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third, intermediary line of polemic

namely, Harold Bloom’s

concept of “misprision” from

The Anxiety of Influence

which calls

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

publication) of


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,


shows us

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:



Traveling Theory

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).