No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine

By Lotte Buch Segal | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Domestic Uncanniness

Heimlich becomes increasingly ambivalent, until it finally
merges with its antonym unheimlich. The uncanny is in
some respects a species of the familiar.

—Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny

This chapter explores how the affective world of the ordinary unfolds for detainees’ wives once the imprisonment of their husbands becomes part of the tapestry of everyday life. I focus on how feelings are configured in the realm of the domestic in relation to normative Palestinian responses to bereavement and incarceration, and how those who are subject to these norms experience them. The quotation above from Sigmund Freud’s work on the uncanny gestures toward the chapter’s concern with what Kelly and Thiranagama think of as “the tension among intimate personal relationships, the demands of the states, and the hard moral choices that these produce” (2010: 1). My subject here is how these tensions unfold in the heart of Palestinian homes.


Nadia’s Salon

A significant space in a Palestinian household is as-salon (living room). Emotional labor and financial resources go into decorating this room, since it serves to represent the family, its relative prosperity, and not the least its ability to receive and host guests. As elsewhere in the Middle East (Bille 2010;

-48-

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No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note on Transliteration x
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Grammar of Suffering in Occupied Palestine 26
  • Chapter 2 - Domestic Uncanniness 48
  • Chapter 3 - Enduring Presents 81
  • Chapter 4 - On Hardship and Closeness 99
  • Chapter 5 - Solitude in Marriage 124
  • Chapter 6 - Enduring the Ordinary 143
  • Conclusion 167
  • Notes 177
  • References 183
  • Index 197
  • Acknowledgments 207
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