"This book pushes at the limits of postcolonialism and deconstructs some of its certainties--to wit, the smugness that smoothes out complexity in order to make it easier to separate victim from oppressor. Rose shows not only that those in the West are the creators of their own version of the Orient, but that the Orient is embedded, however uncomfortably, in the West, and that there are trading pathways that crisscross between Europe and the Middle East, which must at all cost be remembered and maintained. It is exhilarating to read something so bold, that is reaching so urgently for something beyond itself, so strongly anchored, and yet in search of truths somewhere most people refuse to look."--Ingrid Wassenaar, author of Proustian Passions "Ingrid Wassenaar, author of "Proustian Passions" "
Known for her far-reaching examinations of psychoanalysis, literature, and politics, Jacqueline Rose has in recent years turned her attention to the Israel-Palestine conflict, one of the most enduring and apparently intractable conflicts of our time. In Proust among the Nations, she takes the development of her thought on this crisis a stage further, revealing it as a distinctly Western problem.
In a radical rereading of the Dreyfus affair through the lens of Marcel Proust in dialogue with Freud, Rose offers a fresh and nuanced account of the rise of Jewish nationalism and the subsequent creation of Israel. Following Proust’s heirs, Beckett and Genet, and a host of Middle Eastern writers, artists, and filmmakers, Rose traces the shifting dynamic of memory and identity across the crucial and ongoing cultural links between Europe and Palestine. A powerful and elegant analysis of the responsibility of writing, Proust among the Nations makes the case for literature as a unique resource for understanding political struggle and gives us new ways to think creatively about the violence in the Middle East.