How to write about music, how to verbalize an art form that is not verbal, which does not say anything "in itself"? What is the place of music in the social and political field? These are questions the Palestinian-born American literary theorist and journalist Edward W. Said (1935-2003) dealt with.
Said was a professor of literary science at Columbia University in New York, and has been of great importance for the establishment of postcolonial studies as an academic discipline. Postcolonial studies deal with literature and spiritual life within the former colonies, and try to see the world from their perspective, as an alternative to the western, "Eurocentric" worldview. Said is primarily known for one of the main works of postcolonialism, Orientalism
In addition to this, however, he was also a skilled amateur pianist and longtime music critic in The Nation. He co-founded the West-East Divan Orchestra with his close friend, Argentine-Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim. This is an orchestra made up of young Palestinian and Israeli musicians, and intended to act as a bridge builder between the two peoples.
In 1989, the Said Wellek Lectures in Critical Theory at the University of California, Irvine, held lectures that in 1991 were collected and published under the title. . .
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