Meine Sprache und ich (1968), characterized by its author, Ilse Aichinger, as “narration,” can be read as a reflection on language and existence in an extreme borderline situation. Aichinger undoubtedly refers to the persecution and extermination of the Other in the Holocaust, but instead of discussing this as a historically unique occurrence, she treats its impact on the language and existence of the individual. While the ”I” still attempts to communicate by means of a speech that the text records, its unique personal language begins to detach itself as an Other, refusing all further communication. The epochal achievement of Aichinger's analysis, formulated when the Linguistic Turn was at its peak, is confirmed by a comparison with Jacques Derrida's much later ideas in Monolingualism of the Other (1996).
arcadia publishes articles in German, English, and French, which take a broader historical, theoretical, or cultural approach to literature. Especially welcome are papers that focus on the intercultural and interdisciplinary relations of literature.