When Next We Meet: On the Figure of the Nonposthumous Survivor
Framed as posthumous, or that which lives on past its death, the survivor is tagged by official postwar discourses and practices an impediment to the reconstruction of society along normative guidelines. But the persistent conditions of protracted civil war in Lebanon call for a re-conceptualization of the figure of the survivor along another temporal axis. No longer posthumous, the survivor is not an over-liver who aimlessly questions the significance of his brute survival but rather a witness who knows too much, carrying the weight of an unwelcome knowledge gathered from within war and crisis that challenges the official closure of the present to the unfinished past. What is this figure of a non-posthumous survivor and what is the knowledge that it carries? How are we to re-conceptualize the writing of history through this figure and what are the images it continues to safeguard?
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