PRINT February 2004


Edward Said

When you think about it, when you think about Jew and Palestinian not separately, but as part of a symphony, there is something magnificently imposing about it. A very rich, also very tragic, also in many ways desperate history of extremes . . . that is yet to receive its due.

—Edward W. Said1

THE UNTIMELINESS of Edward Said’s death was persistently mentioned in the press and poignantly remarked upon, again and again, by his friends. By the time he passed away in the early hours of September 25, Edward Said had survived a decade of disease, his leukemia always lying in wait for him, drenching his nights in sweats, draining his days with medical tests, transfusions, and drug protocols. Nonetheless, Said resisted the lurking power of the illness to lay him waste; he embraced its dire circumstance as an authorial avocation—a way of living, working, and writing—in a world in which, for him at

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