Sanctities, Blasphemies and the (Jewish) Nation: Commemorative Inscriptions at a National Memorial Site in Israel

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discourse, commemoration, collective identity, Jewish identity, writing

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In this article I rematerialize discourse that is articulated in the shape of commemorative visitor book entries, in a national-military commemoration site in Jerusalem, Israel. The materiality and communicative affordances of the commemorative visitor book, the physical environment in which it is situated and which grants it meaning, and the modes of interaction and inscription that it affords are examined. Located in a densely symbolic national commemoration site, the impressively looking book does not merely capture visitors’ reflections. Instead, it serves as a device that allows participation in acollective-national rite. While seemingly designated as a visitor book, the discursive device functions performatively as a portal or interface between visitors, on the one side, and the (Jewish) nation and thedead and living soldiers, on the other side.

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Postscripts, v. 4, issue 2, p. 199–218.