Chapter

Darwish's ‘Indian Speech’ as Dramatic Performance: Sacred Space and Transformation

J. Kristen Urban

in Literature and Nation in the Middle East

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780748620739
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653102 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620739.003.0005
Darwish's ‘Indian Speech’ as Dramatic Performance: Sacred Space and Transformation

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The paradox underlying national movements based on ethnic-religious-cultural claims is that there is a need both for clear boundaries and for coexistence. At the level of geographic identity, concern for physical boundaries makes political sense: physically separating populations can enhance the reality of self-determination. However, at the level of psychic and cultural identity, the drawing of clear boundaries – boundaries that distinguish us from them, and which promote group solidarity, giving it political momentum – also makes coexistence of such clearly delimited groups more difficult. Self and other become brittle constructs. This chapter focuses on Mahmoud Darwish, a national poet of Palestine whose poetry galvanises Palestinians around the Palestinian enterprise and provides a means by which the boundaries can be abridged, hence making coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis imaginable. Beyond bridging the gap between Palestinians and Israelis, his poetry also reaches beyond the frontiers of Palestinian nationalism, speaking not only to a broad literary audience, but to an audience of peace educators whose focus (in effecting peace) is on the possibilities resident within blurred boundaries.

Keywords: national movements; boundaries; coexistence; Mahmoud Darwish; poet of Palestine; poetry; Palestinians; Israelis

Chapter.  9447 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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