Decalogue. Why I keep coming to Iceland. 6: Number one intellectual influence: Said
Together with Stephen Batchelor, my other very great inspiration (really the greatest one) came in the form of my readings (as part of my PhD research) of the scholar Edward Said, a true Renaissance man who strongly argued for secularism and amateurism, and, furthermore, although a university professor himself, claimed for the importance of the critic's standpoint, the personal implication of the intellectual with society and with the suffering of human beings, a position basically at odds with the detachment that is expected to exhibit a member of the academic circles. He gave me the last impulse I needed to finally abandon the quest for a scholarly career after my PhD and prefer, instead, a more participative role for my future.