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Contrapuntal Perspectives

Culture and Imperialism by Edward W. Said, Chatto & Windus, London, 1993.

Said's latest and bestselling book is an odd mixture and shows signs of having been assembled under pressure: despite the unifying packaging and presentation, its contents are uneven, heterogeneous. It is by turns an explication of his philosophy of criticism, a survey of contemporary post-colonial scholarship, an in-depth meditation on particular literary texts (most notably Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Forster's Passage to India) – all interwoven with summary excursions into the history of nineteenth-century British…

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