Listener: 24 December, 1994.
Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Literature and Culture;
Edward Said’s exciting 1993 Reith lectures are now published as Representations of the Intellectual (Vintage $16.95). With passion and conviction he puts intellectuals at the centre of civilization and at the margins of society, charging them with the moral duty to address the public, as an outsider independent of government and corporation. The short book, only 90 pages, is packed with inspiration, replete with eminently quotable passages. I want to give it to all my friends who walk the lonely path of the intellectual, to say that they are not alone, that the isolation they experience is integral to their chosen profession.
A painter who walked such a lonely path is commemorated in Francis Hodgkins: Paintings and Drawings (AUP, $59.95) by Iain Buchanan, Michael Dunn, and Elizabeth Eastmond. A gorgeous selection of her subtle and sensuous works: images worth pouring over, in the way one savour’s Said’s ideas.