Beginnings: Intention and Method available in Paperback
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- Columbia University Press
Drawing on the insights of Vico, Valery, Nietzsche, Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Husserl, and Foucault, Said recognizes the novel as the major attempt in Western literary culture to give beginnings an authorizing function in experience, art, and knowledge. Scholarship should see itself as a beginningas a uniting of theory and practice. Said's insistence on a criticism that is humane and socially responsible is what makes Beginnings a book about much more than writing: it is about imagination and action as well as the constraints on freedom and invention that come from human intention and the method of its fulfillment.
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To understand Edward Said's Beginnings is to understand what is most importantly going on in contemporary critical theory, both in America and Europe. An immensely useful book by one of our most brilliant critics.