Samlaren : tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning. 2017, 138, 5-22
This article offers an analysis of Aasne Linnestå’s long poem Morsmål (Mother Tongue) published in 2012. It is a postfeminist poem about an encounter between a Norwegian woman and a refugee woman arriving from outside Europe. Linnestå’s poetic method in capturing this encounter, I argue, may be understood at the intersection of three verbal strategies: that of trauma, that of postmonolingualism, and that of an écriture féminine, all of which entail a kind of broken language and narrative. A central term in Morsmål is precisely the Norwegian word “gebrokken”, from the German “gebrochen”, meaning broken, and used to describe verbal expressions marked by incorrect grammar and accented speech, especially language as it is spoken by people for whom it is not their mother tongue. In order to further explore this interest in non-fluent linguistic expressions, I draw on E. Ann Kaplan’s theory on how trauma may be represented, on Yasemin Yildiz’ discussion of a postmonolingual paradigm, and above all on Julia Kristeva’s understanding of a poetic, rhythmic language linked to bodily experience.