Saturday, October 20, 2007
Paparella, Emanuel L. "Edward Said on Cultural Imperialism." OVI September 24, 2007
While writing a Ph.D. dissertation on Vico at Yale University, some thirty three years ago, a book appeared which attracted my attention. But it was not its author, still relatively obscure at the time, rather it was its title which urged me to buy Beginnings by Edward Said. To my mind, that title echoed immediately Vico’s notion of 'origins.' And in fact, as expected, Said not only acknowledges Vico as the book’s inspiration and methodology, but dedicates a whole section to him. It turned out to be a kind of epiphany for me, in the same way that Ignazio Silone had previously been, not so much for what the book revealed about the problematic in the New Science that I was then grappling with (i.e., that of transcendence and immanence in Vico’s notion of Providence), but for what it said on the crucial role of the intellectual vis-à-vis the culture he lives and works in. One of the most pregnant passages in that book is this: “The writer’s life, his career, and his text, form a system of relationships whose configuration "in real human time" becomes progressively stronger (i.e., more distinct, more individualized and exacerbated). In fact, these relationships gradually become the writer’s all-encompassing subject” (p. 227). . . . Part 1: http://www.ovimagazine.com/art/2112?PHPSESSID=ea8a3df5479ae76a53e101d35eadcee5; Part 2: http://www.ovimagazine.com/art/2113?PHPSESSID=ea8a3df5479ae76a53e101d35eadcee5.