Servants of Power
If Said’s book can really do that, then we all need to read it. Like now. This phrase “servants of power” is something to keep in mind. I'm not sure "exactly" what it entails or where its conclusions ultimately march to, but some things are not meant to be learned with the precision of a watchmaker. What comes to my mind is this: Muslim Americans awkwardly attempting to figure out things related to identity and their relationship to a larger and powerful cultural vortex. It's possible for people to unwittingly become “servants of power” when they espouse such progressive-seeming, independent-appearing work (or terminologies) like reform or a certain identity or even tradition, that vague but often-trumpeted word.
I’m still in the introduction of the book. By all signs, it’s going to take a while to read it, and it’s not because I’m a slow reader (which I am, and slow walker, too), but for the fact that when you read something that speaks about an issue that’s very big and that gives form to something that has been roving around in your mind as a nebulous disquieting feeling, you want to read carefully.
Here are a couple of excerpts so far:
Readers of this book will quickly discover that narrative is crucial to my argument here, my basic point being that stories are at the heart of what explorers and novelists say about strange regions of the world; they also become the method colonized people use to assert their own identity and the existence of their own history....
The power to narrative, or to block narratives from forming and emerging, is very important to culture and imperialism, and constitutes one of the main connections between them.