When Will the Mute Swan Sing? On the “Orientalism” and its “False Truth”

Hui-qing LIU


Edward Said, by surveying closely and decoding the Orientalism from the eighteenth until the mid-twentieth century, makes truth articulate from inside the Orientalist untruth, to echo Marx: the Orient could not represent themselves; they had to be represented by Europe; yet the originally “well-intentioned” Orientalist representation, the discourses of Orientalism turn out to be but of “schematization” of the entire Orient; European culture, by speaking, interpreting the Orient, managed to construct its own domination over other non-White cultures, managed to colonize the East in fine name. What passed for universal truths about European superiority and the other side inferiority yet now prove to be merely culturally specific, historically relative constructions in service of colonialism and imperialism. The Orient was “Orientalized” within systematic economy of Western imagination, invention, one-sidedness, or even untruthfulness, lies.
Key words: “universal truth”; Orientalism; culture; Colonialism; Imperialism

Résumé: Edward Said, en examinant de près et en décodant l'orientalisme à partir du XVIIIe jusqu'au milieu du XXe siècle, fait énoncer la vérité de l'intérieur du mensonge orientaliste, ce qui se répercute sur Marx : l'Orient ne pouvait pas se représenter, il devait se faire représenter par l'Europe; pourtant la représentation orientaliste bien-intentionnée, le discours de l'orientalisme se révélent d’être un prétexte de la schématisation de l'Orient, la culture européenne, en parlant de l'Orient et en l’interprétant, a réussi à construire sa propre domination sur d’autres cultures non-blanches et à coloniser l'Est. Ce qui s’est passé pour des vérités universelles sur la supériorité européenne et l'infériorité de l’autre côté prouvent encore aujourd’hui des constructions culturellement spécifiques, historiquement relatives au service du colonialisme et de l'impérialisme. L'Orient était orientalisé dans l'économie systématique de l'imagination occidentale, de l'invention, de la partialité, voire des mensonges.
Mots-Clés: vérité universelle; orientalisme; culture; colonialisme; impérialisme

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.css.1923669720090505.008


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