Eine Poetik Der Mutterschaft: Maternitätsbilder Bei Else Lasker-Schüler Und Marie Luise Kaschnitz
Allen, Sonja Martina
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Motherhood is a contemporary topic that affects the majority of women in Germany, and yet the experiences and struggles of working mothers often remain taboo or are in conflict with social conventions and established traditions. If one adds to this mothers’ wishes or needs to pursue a career, challenges occur: conflicting priorities, the family structure, social perceptions and pressures, and reconciling and balancing the multi-faceted demands on a woman’s life. „Eine Poetik der Mutterschaft“ breaks the silence around these concern and explores the poeticity of motherhood in German literature and the artwork of two female authors, who pursued their personal and career goals and did not conform to the ideal image of motherhood in Germany: Else Lasker-Schüler (1869-1945) and Marie Luise Kaschnitz (1901-1974). Both women were working mothers, who had different motherhood experiences and challenges. The dissertation begins with a close look at these authors’ biographies, their personal experiences of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Next comes an analysis of the literary and artistic works with examples of how motherhood informs their works and creative process, how images of maternity are utilized to communicate a message, and some metaphorical meanings of motherhood in the selected works. I argue that the creative process is a parallel to motherhood itself, and I show how this is connected to the metapoeticity of the works. This dissertation highlights the ways in which Lasker-Schüler and Kaschnitz, like other historical working mother-artists such as Käthe Kollwitz, become role models and inspire women in contemporary times, enabling women to draw strength from each other and to continue to stretch the boundaries of traditional and ideal perceptions of mothers and motherhood.