Daniel Barenboim and Edward W. Said: Parallels and Paradoxes
Edward W. Said
without a defined topic can be a turn-off for some readers, especially in
nonfiction work. However, Parallels and Paradoxes presents the exact
opposite. The book opens so many threads of discussions that it would
be hard to say what its main idea is; it stimulates lots of ideas on various
topics in the reader’s mind after finishing the book.
and Paradoxes starts
with a simple question asked by critic and writer Ara Guzelimian: where are you
at home? Argentinean-Israeli musician Daniel Barenboim writes that, though it’s
a cliché, he feels that ’home is where the music is.’ He also says that for
him, Jerusalem and everything it stands for historically and culturally is home
other hand, Palestinian-American literary theorist Edward W. Said writes that
the whole sentimentalism of ‘home’ is overrated. Thus, he feels at home wherever
he can wander about, such as New York City or Cairo.
starts a dialogue of ideas and opinions between two great intellectual authors
who also happen to be friends. The dialogue tackles issues such as music,
politics, religion, literature and society. The authors discuss all those
topics in an interesting, sophisticated manner that allows each of them to
present his point of view.
of writing absorbs the reader as well and the smooth flow of dialogue makes it
difficult to put the book down. In fact, it feels less like reading a dialogue
and more like watching an interesting debate unfold between two literary
chapter asks a question that initiates an interchange of ideas, which may get
carried into subtopics and perspectives, mostly revolving around music and its
effect on culture. It’s refreshing to read two diverse opinions, taking in mind
that one of them is Palestinian and the other Israeli, discuss several topics so
openly, while pointing out the irony of a world who shares the same Big Mac
meal yet have so much conflict, or so they write in their own words.
and Paradoxes is a
thought-provoking read that would urge one to question if contradictory is
really just a human nature.