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Ruins, rifts and the remainder: Palestinian memoirs by Edward Said and Raja Shehadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2013
JournalPostcolonial Studies
Journal number1
Volume16
Number of pages18
Pages28-45
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article examines memoirs by two high-profile Palestinian authors. The aim is to highlight the exemplarity, in the context of postcolonial studies, of memory work relating to the ongoing colonial context of Palestine. Part I of the article explores the implications of the Palestinian crucible for Edward Said's (partial) life story in Out of Place (1999), highlighting ways in which its treatment underlines the deterritorialised ontology and contrapuntal ethos that constitute keynotes of his seminal contribution to postcolonial studies. Part II discusses the movement in Shehadeh's West Bank writings toward a conception of rémemoration - a term used by Paul Ricoeur to evoke an active exercise of memory oriented towards justice - as a future-oriented, ideally collaborative project. I suggest in Part III that Said and Shehadeh provide models of ways in which ‘what remains’ can be conceptualised as a remainder that disrupts, at least at a textual level, the seemingly intractable Israel/Palestine situation.