Politics of Exile, Act of Memory, and Recuperation of the Subject

  • Prasad Pannian


The present chapter attempts to articulate the paradigm of exilic subjectivity as expressed in Edward Said’s various works and the politics that emerges out of its construction. As Said’s personal experience of exile is an integral element in the understanding and conceptualization of the collective exile of Palestinians, the chapter attempts to draw out his own sense of homelessness as a necessary prerequisite in perceiving his formulation of a new form of exilic subjectivity. Toward this purpose, his major works Last Sky, Place and Reflections are examined in this chapter. After briefly Reflections on the contemporary experience of being in exile, or out of place, have always been inextricably linked to the idea of modernity. Thinkers such as Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus have extensively articulated the ontological and epistemological dimensions of being in exile. For Said as well, being in exile was both a literal and metaphoric condition in all its existential and epistemological sense. From the oeuvre of his academic work, it is clear that the persistence of the themes of rootlessness and reminiscence are represented not merely as an embodied state of affairs, but as an ethical and political condition. It is also clear that Said’s sense of home or homelessness, and the inventories of cultural locations where selves/identities/subjectivities are pronounced and articulated are ingrained in the actuality of Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora.


Critical Consciousness Peace Process Critical Practice Home Space Epistemological Dimension 
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© Prasad Pannian 2016

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  • Prasad Pannian

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