third, intermediary line of polemic
namely, Harold Bloom’s
concept of “misprision” from
The Anxiety of Influence
for a “dynastic” reading of the problem of literary influence
through the “creative” act of misinterpretation (1997: xxiii). I will
argue that Said deliberately misreads Foucault as a “strong” theorist
in order to politicize his ideas and put them into praxis. Therefore,
beyond its rhetorical or polemical value, the writing (and
represents an act of political resistance
against the dominant discursive forces that have been used to
objectify and denigrate nonwestern peoples and their cultures since
the dawn of European imperialism.
By shedding light on the
relationship between knowledge and power,
how the reach of scholarship extends beyond the ivory towers of
the academy and into the world at large, where it can be used to
uphold or resist authority and its hegemonic institutions.
II. Theory and Its Itineraries:
What is at stake in writing is
the very structure of authority itself.
Barbara Johnson (1995: 48)
The World, the Text, and the Critic
, Said claims that ideas
tend to travel “from person to person, from situation to situation,
from one period to another” (226). Moreover, the lifeblood of
[c]ultural and intellectual life are usually nourished and
often sustained by this circulation of ideas, and whether it
anti-Western (Lewis, 1993), blind to the faults of Islam and the Middle East
(Hitchens, 2011: 498-512) and anti-Marxist (Ahmad, 1992). For a rebuttal of
these claims, see Iskandar and Rustom (2010).