The Persistence of Memory
Tarun K. Saint
THE PARTITION MOTIF IN CONTEMPORARY CONFLICTS by Smita Tewari Jassal and Eyal Ben-Ari Sage Publications, 2007, 381 pp., 480
March 2007, volume 31, No 3

The anthology edited by Smita Tewari Jassal and Eyal Ben-Ari brings together essays from varied disciplines including memory studies, social anthropology, sociology and literary criticism that come to terms with the partition motif in contemporary conflicts. While a majority of contributors deal with the South Asian experience of partition, there are essays about other ‘partition societies’ such as Palestine and Israel, as well as Germany prior to reunification, and Korea. The impact of partition processes on identity formation and memory in the wake of trauma and rupture on local communities as well as national societies is explored in these various contexts. This comparative perspective on the divisive effects and ramifications of partition follows earlier studies such as the recent volume edited by Ghislaine Glasson Deschaummes and Rada Ivecovic, Divided Countries, Separated Cities: The Modern Legacy of Partition (including the important work by Radha Kumar on the failure of partition as an exit strategy in South Asia, Bosnia and Kosovo), and Joe Cleary’s work on the literature produced in the wake of the partition of Ireland and Palestine.

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