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Co-Memory and MelancholiaIsraelis Memorialising the Palestinian Nakba$
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Ronit Lentin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719081705

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719081705.001.0001

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Memory and melancholia

Memory and melancholia

(p.45) 3 Memory and melancholia
Co-Memory and Melancholia

Ronit Aaron

Manchester University Press

This chapter describes the psychic reproduction of Nakba comemory by Israeli Jews. It discusses Sigmund Freud's ‘Mourning and melancholia’. It reports Haim Bresheeth's rereading of Freud. It then develops Bresheeth's line of inquiry about Palestinian film-making about the Nakba. The preoccupation of some Israelis with Palestine and the Nakba may provide a creative way of assuaging the melancholia engendered by the destruction of Palestine. Haim Guri's work depicts the illusory paradox of the simultaneous Israeli Jewish melancholic yearning for the loss of Palestine and the delusion that conquest means co-existence. It is suggested that the shadow of the Palestinians' pre-1948 existence and of their dispossession impinges in ways which cannot always be accounted for rationally, resulting in grief which is not necessarily given to a successful resolution of mourning work, resulting rather in ongoing melancholia which pushes some of ‘us’ into the arms of a like-minded political (or comemorative) community.

Keywords:   Nakba comemory, Israeli Jews, Sigmund Freud, Haim Guri, Haim Bresheeth, Palestinian film-making, melancholia, Palestine, mourning

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