<i>The Perv</i> and <i>Somewhere, Home</i>

Syrine Hout

in Post-War Anglophone Lebanese Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780748643424
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676569 | DOI:
The Perv and Somewhere, Home

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This chapter employs Rosemary George's definition of ‘home-country’ to illustrate how Rabih Alameddine's The Perv: Stories (1999) and Nada Awar Jarrar's Somewhere, Home (2003) – partly set in different continents (North America, Europe, and Australia) – approach the questions of exile, home, and identity from opposite angles, offering distinct versions of home as place/space. The memories of home and war which shape the expatriates' attitudes to Lebanon are disparate in tone and purpose. Using Svetlana Boym's differentiation between two kinds of nostalgia and Leo Spitzer's between two types of memory, this chapter compares the relationships between home and exile in these mini-narratives to show how recollections, respectively, range from ‘sickness of home’ resulting from ‘ironic nostalgia’ and a ‘critical memory’ of the immediate past of the civil war to ‘homesickness’ derived from ‘tender nostalgia’ and ‘nostalgic memory’ of a timeless Lebanon. Furthermore, Roberta Rubenstein's distinction between nostalgia (temporal distance) and homesickness (spatial distance) as well as other terms, e.g. ‘the presence of absence,’ are applied for a more nuanced reading of Jarrar's characters.

Keywords: Rabih Alameddine; Nada Awar Jarrar; The Perv; Somewhere, Home; nostalgia; memory; sickness of home; homesickness; exile

Chapter.  8046 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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