provide the alternatives to the reductive identity politics and the very ‘connected intellectual' that makes it tenable. Arguably, the openness of the Jewish identity and that of the exilic Jewish intellectual is Said's stalwart point of critique.

Last modified: 2020-03-26 16:27:30