Conversations with Edward Said

Published by Seagull, April 2006

In one of his last interviews, Edward Said speaks with Tariq Ali about his dislocated existence, his initiation into politics, his involvement with the Palestinian cause, his approach to the study of culture, and his pervasive love of literature and music. Intimate, personal, thought-provoking, and absorbing, these conversations capture Said—as political activist, cultural historian, professor of literature, and music aficionado—and confirm his position as one of the most passionate and thoughtful intellectuals of our time.

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Also published by Seagull: The Assassination, A Banker for All Seasons, The Leopard and the Fox

From the archive

  • ‘Com Dilma, EUA continuarão sem “policial” na América do Sul’: Tariq Ali speaks to Folha

    December 2, 2010

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Claudia Antunes for Folha, November 25 2010

    FOLHA – Os EUA se aproximam da Índia, cuja candidatura ao Conselho de Segurança da ONU apoiaram. A China, do seu lado, se aproxima do Paquistão. Isso afeta a guerra no Afeganistão? TARIQ ALI – Os EUA sabem que têm que se retirar do Afeganistão. Gostariam de sair, mas manter bases militares lá. Isso não vai ser possível. Os chineses, nos bastidores, disseram aos militares paquistaneses que não querem bases permanentes da Otan na sua fronteira. Para resolver esse problema, os EUA precisam dos militares paquistaneses.

    Simultaneamente, os EUA estão jogando a Índia contra a China. A Índia é o país mais importante para os EUA na Ásia. Sempre foi, mesmo quando a Índia tinha uma política externa de neutralidade. Mas hoje há uma elite indiana que se ajoelha  …

  • ‘Rereading: Works and Days by Hesiod’

    October 11, 2011

    ‘Rereading: Works and Days by Hesiod’, by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, October 7 2011

    I was in my mid-teens when someone gave me a copy of Pears Encyclopaedia of Myth and Legends as a birthday present. It sat on my shelves for many months before I looked at it. When I did, I couldn’t stop reading it. I became an obsessive. It was much more interesting than the boring old monotheistic religions with the single deity in the sky and his enforcers below. The Greek gods and goddesses, and their Egyptian and Indian equivalents (of which I knew very little at the time), were exciting characters, full of foibles and emotions far more closely associated with humans: love, sex, anger, jealousy. The main difference was that the gods were immortal. And yet even in ancient times there were sceptics who denied  …

  • Tariq Ali and the Future of European Citizenship

    September 7, 2012

    Tariq Ali in conversation with Nick Holdstock for Citizenship in Southeast Europe

    N.H.: Maybe we should talk about what’s happening right now. Do you think the recent successes of the left in the European elections are just protest votes against the governments or can we see these as grounds for more general hope?

    T.A.: Well, I think it varies from country to country. In France I think what we are seeing is the traditional anger of the electorate against incumbents. It doesn’t matter who is in power over the last few years, the story has been a bad one and the electorate decides OK, let’s vote them out. This happened in Britain when New Labour were voted out. It has happened in Greece, where PASOK was aware that New Democracy deliberately called an election because they wanted to be  …