<italic>Die Boten des Unglücks</italic>: Verortung der Sprache der Flüchtlinge im Werk von Jakob Wassermann, Franz Kafka, Emine Özdamar und Herta Müller
Cnobloch, Elisabeth Dorothea
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"Messengers of Ill Tidings: Situating the Speech of Refugees in the work of Jakob Wassermann, Franz Kafka, Emine Özdamar and Herta Müller"; draws on a line from a poem by Bertolt Brecht, <italic>Landscapes of Exile</italic>, in which he describes the plight of the refugee. Likewise, Hannah Arendt reminds us that "a messenger's message ... does not concern the messenger himself ... but the great misfortune of the whole world"; To consider what kind of misfortune inhabits their messages, I examine Wassermann's novel <italic>Caspar Hauser</italic>, Kafka's fragment <italic>Der Verschollene</italic>, Özdamar's one-person-play "Karriere einer Putzfrau," and Müller's collection of essays <italic>Der König verneigt sich und tötet</italic>. The theoretical departure points are Giorgio Agamben's <italic>Homo Sacer</italic>, Arendt's thoughts on the refugee in <italic>Origins of Totalitarianism</italic>, and Foucault's bio-politics as expressed in <italic>History of Sexuality</italic>. Of particular interest is how the language of refugees delimits a no man's land for those who are only included in the juridical sphere by being excluded from it. As <italic>homo sacer</italic>, they have merely the abstracted nakedness of being nothing more than human beings. They are, as Agamben argues, the representatives of an original political sphere situated between the domestic and public, between man and animal; they are neither part of the criminal order nor recognized as subjects of the juridical order. What afflicts such ill tidings is thus two-fold: 1) the anticipated injury or what we today call crimes against humanity committed against those who have been reduced to bare life and have no court in which to be heard; and 2) the disturbing possibility that such exceptional subjects are not exceptional but rather representative. Discovering in Agamben a categorical rejection of women in his formulation of <italic>homo sacer</italic>, I come to argue that central to the bio-political regime's instruments of power is a feminization of politics. In other words, all life is subjected to patriarchal norms of control to silence the voice of the other. The subaltern are women who have no patronymic claims, but as the refugee per se, their ill tidings inhabit language from the beginning. Language belongs to the refugee, to her who is nowhere; that is to say, it belongs to no one.
- German