Edward Said — BEGINNINGS

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“Asking, “What is a beginning?”, this book brings together history, philosophy, structuralism and critical theory in a work of literary criticism. It differentiates beginning from origin; the latter is divine and mythical, the former secular, humanly produced and ceaselessly re-examined” (Publisher’s note). A classic among late 20th Century literary criticism and a personal favourite: An important work, not flawless but so brillantly written, perfect to get lost in! – It discusses Dickens, Conrad, Hardy, T.E. Lawrence, Nietzsche, Freud, Vico and Michel Foucault. “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 beginning—as 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.”


Beginnings. Intention and Method. FIRST Edition

New York: Basic Books, 1975. Heavy 8vo in original publishers hardcover with (priceclipped) near fine dustjacket, now protected. XVII, 414 pages. Very well preserved clean copy. Near fine / fine

First edition

Edward Said — BEGINNINGS