Edward Said and Roland Barthes: Criticism versus Essayism. Or, Roads and Meetings Missed
Any summary, in one chapter, of any writer’s life, work and ideas is sure to be cursory in scope; and then to compare a writer with another, across languages and cultures, even if there is a chronological overlap, is bound to be an even taller order. It is crucial consequently that a rule of thumb must be introduced that allows for both ‘comparatees’ to move from the fi xed positions in which academic and literary studies have placed them, and which we might call ‘parametrics’. If the image and overall idea of a writer is to be put forward, then any comparison with another writer must, necessarily, shift (if only partially) the terrain on which that image has been built for any meaningful and ‘equal’ meeting to take place.