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    Mothering in a foreign language: Silent and/or multilingual mothers in Dalia Staponkutė's The Silence of the Mothers

    Kackute, Egle (2015) Mothering in a foreign language: Silent and/or multilingual mothers in Dalia Staponkutė's The Silence of the Mothers. Women's Studies International Forum, 52. pp. 82-91. ISSN 0277-5395

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    This article analyses the figure of the silent mother portrayed in Dalia Staponkutė's essay The Silence of the Mothers partly based on many Lithuanian women who, after the fall of the Berlin wall, emigrated to Western countries through marriage and are often negatively stereotyped as passive, silent, sexualized and nintelligent. I argue for a more complex interpretation. The silent mother's inability to embrace the language of the host country originates in her trauma associated with the complicated history and gender culture of her native, recently decolonized post-Soviet Lithuania. Conversely, the multilingual mother, as also portrayed in Staponkutė's essay, embodies the potential to overcome the trauma and alleviate the pain of motherly silence. The mechanism of shuttle translation evoked in the essay enables her to overcome her personal and cultural trauma as well as create and sustain an embodied linguistic bond with her children.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: motherhood; migration; language of mothering; mother tongue; Lithuanian literature; silent mother; migrant mother;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > French
    Item ID: 7823
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Egle Kackute
    Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 12:26
    Journal or Publication Title: Women's Studies International Forum
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: No
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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