Exile and Life on Border Lines

  • Kamal Abdel-Malek


The literary depiction of the deep scars war and exile have inflicted on Palestinians can be understood in terms of the concept of the in-between (liminal) position of the rites of passage, as developed by Turner, Firmat, and others. The following chapters will show that major works by Palestinian writers as different as Mahmud Darwish, Emile Habibi, Ghassan Kanafani, and Fawaz Turki include characters, techniques, and literary tropes that can be characterized as threshold entities that, in turn, represent the central Palestinian experience of living a marginal existence on literal and figurative borders. This precarious living on border lines can also be seen in the fiction of other Palestinian writers, such as Jabra’s novel The Ship—wavering as it is far from land with characters on board teetering on the brink of madness and death.1 Such experience of living on border lines has shaped both the views of Palestinians on Israeli Jews and the kind of literary and artistic products they employ to reflect these views.


Refugee Camp Border Line Palestinian Refugee Arabic Literature Israeli State 
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© Kamal Abdel-Malek 2005

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  • Kamal Abdel-Malek

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