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Elżbieta Koziołkiewicz

Elżbieta Koziołkiewicz

Listening to Voices. Edward Said’s Contrapuntal Reading

In Culture and Imperialism Edward Said introduces contrapuntal reading as a method of analysis capable of overcoming the ethnocentrism of writers and literary audience. His approach, especially the interpretation of Austen’s Mansfield Park, was widely commented. Scholars praised the method, but also expressed doubts concerning Said’s selective use of the text and his conviction that the whole imperial culture was imperialist by definition. The article resumes discussion on possible modifications of contrapuntal reading and offers understanding consistent with Said’s general idea, but opposing to what the author sees as internal discrepancies and redundant limitations of his method.