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      Rethinking Palestinian Exile: Inherent loss and the object of desire in Mourid Barghouti's I / Saw Ramallah

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            Abstract

            This article examines the alternative vision of Palestinian exile that Mourid Barghouti elaborates in I Saw Ramallah, his poignant account of return to Ramallah in 1996 after thirty years in exile. Barghouti's vision cannot be framed within either traditional (essentialist) concepts of diasporic Palestinian exile or postmodern (hybrid) diasporic aesthetics. In this paper, therefore, I argue that Barghouti's narrative provides an alternative vision of Palestinian exile that grounds the Palestinian experience within notions of ungroundedness of being, what Hugo of St. Victor calls elsewhere “perfect” belonging that empties the logic of identification out of its identitarian substance and reveals the loss at the core of every identity. Barghouti's narrative shows the need for examining the life of Palestinian exiles, refugees and non-refugees from the perspective of those who are reduced to the status of the surplus, of those who do not count, in the global system.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.2307/j50020020
            bethunivj
            Bethlehem University Journal
            Pluto Journals
            2521-3695
            2410-5449
            1 January 2019
            : 36
            : ( doiID: 10.13169/bethunivj.36.issue-2019 )
            : 101-114
            Article
            bethunivj.36.2019.0101
            10.13169/bethunivj.36.2019.0101
            6a38966e-611a-4b63-b04c-a1c75f8c8a87
            © 2019 Pluto Journals

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            History
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            Education,Religious studies & Theology,Social & Behavioral Sciences,History,Economics,Life sciences

            References

            1. Ashcroft, Bill, and Pal Ahluwalia. Edward Said: The Paradox of Identity. Routledge, 1999.

            2. Barghouti, Mourid. I Saw Ramallah. Translated by Ahdaf Soueif, Bloomsbury, 2005.

            3. Bernard, Anna. “‘Who would dare to make it into an abstraction’: Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah.” Textual Practice, vol.21, no.4, 2007, pp. 665-686. Web. Accessed 2 June 2017.

            4. Khader, Jamil. Cartographies of Transnationalism in Poscolonial Feminism: Geography, Culture, Identity, Politics. Lexington Books, 2013.

            5. Khader, Jamil. “Liberal Politics and the Challenge of White Supremacy: Anti-anti-Eurocentrism and the Question of Identity Politics.” The Philosophical Salon: The Los Angeles Review of Books, Dec 5, 2017, https://thephilosophicalsalon.com/liberal-politics-and-the-challenge-of-white-supremacy-anti-anti-eurocentrism-and-the-question-of-identity-politics/. Accessed 4 Sep. 2019.

            6. Khader, Jamil. “The Living Dead in Palestine and the Failure of Humanitarian Intervention.” Truthout, Nov 8, 2015, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33549-the-living-dead-in-palestine-and-the-failure-of-international-humanitarian-intervention. Accessed 4 Sep. 2019.

            7. Khader, Jamil. ““Rehumanizing Palestinians? Radicalize the Struggle.” The Philosophical Salon: The Los Angeles Review of Books, July 9, 2018, https://thephilosophicalsalon.com/rehumanizing-palestinians-radicalize-the-struggle/. Accessed 4 Sep. 2019.

            8. Lacan, Jacques. Book VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis I959-I960, edited by. J.-A. Miller. Translated by D. Porter, Routledge, 1992.

            9. Said, Edward. Foreward. I Saw Ramallah, by Mourid Barghouti. Translated by Ahdaf Soueif, Bloomsbury, 2005.

            10. Said, Edward. Foreward. “The Intellectual Exile: Expatriates and Marginals.” Grand Street, no. 47, 1993, pp. 112-124. JSTOR. Accessed 30 June 2019.

            11. Said, Edward. Foreward. Reflections on Exile and Other Essays. Harvard University, 2000.

            12. Schulz, Helena Lindholm. The Palestinian Diaspora: Formation of Identities and Politics of Homeland. Routledge, 2003.

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