Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

When the Sea Comes to Haifa: A Mythopoetic Reclamation of Palestine
by Hammad, Sousan, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2013, 64; 10305700
Abstract (Summary)

My thesis is a translation of contemporary Palestinian poetry by Najwan Darwish with a commentary, to serve as the translation’s preface, about the historical and imaginary reclamation of Palestinian space. I look into the ways in which space as memory, city and narrative—and how acts of performativity, looked at from the analysis of feelings as something material, are interconnected within the social and imaginary spaces of Palestine’s urban coastal city, Haifa. The thesis argues that the very longing to return to “historical Haifa”, actualized through commemorative and ritual practices, places Palestinians into a past (i.e. a specific space/time) that becomes static and thus unchangeable, since the collective’s primary focus is to rewrite a history that has been suppressed and fabricated by Palestine’s colonizers. The poetry serves the argument of how to make new spaces live, suggesting that Darwish’s poetry is to be construed not as a new “place” but rather as that which exists in its displacement and spatial ambiguity, a negotiation that emerges as a site of impossible cultural translation. Because for the translation of Haifa to exist, there must first be a reclamation of Haifa’s public space, where translators must allow themselves to recognize the imperative to transforming the nature of Haifa’s space and time. In translating the first collection of Darwish’s poems into English, I hope to contribute toward building the Palestinian narrative in the English language as a means of reclaiming Palestine in translation. Thus as a cultural archive, this translation will have the ability to give credence to a culture and history that has been tremendously suppressed. The commentary is split into sections of theory, narrative, and criticism and concludes with a consideration of praxis.

Keywords: Palestine, Cultural Translation, Imaginary, Haifa, Collective Memory

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee:
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Cultural Translation
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Modern literature, Middle Eastern literature, Middle Eastern Studies
Keywords: Collective memory, Cultural translation, Darwish, Najwan, Palestine, Translation
Publication Number: 10305700
ISBN: 9781369492644
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