Saturday, February 18, 2006

A work of malignant charlatanry

I cannot abide Edward Said's 'Orientalism', and I didn't realise until a while after I had read this Terry Eagleton New Statesman Review of Robert Irwin's new riposte to Said's "classic", that Irwin was also the author of my beloved 'The Arabian Nights: A Companion'.

I needed no other encouragement to pick up a up a copy of 'For Lust of Knowing: the orientalists and their enemies', yesterday and read a couple of chapters in the evening.The hatchet job on Said doesn't appear until the last chapter but I am looking forward to it. Until then it is very convivial to be back in Irwin's witty, urbane, learned, and generous company and I have been delighted to discover a namesake - Edward Granville Browne - among his cast of characters.

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