From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Noura Erakat , a second year Boalt Hall Law student at UC Berkeley, was one of the speakers at last Friday’s panel discussion at the Palestine Solidarity Movement’s national conference. Since this was the Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture, she said a few words about the late professor. She stated that according to an email written by Said’s daughter that’s been circulating, Said’s last words were “Fight, and fight hard for Palestine.” Frankly, that seems a bit overly romantic and maudlin, and I suspect these last words are apocryphal. I’ve read quite a few of Said’s obituaries and the like, and none of them have mentioned this statement, much less anything about his last words. Hmmm.

As I mentioned below in reference to the fraudulent Desmond Tutu “quote” on the conference’s webpage, it’s always important to double-check things when the PSM throws out flashy quotes like this. The only thing I’ve been able to find that’s even remotely similar or relevant to these “last words” is this message from Najla Said, in which she writes: “He encouraged me, from his bed, to ‘continue the struggle, continue...get over your petty personal differences with your colleagues and write and perform and continue, continue unceasingly. Its (sic) in your hands.’"

If anybody can offer corroboration that Najla Said wrote an email in which she stated that her father’s last words were “Fight, and fight hard for Palestine,” please let me know. Now, I'm no law student, but I know that showing Najla Said didn't write something or that Edward Said didn't say the same thing, in the absense (so far?) of any evidence that they both in fact did, presents a bit of a rhetorical conundrum along the lines of "proving a negative." But if those were indeed his last words, you’d think they’d at least show up on a Google search, as do so many of his other statements, right? Right.

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