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Passing Away: Despair, Eulogies, and Millennial Palestine

From: Biography
Volume 36, Number 1, Winter 2013
pp. 27-50 | 10.1353/bio.2013.0005



This essay proposes that the passing away of the once-hegemonic idea of an independent secular democratic Palestine within the 1967 borders alongside Israel (also known as the two-state solution) coincides with the deaths of Edward Said, Yasir Arafat, and Mahmoud Darwish in the first decade of the new millennium. As a result, a sense of despair pervades Palestinian politics, even as Palestinians continue to resist the violence of the Israeli occupation. The first part of the essay focuses on despair and hope as the affective structure that has conditioned Palestinian responses to Israeli expansionism. The second part examines how this affective structure is evident in eulogies written for Said, Arafat, and Darwish.