Matrixial Creativity and the Wit(h)nessing of Trauma: Reconnecting Mothers and Daughters in Marosia Castaldi’s Dentro le mie mani le tue. Tetralogia di Nightwater

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Abstract

This chapter offers a sustained reading of Marosia Castaldi’s four-part 721-page narrative Dentro le mie mani le tue. Tetralogia di Nightwater (2007) through Ettinger’s matrixial theory. Ettinger’s theory of subjectivity as the result of a series of encounters, rather than violent separations and splittings, between two or more partial subjects who affect one another and produce change, is particularly productive to account for Castaldi’s representations of mothers and daughters who seek to re-establish a process of transsubjective becoming, seen as originating in a prenatal symbolic space, that has been halted by external forces leading to trauma. Since Ettinger’s theory of subjectivity-as-encounters is supported by psychoanalytic and artistic practices aimed at repairing trauma through ‘wit(h)nessing’, a shared witnessing that is done with and beside the other, it is relevant to Castaldi’s ethico-aesthetic engagement with a maternal that is bound up with European events and traumas (the Holocaust, World War II, migrations, racism). The chapter elaborates Ettinger’s theories in an original way and employs them to makes visible: links and conjunctions between the disparate elements of a seemingly fragmented, elusive, and obsessively repetitive narrative; the novelty of Castaldi’s work and its contribution to the advancement of our understanding of the mother/maternal no longer as the Other subordinate to the Paternal but as a space of symbolic, ethical, and aesthetic production, and of mother-daughter relations no longer as conflict and loss of self but as a foundational space of empowering and life-giving transsubjectivity; the far-reaching impact of historical and social traumas on formative traumas and family bonds; and the power of art to repair trauma.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMotherhood in Literature and Culture
Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspetives from Europe
EditorsGill Rye, Victoria Browne, Adalgisa Giorgio, Emily Jeremiah, Abigail Lee Six
Place of PublicationNew York and London
PublisherRoutledge
Pages137-150
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315626581
ISBN (Print)9781138648173
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature
PublisherRoutledge

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Keywords

  • Marosia Castaldi
  • Bracha L. Ettinger
  • Demtro le mie mani le tue. Tetralogia di Nightwater
  • Matrixial
  • Mother-daughter bond
  • Mother

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Giorgio, A. (2017). Matrixial Creativity and the Wit(h)nessing of Trauma: Reconnecting Mothers and Daughters in Marosia Castaldi’s Dentro le mie mani le tue. Tetralogia di Nightwater. In G. Rye, V. Browne, A. Giorgio, E. Jeremiah, & A. Lee Six (Eds.), Motherhood in Literature and Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspetives from Europe (pp. 137-150). [Chapter 10] (Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature). New York and London: Routledge.