Timothy BrennanJan 13, 2022
Places of Mind
A Life of Edward Said
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2021
Timothy Brennan is Professor of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, and English at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of several seminal books in literary studies, including Borrowed Light: Vico, Hegel, and the Colonies, published by Stanford University Press in 2014, Secular Devotion: Afro-Latin Music and Imperial Jazz published by Verso in 2008, and Wars of Position: The Cultural Politics of Left and Right published by Columbia University Press in 2006, among others. In this episode we talk to him about his recent book Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in March 2021.
Drawing on extensive archival sources and hundreds of interviews, Timothy Brennan's Places of Mind is the first comprehensive biography of Said, one of the most controversial and celebrated intellectuals of the 20th century. In Brennan's masterful work, Said, the pioneer of post-colonial studies, a tireless champion for his native Palestine, and an erudite literary critic, emerges as a self-doubting, tender, and eloquent advocate of literature's dramatic effects on politics and civic life.
Drawing on the testimonies of family, friends, students, and antagonists alike, and aided by FBI files, unpublished writing, and Said's drafts of novels and personal letters, Places of the Mind captures Said's intellectual breadth and influence in an unprecedented, intimate, and compelling portrait of one of the great minds of the twentieth century.
Bryant Scott is a professor in the Liberal Arts Department at Texas A&M University at Qatar.