Edward Said and the Authority of Literary Criticism

  • Nicolas Vandeviver

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Nicolas Vandeviver
    Pages 1-28
  3. Nicolas Vandeviver
    Pages 29-108
  4. Nicolas Vandeviver
    Pages 109-181
  5. Nicolas Vandeviver
    Pages 183-247
  6. Nicolas Vandeviver
    Pages 249-323
  7. Nicolas Vandeviver
    Pages 325-340
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 341-352

About this book


This book examines the earliest writings of Edward Said and the foundations of what came to be known as postcolonial criticism, in order to reveal how the groundbreaking author of Orientalism turned literary criticism into a form of political intervention. Tracing Said’s shifting conceptions of ‘literature’ and ‘agency’ in relation to the history of (American) literary studies in the thirty years or so between the end of World War II and the last quarter of the twentieth century, this book offers a rich and novel understanding of the critical practice of this indispensable figure and the institutional context from which it emerged. By combining broad-scale literary history with granular attention to the vocabulary of criticism, Nicolas Vandeviver brings to light the harmonizing of methodological conflicts that informs Said’s approach to literature; and argues that Said’s enduring political significance is grounded in his practice as a literary critic.


Edward Said Orientalism history of literary criticism political activism and literary theory agency intellectual biography post formalism

Authors and affiliations

  • Nicolas Vandeviver
    • 1
  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGentBelgium

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-27350-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-27351-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site