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Die ambivalente Bedeutung des Mutterbildes in ‚Das Bad‘ von Yoko Tawada

Hang-Kyun Jeong


Pages 325 - 341



This article deals with the ambivalent meaning of the image of the mother in ‚Das Bad‘ by Yoko Tawada. I will interpret the image of the mother from both a sociological and a psychoanalytic perspective. On the one hand, Tawada criticizes the idealization of the selfless, self-sacrificing mother from a sociological perspective and unmasks the corresponding myth of everyday life. On the other hand, the symbiotic mother-child relationship is described as positive from a psychoanalytic perspective. The prenatal symbiosis between mother and child represents the permeable border and a hybrid, diverse identity. The maternal body, which is hidden in the ego as something heterogeneous and strange, appears in this novel as a uncanny, ghostly woman. As the narrator’s alter ego, she can destroy the symbolic order and fixed identity. So the maternal body is not only abhorrent but also subversive. Finally, I will investigate the question of how the maternal body relates to the writing of Yoko Tawada and to the poetological meaning of the neologism ‘Sprachmutter’.

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