By the same authors

Edward W. Said: Mondanité et performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Translated title of the contributionEdward W. Said
Translated subtitle of the contributionWorldiness and Performance

Publication details

JournalSociétés et représentations
DatePublished - 2 Jul 2014
Issue number37
Pages (from-to)53-67
Original languageFrench


Although Edward Said is best known as the author of Orientalism (1978) and Culture and Imperialism (1993), the extent to which these works rely on the rest of his œuvre is often overlooked. This article tries to right the balance by presenting a critical genealogy of certain Saidian keywords. The argument centres on the equation Text = Worldliness + Performance. Worldliness, Said’s answer to political commitment, calls for an understanding of literature in the socio-political conditions of its production and reception. Performance, on the other hand, connotes the ways in which the literary text both stands out against this worldly background as it alludes to other literary texts and ideas. In the space opened up by these two variables other concepts from Said’s lexicon – secular criticism, tory anarchy, invention – come into play to re-define literature and criticism in both aesthetic and political terms.

    Research areas

  • Edward Said, literary theory and criticism


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