Show Less
Restricted access

Literary Intellectuals

East and West


Abdulla M. Al-Dabbagh

The modernist movement, in literature as well as in criticism, provides a very instructive case of iconoclastic canon-change and subsequent canon-formation, and modern British literary criticism has been remarkably canon-forming in its basic tendency. This is particularly true of the line in British criticism that has revealed strong cultural preoccupations primarily centered on the works of T. S. Eliot and F. R. Leavis. George Orwell is a figure in the history of British cultural criticism who links the pre-war and the post-war generations of modernist writers and critics. Raymond Williams is the direct continuator of the line in English literary and cultural criticism formed by Eliot, Lawrence, and Leavis. The first seven of the essays collected in this book deal with Western intellectuals – in fact, with this largely British tradition of cultural criticism. They continue the argument, centered on these main figures, as it has subsequently developed in the works of Christopher Caudwell, E. P. Thompson, Perry Anderson, and John McGrath, among others, and touch upon more contemporary literary and cultural issues. Some of these issues, such as the spread of Islamophobia among a number of contemporary British intellectuals, are also discussed in another chapter in the book, and the division of what may be called the international intelligentsia into radicals, pundits, renegades, and imposters, in another chapter. The last three essays deal with major Arab intellectuals and Arab literary and cultural concerns. They focus mainly on the relationships of these key figures with political power, cultural identity, and exile.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Preface and Acknowledgments


The first seven of the essays collected in this book deal with Western intellectuals; in fact, with a largely British tradition of cultural criticism. The last three essays deal with Arab intellectuals and Arab literary and cultural concerns.

Written over the period of some thirty years, one of these essays was published in 1987 and four were published in the first decade of this century in academic journals. The rest, again written in different periods, have not been published before. Six of these papers were delivered at international conferences.

I would like to thank the editors of Neohelicon for the permission to reprint “The Literary and Cultural Criticism of Raymond Williams” (read at the Colloquium of the International Comparative Literature Association, “Literature and Values”, held at the University of Sussex, UK, August 1985), the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Arabic/English Studies for his permission to reprint “Poetics of Exile and Identity: The Case of Modern Iraqi Poetry” (read at the Sixth British Council Symposium on English Studies in Europe, held in Delphi, Greece, 7–13 September, 2003), “Power and the Radical Arab Intellectual” (read at the Eighth International Symposium on Comparative Literature, “Power and the Role of the Intellectual”, held at the English Department, Cairo University, Egypt, 22–24 November, 2005), and ← VII | VIII → “Islamophobia and the Intellectuals” (read at the “Fear of the Other” Colloquium organized by the Sorbonne/Abu Dhabi University in Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates, 17–19 March...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.