The Narrative of the Occident
April 1, 2012
Georg Schmid’s The Narrative of the Occident was published by Peter Lang in 2009. The book consists of nine chapters; in the first four chapters the author discusses theories and methods with which a civilization, essentially the Occident, narrates and represents itself. The following chapters deal with the ways through which social perceptions are made and remade with the aid of rival or friendly paradigms. There are two insertions among the chapters: “Excursus A” (pp. 235–264) discusses the visual mechanisms and films which aided and extended the narrative of the Western civilization. “Excursus B” (pp. 353–378), entitled “Aviation Annotations,” deals with the aviation industry in the Western world as success stories. The details of several (Airbus and Boeing) aircraft models and their characteristics according to pilots, and the rivalry between the two companies are not spared! The load of unnecessary details and irrelevant issues for this insertion and in fact for the rest of the whole book makes the reading extremely painful.