This article examines the Palestinians' psychological and cultural response to the loss of Palestine and their plan of recovering it. By examining Freud's psychoanalytic understanding of how people cope with loss, especially Freud's work on mourning and melancholia, the author explores the Zionist and Israeli demand that the Palestinians accept their loss, mourn Palestine privately, and move on to find another love object, coding the Palestinians' refusal to mourn as a form of “anti-Semitism.” The analysis offered makes use of Freud's insights and shows the explanatory limits of Freudian theory in examining Palestinian responses to loss. Another explanation examined is “nostalgia” and its manifestation in Zionist and Palestinian cultural forms. The article differentiates between a past-centered nostalgia and a nostalgia for futurity in analyzing these cultural products, concluding that unlike the Zionist movement, which harked back to an imagined fantastical past in establishing a colonial-settler state, the Palestinians deploy a future-oriented nostalgia for the recovery of their stolen lands and country.
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Joseph Massad; The Cultural Work of Recovering Palestine. boundary 2 1 November 2015; 42 (4): 187–219. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-3154182
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