• “Not to Get Lost in the Loss”: Narrating the Story in Mourid Barghouti’s I Was Born There, I Was Born Here and in Deborah Rohan’s The Olive Grove – A Palestinian Story."

    Author(s):
    Hania A.M. Nashef (see profile)
    Date:
    2013
    Group(s):
    CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century, CLCS Global Arab and Arab American, GS Prose Fiction, LLC Arabic, TC Memory Studies
    Subject(s):
    Arabic language, Comparative literature, History and literature, Literature, Middle Eastern literature
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    memory, memory studies, trauma, Palestine, Mourid Barghouti
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6S021
    Abstract:
    In his introduction to Mourid Barghouti novel, I saw Ramallah, Edward Said refers to the Palestinians as a displaced and a misplaced people. Regardless of the nationalities they carry or countries they live in, they carry with them the trauma of events that led to the loss of their homeland, and the grief of this loss and endless displacement. In a conversation between a father and a son in Mahmoud Darwish’s Journal of Ordinary Grief, the son enquires of the father as to why he is picking up pebbles, to which the father answers that these are petrified pieces of his heart; it is a loss he is searching for as he refuses to get lost in his loss, which is the loss of his homeland. The sense of displacement and loss pervade modern Palestinian literature. In his novel, I was born there, I was born here, Barghouti describes the pain as a historical one that refuses to go away. One way of dealing with this pain is to be able to tell one’s story. But as Barghouti rightly remarks, Palestinians are forbidden to tell their stories, as their story is often narrated by their enemies, as the conflict over the land becomes the struggle to tell the story. The absence of the story leads to the absence of the people, especially when the name Palestine is no longer on the world map, and its only mention is in the news as number of casualties or dead. Palestinians embody this absence and presence. In this paper, I would like to look at Barghouti’s I was Born There, I was Born Here, and Deborah Rohan’s The Olive Grove: A Palestinian Story as the protagonists revisit what is left of the historic Palestine, to make sense of this absence by trying to pass on their stories and address the trauma that has marked their lives.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter
    Pub. DOI:
    10.13140/RG.2.1.1456.5529
    Author/Editor:
    Zbigniew Białas, Paweł Jędrzejko and Julia Szołtysek
    Book Title:
    Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief
    Chapter:
    3
    Start Page:
    52
    End Page:
    72
    Status:
    Published
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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