The boat journey is central to the narrative of Mediterranean migration of the undocumented. The boat itself is flimsy, fragile, unstable, and easily breakable. It is trifling and insubstantial. But it has captured the attention of the world – after all, the boat and its aftermath have produced recurring images of migrants washing up along southern Europe’s picturesque beaches in the visual archive of undocumented migration. But the boat has also sharply put into relief the divides of the Mediterranean. After all, the few miles of the Mediterranean separating Africa’s northern shore and Europe’s southern shore is a common observation in migrant narratives. At the same time, they also reflect on how the Mediterranean has been imagined as starkly divided into two incommensurable spaces and civilizational models – North and South (in actuality, by colonial powers in the modern period).
Much Mediterranean migrant literature indeed captures the Mediterranean’s fossilized binaries, North and South. But, The Two-Edged Sea also reveals that one inheres within the other. While the book explores two Mediterraneans, with asymmetrical power relations that reflect the sea’s northern and southern shores, it also delves into how they are and have been in dialogue with each other, effectively deconstructing the binary.
Table of Contents (v)
Chapter 1. Memory Work in the Mediterranean Crossing: Nostalgia in Morocco’s Migration Literature (45)
Chapter 2. The Immigrant Dream: ‘Dream? Nightmare, More Like’ (71)
Chapter 3. Imagining the Mediterranean and Its Migrants: The Ambivalence of the Uncanny (89)
Chapter 4. Mediterranean Frontier, Mediterranean Circuit: Undocumented Migration in Egyptian Literature’s Double Imaginary (113)
Chapter 5. Saharan-Mediterranean Transits: Impossible ‘Arrival’ (141)
Chapter 6. Death at the Border: Making and Unmaking the Migrating Body (169)