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The ethnographic politics and poetics of photography, skin and race in the works of Yoko Tawada Redlich, Jeremy 2012

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THE ETHNOGRAPHIC POLITICS AND POETICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY, SKIN AND RACE IN THE WORKS OF YOKO TAWADA by  JEREMY REDLICH B.A., The University of Victoria, 2000 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2005  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Germanic Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  October 2012  © Jeremy Redlich, 2012  ABSTRACT This dissertation is a literary studies analysis of select German-language prose, poetry and essays by the contemporary Japanese author Yoko Tawada. In this study I utilize and expand upon Tawada‘s own concept of ‗fictive ethnology‘ as a highly critical and self-reflexive literary approach that can be located throughout her texts. I argue that this fictive ethnological or counter-ethnographic literary technique is what directs the political charge behind Tawada‘s poetics. My focus then is on how Tawada‘s texts as cultural critiques undermine binary distinctions of ‗otherness‘, destabilize the position and authority of the author/narrator representing the other, and reveal the ideology and power structures behind representing, constructing and classifying difference. Unlike the descriptive and textual model of ‗writing culture‘ that engraves and freezes culture into words, Tawada‘s fictive ethnological texts stress the fluid and performative dimension of culture and identity. Therefore, I also demonstrate how these texts are much more about inventing, rather than finding, the self, and about denaturalizing taken-for-granted assumptions about cultural, ethnic and racial differences that are anchored in essentialist, biological and binary logics, than they are an indictment of ethnography or ethnology as research disciplines. The core chapters of this study braid together representations of photography, skin and race and their variegated deployments in Tawada‘s texts, and then explicate their ideological underpinnings. Photography, skin and race, as textual and visual representations, metaphors and themes, are fundamental to how Tawada‘s protagonists are commodified and racialized as ethnographic objects; how they self-identify and are read by others according to restrictive cultural literacies; and how they are classified and made meaningful according to their bodies, especially when these bodies are seen as racially and ethnically marked. Yet, Tawada‘s texts do not simply represent bodies and identities as they already are, but rather the processes, rituals, ii  discourses and social practices that make them intelligible as raced, gendered, or ethnically marked beings. Each chapter therefore highlights, in connection to theories of gender and racial performativity, how Tawada‘s texts convey the quotidian, repetitive and ritualistic performance of gendered, racial and ethnic identities, but also how these identities are transgressively (mis)performed against the script.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT..........................................................................................................................................ii TABLE OF CONTENTS...................................................................................................................iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...…….....……………......................…….....…...........……………......vi CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Goal and Method…...……………....……………............................................................................. 1 1.2 Secondary Scholarship on Tawada.……...............….....................................……………………..20 1.3 Selection of Primary Sources............................................................................................................26 1.4 Chapter Overviews ..........................................................................................................................28 CHAPTER TWO: COUNTER-ETHNOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN YOKO TAWADA‘S DAS BAD 2.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 41 2.2 Focusing on the Materiality of the Text: Ein Gedicht für ein Buch .............................................. 43 2.3 The De-Contextualized Image: Photographic Images in Das Bad ................................................ 56 2.4 The Rhetoric of the Image and the Paradox of the Photograph ..................................................... 65 2.5 Objectification and Commodification of the Photographic Subject ............................................. 72 2.6 The Photograph, the Mirror and Processes of Identification in Das Bad ....................................... 77 2.7 Death and the Photographic Medium.............................................................................................. 88 2.8 Authenticity and the Tourism Photograph...................................................................................... 92 2.9 The Predatory Camera: Colonizing the Photographic Image......................................................... 97 2.10 The Myth of Representing Essence ............................................................................................ 108 2.11 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 119 CHAPTER THREE: A HAUTNAH INVESTIGATION OF SKIN IN THE WORKS OF YOKO TAWADA 3.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 122 3.2 Writing on the Body: ―Der Schriftkörper und der beschriftete Körper‖ ...................................... 123 3.3 Reading Foreignness on the Face: Physiognomy in Verwandlungen ........................................... 132 3.4 Masks, Masquerade and Performativity in Tawada‘s Texts...........................................................145 3.5 Learning to Read Differently: Encounters with Strangers in ―Das Fremde aus der Dose‖ ....... 149 3.6 Techniques of Defamiliarization: Making the Skin Visible ..........................................................155 3.7 Re-Mapping Skinscapes: Metaphors of Geographical and Bodily Boundaries in ―Eine Hautnahme‖ and ―Wo Europa anfängt‖.................................................................................................................... 160 3.8 Puncturing the Bodily Envelope: The Vulnerability of Skin as Material and Metaphor............... 180 3.9 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 197 CHAPTER FOUR: (UN)SETTLING BOUNDARIES: INTERROGATING SKIN COLOUR, RACE, AND ETHNICITY IN SELECT TEXTS BY YOKO TAWADA 4.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 200 4.2 Tongues in Yoko Tawada‘s African Texts ………………………………………………….…...211 4.3 Language as Boundary and Belonging: The Role of Afrikaans in ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖…........ 224 4.4 Space, Race and Segregation: Constructing Difference through Racial Policies of Apartheid in ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖……………………………………..………………………………………… 243 4.5 Making ‗Whiteness‘ Visible: The Power of (In)visibility in ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖.....................263 4.6 Reconceptualizing Race in ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen, aber Europa gibt es nicht‖ ..............................................................................................................................................................276 4.7 Conclusion.................................................................................................................................... 287  iv  CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION - TAWADA‘S TEXTS AS CULTURAL CRITICISM ............ 291 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................. 300  v  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I hereby offer my sincere and enduring gratitude to the faculty and staff in the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia. The financial, intellectual and emotional support that I received over the years has allowed me to finally accomplish my goal, and for this I will be forever grateful. Particular thanks go to my dissertation committee members Dr. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (my experience co-teaching with Geoff was one of the highlights of my academic career) and Dr. Illinca Iurascu (I really appreciated her comments and help with my defense), and especially to my supervisor Dr. Markus Hallensleben, who was patient, supportive and understanding throughout the whole writing process. Your questions and feedback, insight and enthusiasm, were extremely useful to me, and I thank you for all the time and commitment you invested in seeing my project through to completion. Over the course of my graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, many graduate students came and went, and I would just like to recognize (former) Department of CENES colleagues Guido Schenkel, Lydia Jones and Ingrid Petro for being wonderful colleagues and friends. Vancouver‘s loss is Berlin‘s gain. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria, which is where my interest in German literature, culture and history was born. Special thanks go to Dr. Peter Gölz, Dr. Matthew Pollard and Dr. Rodney Symington for your inspirational teaching and valuable guidance. Finally, special, deeply heart-felt thanks are owed to my wife, and my mother and father. Without your unwavering support, in every sense, I would not have been able to achieve this degree. You have always stood by me, in high and low times, and this has not gone unrecognized. I owe all three of you a lifetime of gratitude. vi  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 GOAL AND METHOD The following is a study of the self-reflexive, deconstructive and defamiliarizing literary techniques employed in select German language texts by the Japanese-born contemporary author Yoko Tawada, and how these techniques reveal the ideological investments and relations of power underpinning constructions of the self and representations of the ‗other‘ in Tawada‘s writing. In order to accomplish this I am focusing on Tawada‘s numerous and multifarious textual depictions and problematizations of photography, skin and race, how these three literary tropes are approached from a kind of ‗fictive ethnological‘ narratorial perspective, and how they intersect and affect one another in Tawada‘s texts. I also analyze how, through their codification as natural, self-evident and common sense reflections of reality, Tawada interrogates the role photography, skin and race serve in the constitution, perception, classification and crystallization of identities in a western context. The de-mythifying and de-essentializing post-structural cultural criticism in select writings by Roland Barthes is significant in Tawada‘s texts and so too will it be in my analyses, as already in the opening lines of Barthes‘s Empire of Signs do we witness core thematic and theoretical impulses informing and directing Yoko Tawada‘s literary technique. The lines read: If I want to imagine a fictive nation, I can give it an invented name, treat it declaratively as a novelistic object, create a new Garabagne, so as to compromise no real country by my fantasy (though it is then that fantasy itself I compromise by the signs of literature). I can also – though in no way claiming to represent or to analyze reality itself (these being the major gestures of Western discourse) – isolate somewhere in the world (faraway) a certain number of features (a term  1  employed in linguistics), and out of these features deliberately form a system. It is this system which I shall call: Japan. Hence Orient and Occident cannot be taken here as ―realities‖ to be compared and contrasted historically, philosophically, culturally, politically. I am not lovingly gazing toward an Oriental essence – to me the Orient is a matter of indifference, merely providing a reserve of features whose manipulation – whose invented interplay – allows me to ―entertain‖ the idea of an unheard-of symbolic system, one altogether detached from our own. 1 (Empire of Signs 3) Evidence of Roland Barthes‘s influence in Yoko Tawada‘s writing can be found throughout her oeuvre in explicit and implicit examples of form, content, themes and messages. From his work on the rhetoric of the image and reading the photographic paradox, to revealing and debunking the mythologies and ideologies underlying representational and signifying practices, to his deessentializing semiotic readings of ‗Japan‘ as a fictive nation and host of an empty, nonreferential ‗empire of signs‘, Tawada‘s texts frequently incorporate, reflect on, interrogate and critique Barthes‘s highly provocative, and sometimes problematic, cultural and semiotic theories. The following literary analyses will highlight some of the various Barthes sources and theory with which Tawada‘s texts are in dialogue, yet, as scholars like Sabine Fischer, Andrea Krauß, Christina Kraenzle and Claudia Breger have all indicated, 2 it is Barthes‘s Empire of Signs in  1  The fictional land Garabagne, to which Barthes refers in this quotation, and to which I will refer later in chapter four with respect to Tawada‘s writing on South Africa, is in reference to the title of the Belgian author Henri Michaux‘s Voyage en Grande Garabagne (1936). For Michaux, Garabagne was a fantasy space for an imaginary travel narrative, and while Barthes actually did travel to Japan, his narrative is likewise fictitious – it is self-reflexive writing and self-consciously inventive rather than an empirical study and interpretation of Japanese culture and Japanese essence. Barthes makes no claims to revealing cultural ‗truths‘ and differences of Japan, though he does fall into fairly simplistic, Eurocentric binaries when comparing European and Japanese bodies, and especially eyes and faces. In particular see Empire of Signs 101-02 for Barthes exposition on the eyelid. 2 The list of Tawada scholars connecting Barthes‘s Empire of Signs to Tawada‘s work is long, and the names provided above represent the most detailed investigations with respect to the notion of a ‗fictive ethnology‘ that will feature prominently later. For insight into the connection between Empire of Signs and Tawada, see Fischer‘s ―Durch die japanische Brille gesehen‖ 63-65; Andrea Krauß‘s ―Tawadische Sprachtheorie‖ 64-67; Christina Kraenzle‘s ―Limits of Travel‖ 246-48; and Claudia Breger‘s ―Mimikry als Grenzverwirrung‖ 63. Also, Ruth Kersting‘s Fremdes Schreiben 9-12 and 74-91, Hiltrud Arens‘s ―Das kurze Leuchten unter dem Tor‖ 66, Linda  2  particular that proves most consequential in influencing Tawada‘s literary approach and perspective as a ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘ and ‗ethnologische Poetologie‘,3 and the understanding of the ‗Orient‘ and ‗Occident‘ as discursive constructs (textually and visually produced), and not homogenously frozen cultural or ethnic monoliths. The two terms ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘ and ‗ethnologische Poetologie‘ will serve as methodological ballasts in several of the textual analyses to follow, informing my approach to Tawada‘s texts as critical ethno-graphies (in the sense of critiques on writing culture and knowledge production of ethnicity, not critiques of ethnicities themselves), or ―semiotic ethnocriticisms,‖ to quote Thomas Wägenbaur,4 and function as analytical links between the three core chapters. It is the distinctly ‗fictive‘ component to this analytically ethnological and experientially ethnographic writing that is key to Tawada‘s critical poetics and politics, where ―the observing narrator is as much a fiction as the constructed other‖ (Kraenzle, ―Limits of Travel‖ 248), and which also interconnects Tawada‘s literary approach to Barthes‘s invention of a ‗fictive nation‘. This pervasive fictitiousness is prevalent in her prose, poetic and essayistic texts, and not just in the sense that these are fictional narratives and not autoethnographies or biographical travelogues (although biographical details are often present), but rather the fictional also points to an omnipresent representational and authorial instability, a resistance to realism as a representational approach, and, perhaps most crucially, they narrate the performative qualities to  Baur‘s ―Writing Between Sensual Joy and Theoretical Interest in Language,‖ Ottmar Ette‘s ―Zeichenreiche: InselTexte und Text-Inseln‖ 213-29, Florian Gelzer‘s ―Wenn ich spreche‖ 76-77, Walter Grond‘s Stimmen 91-99, and Carola Hilmes ―Jeder Riß im Kopf‖ 324, represent the majority of works making this connection. 3 I will elaborate on both terms, but ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘ can be found in Tawada‘s ―Erzähler ohne Seelen‖ 24 and ‗ethnologische Poetologie‘ in her dissertation Spielzeug und Sprachmagie 14. 4 In his analysis of Tawada‘s ―Das Fremde aus der Dose,‖ Wägenbaur frames his reading of Tawada‘s texts as ‗semiotic ethnocriticism‘. He defines this term as ―Arnold Krupat has recently fused ‗ethnology‘ and ‗criticism‘ into ‗Ethnocriticism‘. He states ‗ethnocriticism is concerned with differences rather than oppositions, and so seeks to replace oppositional with dialogical models‘. In the relative space between positivism or relativism, it searches for relative truths: ‗As a critical discourse which claims to be both on and of the frontier, traversing middle ground while aspiring to a certain centrality, descriptive and normative at once, it should come as no surprise that ethnocriticism and the oxymoron have particular affinities‘.‖ Wägenbaur recognizes a particular ethnocritical practice in Tawada‘s texts, which in representing the strange do not lose their strangeness. See Wägenbaur‘s ―Semiotic ethnocriticism‖ 343 for an outline of ethnocriticism.  3  seemingly natural phenomena like race, gender, ethnicity and national belonging, found throughout Tawada‘s texts. Yet this development of a fictive ethnology is also a key component in her literary analyses as well. For example, in her dissertation Spielzeug und Sprachmagie in der europäischen Literatur: Eine ethnologische Poetologie, Tawada most expansively employs ‗ethnologische Poetologie‘ as an analytical category and trope for literary investigation in relation to representations of magic, masks, toys and dolls in texts by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Franz Kafka and the French surrealist ethnographer Michel Leiris. She explains this concept of ‗ethnologische Poetologie‘ with: In europäische Universitäten werden noch heute außereuropäische Kulturen als Komplex erforscht, das heißt, Literatur, Eßkultur, Religionen und ManagementStrategien einer Kultur werden in einem einzigen Fach behandelt. Die Entstehung solcher Fächer wie z.B. ‗Afrikanistik‘, ‗Indologie‘, ‗Sinologie‘ ist nicht von der Geschichte des Kolonialismus und von dem sie konstruierenden ethnologischen Blick zu trennen. Eine Umkehr dieses Blickes, eine Rückwendung dieses ‗ethnologischen‘ Modells auf die europäische Literatur jedoch verspricht eine Bereicherung. Denn die Aufteilung der Gegenstandsbereiche in der Untersuchung der ‗eigenen‘ Kultur und die damit verbundene disziplinäre Spezialisierung sind nicht allein dadurch zu erklären, daß die Erforschung der ‗eigenen‘ Kultur der Untersuchung ausgebildet hat. Vielmehr steckt darin auch eine Weigerung, die abendländische Kultur, Wissenschaft und Technik ‗ethnologisch‘ zu betrachten. Es gibt zwar das neue Fach ‗Europäische Ethnologie‘, aber diese beschäftigt sich in erster Linie mit der Alltagskultur und schließt den Bereich moderner Literatur weitgehend aus. Mein Begriff der ‗ethnologischen Poetologie‘ ist in keinem Fach zu Hause, wohl aber artikuliert eher eine Sehnsucht und eine Notwendigkeit – sie 4  gelten einem entsprechenden Feld des Wissens, in dem auch meine Untersuchungen zu magischen Momenten in der Literatur weniger isoliert wären. (Spielzeug und Sprachmagie 13-14) Still today in European universities non-European cultures are being researched; this means that a culture‘s literature, diet, religions and management strategies are dealt with as a singular subject. The creation of subjects like ‗African Studies‘, ‗India Studies‘, and ‗Chinese Studies‘ cannot be separated from the history of colonialism and the ‗ethnological gaze‘ it helped construct. Nevertheless, reversing the gaze or turning around this ethnological model onto European literature promises enriching results. Yet there is still a resistance to ethnologically observe the culture, science and technology of the ‗West‘. There is also the new subject ‗European Ethnology‘, but this deals more with everyday culture and largely ignores modern literature. My concept of ‗ethnological poetology‘ cannot be categorized under any one subject field, but rather articulates a desire and a necessity. It corresponds to a field of knowledge that would make my investigations into the magical moments in literature less isolated.5 Representations of masks, dolls, magic and toys in literary texts of the nineteenth and twentieth century by German and French authors are the focus of this book-length study, where for Tawada the ethnological perspective is crucial since ―[d]ie Ethnologie ist die Wissenschaft, die die längste Tradition in der Diskussion des Themas Magie hat, insofern gilt es, deren  5  In order to make this dissertation accessible to a non-German speaking audience, I will provide English translations of all German quotes appearing in the body of the text. All translations are mine unless an official translation exists, in which case I also provide the source and page number. When the page numbers of the sources are provided, the German source always precedes the English. The German quotations appearing in the footnotes have been left untranslated since they are primarily directed at a German Studies audience.  5  Erkenntnisse und Betrachtungsweisen auf die Literatur zu übertragen‖ (―Ethnology is the science in which discussions on the theme of magic have the longest tradition. It is thus valid to transfer these findings and reflections to literature‖; 14). While Tawada situates her readings of Hoffmann, Kafka and Leiris in a kind of literary ethnological framework, she also incorporates the ethnological and ethnographic perspective into her prose, poetic and essayistic texts.6 This perspective, however, is not meant in the sense of articulating a ‗foreign‘ perspective on German or European culture as a kind of reverse Orientalism, 7 but rather as an interrogation of the very terms and processes involved in constructing a self and an other; as a critical engagement with representations of authenticity and the exotic; and, as a result, means forcing readers to (self)reflect on the unstable grounding of home and identity. While both Tawada and Barthes eschew hierarchical and ethnocentric representations of the ‗primitive‘ or concepts of ‗otherness‘ moored in essentialism, oppositions and incommensurability, there are fundamental distinguishing features between them that are worth mentioning. Among the crucial differences separating the two authors‘ projects are, first of all, the fact that while Barthes was entirely ignorant of the language and sign system of the country he was visiting in Empire of Signs, Tawada is fluent in both the linguistic and cultural languages of her second home in Germany. Secondly, as Christina Kraenzle outlines, there is a difference in the context and expectations of the intended audience for their respective works. She notes:  6  Ethnography, as the in-depth study of a particular ethnic or cultural group usually based on fieldwork, and ethnology as the comparative study of groups utilizing ethnographic data, are closely related but not identical fields or research methodologies in anthropology. Tawada distinguishes between the ‗Ethnographen‘ and the ‗Ethnologen‘ with ―[d]ie ‗Ethnographie wurde lange als Stiefkind der Ethnologie und als Synonym für empirisches Arbeiten im Feld auf die Funktion eines Datenlieferanten reduziert, aber heute wird sie als ursprünglicher Akt der Inskription, in dem die Anderen distanziert und objektiviert werden, als primärer Prozeß der Produktion des Bildes der Anderen thematisiert‖ (Spielzeug und Sprachmagie 135). 7 Tawada explicitly addresses the possible mis-reading of her texts as a kind of reverse Orientalism, countering with: ―Man könnte Europa nicht nur als eine Figur, sondern auch als eine Summe von Bildern verstehen. Ich könnte einige schöne Postkarten aus meiner Sammlung herausnehmen und daraus eine imaginäre Welt bilden. Ich werde das aber hier nicht tun, weil die Gefahr besteht, daß das Ergebnis eine bloße Umkehrung des Orientalismus wäre‖ (―Eigentlich darf man‖ 50).  6  Contrary to the travel writer, Tawada is not concerned about rendering the exotic in terms of the intelligible. For many readers, the territory to be explored will be very much home turf, so that the reterming that occurs is not from the foreign to the familiar. Instead, for many, the flipside will occur: the natural, the familiar may become strange. If Barthes undertakes his project at the risk of exoticising the foreign, Tawada deliberately employs exoticising gestures in her exploration of European spaces and social practices. Consequently, by directing the narratives to a German-speaking audience, the authenticity of these reports can be interrogated. (―Limits of Travel‖ 248) Neither Barthes‘s text nor Tawada‘s novels and essays are meant as tourist travelogues that make the ‗foreign‘ seem less daunting or more inviting and familiar. Moreover, challenging the very notion of representing authenticity from the perspective of a value-free and objective observer undercuts the more orthodox understanding of ethnography as a ‗scientific‘ research methodology, where human subjects become specimens for data collection and cultural description. No one reads nor writes from a neutral position, however, and since James and Marcus‘s Writing Culture,8 with its constant emphasis on the self-critical impulse of ethnographic writing, and its ultimate conclusion that all ethnographic texts are fictions or allegories (as James‘s ―On Ethnographic Allegory‖ suggests), it has been clear that ethnographic analysis is as much about the ethnographer‘s subjectivity, self-creation and finding otherness in the self, as it is about objective description, data collection and knowledge production, thus making the ‗fictive‘ in Tawada‘s ‗fictive ethnology‘ almost redundant. James T. West outlines this turn in the ethnographic approach with ―[e]thnographers do more than just observe the lives of Others. They 8  In his introduction to the collection Clifford James states ―ethnographic work has indeed been enmeshed in a world of enduring and changing power inequalities, and it continues to be implicated. It enacts power relations. But its function within these relations is complex, often ambivalent, potentially counter-hegemonic‖ (Writing Culture 9).  7  participate in a series of multivocal reflexive interactions that are saturated with power relations and struggles over the meaning of cultural identity‖ (―Ethnography and Ideology‖ 209). Tawada‘s fictive ethnological and critical ethnographic literary approach does not aim to articulate the defining and unique cultural characteristics of Germans or Europeans from an outsider‘s perspective, but rather is heavily directed by, and grounded in, this fictive narratorial position that stresses a turn away from cultural description and towards cultural interrogation. Unlike the descriptive and textual model of ‗writing culture‘ that engraves and freezes culture into words, Tawada‘s texts stress the fluid and performative dimension of culture and identity. Her texts are much more about inventing, rather than finding, the self, and about denaturalizing taken-for-granted assumptions about cultural, ethnic and racial differences that are anchored in essentialist, biological and binary logics, than they are an indictment of ethnography or ethnology as research disciplines. Ethnology and ethnography serve only as intellectual and disciplinary contexts for Tawada‘s counter-perspective, for, as Clifford James‘s The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature and Art demonstrates, ethnographic writing is by no means a homogenous, self-assured or delusionally objective discursive field. Tawada frames her narratives as fictively ethnographic as a reaction against the idea of presenting insights into cultural differences or truths from some kind of reliable ‗Japanese‘ viewpoint,9 and instead stresses a destabilization of the authority and coherency of both the represented ‗self‘ and the author/ethnographic observer in her texts. She is underlining both the complexity and difficulty of objectively or authentically representing the cultural, racial and ethnic ‗other‘, while simultaneously exposing the insufficiency of binary categories of belonging  9  Tawada stresses that there is no authentically ‗Japanese‘ perspective of point of view in ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen‖ when the text‘s narrator indicates that, in order to see Europe, she must put on her ‗Japanese‘ glasses. The passage reads: ―Ich muß mir, um Europa sehen zu können, eine japanische Brille aufsetzen. Da es so etwas wie eine ‗japanische Sicht‘ nicht gab und gibt – und für mich ist das keine bedauerliche Tatsache -, ist diese Brille zwangsläufig fiktiv und muß ständig neu hergestellt werden. Meine japanische Sicht ist insofern keinesfalls authentisch, trotz des Faktums, daß ich in Japan geboren und aufgewachsen bin‖ 50.  8  and exclusion – as us/them, black/white, male/female, foreign/familiar. Through the deployment of masks, mirrors, make-up, rituals and public spaces Tawada recasts ethnographic writing to highlight the theatrical processes involved in constructing, inventing and performing identity - be it gender, racial, ethnic, national or linguistic. Tawada‘s literary approach then, with respect to many of her prose, essayistic and literary-analysis texts which feature narrators and protagonists who travel to other countries, engage with and reflect upon foreign cultures, people, customs and rituals, can be read from the perspective of a ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘ or counter-ethnography. To summarize, this literary perspective serves to 1) undermine binary distinctions of ‗otherness‘ as us vs. them, east vs. west, black vs. white or man vs. woman; 2) destabilize the position and authority of the author and/or narrator representing the other; and 3) reveal the ideology and power structures behind representing, constructing and classifying difference, but especially difference based on visual representation and visually-based knowledge. Fictive ethnology is more analogous to Norman Denzin‘s approach in Performance Ethnography, with its emphasis on a performance based approach to culture and the performative dimension of enacting identities that are in a constant process of development, than it is an attempt to ‗write culture‘ from a counter-European authorial perspective. This overarching poetological praxis can be found in various forms throughout Tawada‘s writing in texts like Das Bad, Talisman, Verwandlungen and Überseezungen, and therefore these texts will form the core of my analyses. For example, this technique is explicitly articulated in reflections relating to the Hamburg Völkerkundemuseum in the short story ―Erzähler ohne Seelen,‖ where the ethnographic exhibition space is figured as a theatrical stage upon which not only the conquered peoples of non-European nations are put on display like de-contextualized spoils of battle, but so too are the colonial power politics underpinning ethnographic representational practices subtly exposed. Echoes of Barthes‘s 9  Empire of Signs and indications of Tawada‘s overall literary approach can be found in section five of this short story from her essayistic collection Talisman, especially in the lines: Solange ein Fremder bedrohlich erscheint, versucht man, ihn zu vernichten. Wenn er tot ist, stellt man ihn als Puppe liebevoll in einem Museum dar. Man kann dort die Puppe betrachten, die Erklärung über seine Lebensart lesen, die Fotos von seinem Land sehen, aber etwas versteht man nicht. 10 Ein Schleier trennt den Museumsbesucher von der toten Puppe, so daß er wenig erfahren kann. Man erfährt viel mehr, wenn man versucht, ein ausgedachtes Volk zu beschreiben. Wie soll ihr Leben aussehen? Wie funktioniert ihre Sprache? Wie sieht ein ganz fremdes Sozialsystem aus? Genauso interessant ist es, einen Betrachter zu spielen, der aus einer fiktiven Kultur kommt. Wie würde er ‗unsere‘ Welt beschreiben? Das ist der Versuch der fiktiven Ethnologie, in der nicht das Beschriebene, sondern der Beschreibende fiktiv ist. (24; my emphasis) As long as an outsider appears threatening, the others try to destroy him. When he is dead, he can be lovingly represented as a doll in a museum. One can look at the doll, listen to the explanations of its way of life, view the photos of its homeland, but there is always something that remains unclear. There is a veil separating the museum visitor from the dead doll, making it impossible to learn much. One learns much more when one attempts to describe an imaginary tribe. What should their lives look like? How does their language function? What is this completely unfamiliar social system like? It is equally interesting to play the role of an 10  Elsewhere in Tawada‘s dissertation, she notes how, for Michel Leiris in his ethnographic diary Phantom Africa, the removal of objects for ethnographic exhibition is part and parcel of the colonial process. Tawada states ―[Leiris] vergleicht seine Position als europäischer Ethnograph mit der eines Diebes und Polizisten zugleich, denn er muß nicht nur bestimmte Gegenstände stehlen, sondern auch die Einheimischen entsprechend genau, streng und emotional unbeteiligt befragen, um die Bedeutung der Gegenstände herauszufinden‖ 121. The primary function of Leiris‘s government funded mission (though he was secretary and archivist) was to collect objects for French museums. The group collected more than 3,500 works of art and artifacts that now reside in the Musée de l‘Homme.  10  observer who comes from a fictional culture. How would he describe ―our‖ world? This is the endeavor of fictive ethnology, in which not the described but the describer is imaginary. (―Storytellers Without Souls‖ 110; my emphasis) Themes of representational theatre, power and closure, and the masculine, colonial/ethnographic gaze present in this quotation, feature prominently throughout the literary analyses of Tawada‘s texts that will follow. This prospect of developing a ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘ in which it is not the object of representation, but rather the subject doing the representing who is complicated and undermined, has proven a rich source of investigation for Tawada scholars. In relation to the above quotation, Sabine Fischer, for instance, suggests: Tawadas Kritik richtet sich gegen eine Völkerkunde, die den Anspruch erhebt, das Fremde wirklichkeitsgetreu nachbilden zu können, ohne über die Voreingenommenheit ihrer Wahrnehmungen und die Intentionalität ihrer Darstellungen zu reflektieren. Sie wendet sich gegen eine Sprache, die ein dichotomisches Denken begünstigt, den Blick auf das Andere determiniert und so das Fortleben traditioneller Theorien über kulturelle Differenz ermöglicht. Die Autorin distanziert sich von jeglichem Versuch, eine konkrete Kultur verstehen und beschreiben zu wollen. Sie propagiert dagegen eine Ethnologie, die den fiktionalen Charakter ihrer Repräsentationen des Fremden kenntlich macht und die Mechanismen des Fremdverstehens offen legt. (―Durch die japanische Brille gesehen‖ 64) Tawada‘s critique is directed at the kind of anthropology that claims to be able to reproduce the ‗foreign‘ as it was in reality without reflecting on the prejudices of these perceptions and the intentions behind the representations. She is working against a language that promotes binary thinking, against the deterministic gaze 11  focused on the ‗other‘, and thus also against the continuation of traditional theories on cultural differences. The author distances herself from any attempt to comprehend or describe a concrete culture. In Tawada‘s ethnology the fictional character of her representations of the foreign is made explicit, and the mechanisms behind understanding the foreign are exposed. As Fischer‘s quote indicates, the ethnological component to Tawada‘s texts is unstable, selfreflexive and more integrated into a technique of inquiry and interrogation of identity politics and representational practices than it is an attempt at penetrating, understanding and engaging Otherness. Elsewhere in Tawada scholarship we can find cogent and fecund descriptions of Tawada‘s ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘ and its relation to Barthes. Claudia Breger, in her article ―Mimikry als Grenzverwirrung‖ (―Mimicry as Border Confusion‖) addresses the above passage from ―Erzähler ohne Seelen‖ and also its relation to Empire of Signs: Tawadas Plädoyer für eine Suspension des Wirklichkeitsanspruchs verweist auf die Debatten um den Konstruktionscharakter der Ethnographie, durch die in den letzten Jahren eine Annäherung literaturwissenschaftlicher und anthropologischer Sichtweisen vermittelt worden ist. Fiktion – das (literarisch) Hergestellte – reflektiert die Theatralität kultureller Identität, deren Ausstellung [Kaja] Silverman als eine der Bedingungen ‗mimischer‘ Subversion nannte, und macht die herrschende Normen als solche sichtbar: ―Wie soll ihr Leben aussehen?‖ Diese Passage aus ―Erzähler ohne Seelen‖ spielt wahrscheinlich auf Roland Barthes‘ Reich der Zeichen an, das mit dem Bekenntnis zum fiktiven Charakter des von ihm hier gebildeten Systems ‗Japan‘ beginnt. An anderer Stelle formuliert  12  Tawada pointiert: ―Japan existiert nicht in Europa, aber außerhalb Europas findet man Japan auch nicht.‖ (199) Tawada‘s plaedoyer for a suspension of appeals to reality is in reference to debates surrounding the constructed character of ethnography, which in recent years has been transmitted through literary studies‘ and anthropological perspectives. Fiction – meaning that which has been literarily constructed – reflects the theatricality of cultural identity. Kaja Silverman names this performative exhibition as one of the conditions of a mimetic subversion by exposing the ruling norms as such. ‗What should their lives look like?‘ This passage from ―Erzähler ohne Seelen‖ is likely a play on Roland Barthes‘ Empire of Signs, which begins with the author‘s recognition the fictional character of this system he calls ‗Japan‘. Elsewhere Tawada acutely points out: ―Japan doesn‘t exist in Europe, but nor can it be found outside Europe.‖ Likewise, in her ―Limits of Travel,‖ Christina Kraenzle also emphasizes Tawada‘s literary technique as a disavowal of representing cultural essences and as a complication of simplistic and normalized binary distinctions between self and other: Like Barthes‘s Empire of Signs, Talisman makes no claims to truth, nor does it attempt to render information about cultural essences. Barthes outlines the aims of his project as the creation of a ‗fictive nation‘ which should not be understood as the quest for some other cultural reality … Tawada embarks on a similar project, and repeatedly stresses the fictive nature of cultural essences. In interviews, Tawada has maintained ‗daß sie ‗kulturelle Differenzen‘ nur konstruiere, denn: ‗die zwei Kulturen gibt es nicht‘. Often written in mock ethnographic tone, the Talisman essays turn against the mode of travel writing which adopts a seemingly 13  objective stance and professes to achieve insight and truth. Instead, her collection underscores the inevitable failure of such endeavours … If Barthes undertakes his project at the risk of exoticising the foreign, Tawada deliberately employs exoticising gestures in her exploration of European spaces and social practices. Consequently, by directing the narratives to a German-speaking audience, the authenticity of these reports can be interrogated. (247-48) And finally with respect to secondary scholarship and Tawada‘s concept of a ‗fiktive Ethnologie‘, Andrea Krauß‘s ―Tawadische Sprachtheorie‖ (―Tawada‘s Theory of Language‖) stresses Tawada‘s deconstructive perspective afforded by this fictive authorial/narratorial position, and how it is derived, but also differs, from Barthes: Von dieser fiktiven Position aus, die ganz im Sinne Barthes‘ ‗japanisch‘ genannt werden kann, betrachtet Tawadas Ich-Erzählerin die sie umgebende Welt. Anders als im Reich der Zeichen mobilisieren die ‗fremden‘ Gegenstände der Wahrnehmung nicht vorgefaßte theoretische Leitdifferenzen, sondern bewahren zunächst – naiv zugerichtet – ihre Bedutungslosigkeit, sie müssen deshalb gelesen, das heißt interpretiert werden ... In Szene gesetzt wird folglich kein dekonstruktives Wissen (Barthes), sondern eher eine dekonstruktive Wahrnehmung, die durchspielt, was im Deutungsprozeß geschehen kann, sobald die Kontexte des Wissens und damit sinnfällige Bedeutungen fehlen.11 (66-67)  11  Further to Krauß‘s explanation of this topic: ―Vielleicht nimmt Tawadas Vorschlag einer ‗fiktiven Ethnologie, in der nicht das Beschriebene, sondern der Beschreibende fiktiv ist‘, die von Barthes‘ Erzähler in Aussicht gestellte Verunsicherung durch sein Anderes ernster als dieser selbst. Wenn Barthes zufolge ‗Japan‘ das erfundene Land einer Verfremdung des Eigenen heißt, so wäre die aus diesem ‗Japan‘ entsprungene fiktive Ethnologin wohl genau jene, welche die anvisierte ‗Geschichte unserer eigenen Obskuranz‘ tatsächlich schreibt – damit aber womöglich eine Verunsicherung in Gang setzt, die der Kontrolle ihres selbstherrlichen Erfinders durchaus entgleiten kann. Tawadas Ich-Erzählerin leistete gewissermaßen, was Barthes‘ Erzähler so inständig wünscht. Sie blickte zurück auf seine Welt des Eigenen und erinnerte daran, daß zur Konstitution seiner Sprecherposition die Konstruktion imaginärer Gegenbilder unverzichtbar war. Solche Heteronomie aber versieht auch Barthes‘ Erzählerposition mit dem Index des Fiktiven, der Kontingenz, so daß, wie Breger in verwandtem Kontext schreibt, ‗auch das europäische Projekt diskursiver Kolonisierung des kulturell Anderen keinen ‗Boden unter den Füßen‘ [gewinnt]‖ 66.  14  From this fictive position, which is very much meant in the sense of Barthes‘ ‗Japan‘, Tawada‘s first person narrators observe their surrounding world. Unlike in Empire of Signs, these ‗foreign‘ objects of perception do not mobilize preconceived theoretical differences, but rather first and foremost maintain their meaninglessness. They must therefore be read and interpreted … Instead of a deconstructive knowledge (see Barthes), a deconstructive perception is established, which shows what can happen in the interpretative process as soon as the context of knowledge and sensible meanings are absent. This deconstructive perspective implied by the fictive ethnological approach can be linked with the intercultural concept of the ‗ethnological imagination‘, which analogously combines the ethnological (―sociological research that compares and contrasts aspects of Western modernity to their corresponding realities in different cultural settings‖ [Kurasawa 14]), and the imaginative (―the mythical character of the various constructs of cultural otherness [e.g. ‗primitiveness‘ and the ‗Orient‘]‖ [14]). The fictive, imaginative, or mythical component to this ethnological representation demands a heightened awareness from readers, who must not mistake these texts as insights into the essence of cultural difference. Tawada‘s texts focus on the quotidian, common-place and ritualistic performances of every day life because it is the familiar, natural and codified characteristics of culture and identity that her counter-ethnography is confronting through fictional narratives, and which demand interrogation and reconsideration. Within the framework of this fictive ethnological and counter-ethnographic perspective, my literary study takes as its point of analysis the complex and problematic concept and conceptualization of subject identities, be they gendered, racial, ethnic, national, sexual, classed, as they are represented and theorized, constructed and subverted, in select German language texts by Yoko Tawada. These overdetermined configurations of identity are viewed in relation to 15  the individual who is simultaneously a self- and a socially-constructed being; one who is the author of, and responsible for, his or her actions and development, but also one who is subjected to frequently unknowable or invisible forces and structures operating from beneath in terms of everyday social relations, discursive formations, and media technologies, rather than imposed from above. Over the course of this study I will attempt to disambiguate the highly complex conceptions of subjectivity, identity and identity construction, and the diverse and divergent discursive, cultural and historical processes that produce them. Subjectivity, as I interpret it, will neither be expounded as ―a form of self-incarceration,‖ as Eagleton cynically sums up ―the political bleakness‖ of Althusser‘s notion of subject interpellation (Ideology 145-46), nor will it be figured as co-terminous or inherently imbued with resistance and ‗agency‘, as if awareness of the ideological implications of social and discursive structures can simply be disavowed by conscious counter-action. The subject, as it is constituted from a kind of fictive ethnographic narratorial perspective, exists at the nexus of control and the illusion of control, and in its imbrications of overlapping identities is represented as a fragmented, incohesive and heterogeneous subject in a constant process of becoming. Nearly every one of the Tawada texts I examine in this study features a female protagonist-subject depicted in a variety of complex processes of identity construction, and it is this individual subject that Tawada is using as a sort of canvas for more broadly illustrating the multiple forces and factors that constitute the individual and social being. The opening lines of Das Bad, for example, portray a nameless, Japanese female protagonist who is first articulated as a body comprised of eighty percent water, and whose skin is like a swamp that is subject to both manipulation from outside influences and also by factors from beneath the surface. Immediately thereafter she is described in a repetitive (repetition is key to the construction of identity) daily process of self-surveillance and stylization, as she attempts to match her mirrored reflection with 16  a portrait photograph hanging next to it as a symbolic gesture of identification and appropriation of regulatory gender and racial norms externally enforced upon her. In fact, these first two paragraphs of the first Tawada text I ever read some seven and half years ago now were the motivation for writing a dissertation on the function of photography, skin and race in this, and several other, Tawada texts. The photograph in these opening lines is crucial in the formation of the subject: it is a point of identification; it presents the illusion of realistic representation that she seeks to embody; it is a highly mediated ideal composed by her photographer boyfriend for a tourism brochure; it seeks to capture her ‗essence‘, fix her image and proscribe change; and it is an entry point for a literary and cultural studies examination into the role that the visual and textual photographs and photographic practice play in Das Bad. Through these photographs this text is highlighting and critiquing the multiple investments of power in representation, and the act of representing a subject as a repeatable object for mass consumption, or as visual evidence supporting the creation of ‗knowledge‘ of others, as indelibly other. My methodological approach, informed by Barthes, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Burgin, Sekula and Sontag to name a few, then considers photography in this text from both the perspective of how a photograph serves in the constitution, classification and commodification of the protagonist, but also how the perceived ‗realism‘ of photographic representation as visual testimony is undercut, and how repeatability in photographic reproduction is symbolic of the loss of originality and essence in comprehending the subject‘s identity. The image of a mutable, fluid skin that is constantly manipulated and redefined by external influences, such as expectations and discursive practices, is suggestive of a skin beyond the subject‘s control, while sub-cutaneous factors like the unconscious and self-consciousness indicate that it is also a border that psychosomatically registers and remembers. This, however, is just one of the numerous deployments and metaphorical functions assumed by skin in this text 17  and, as I illustrate in the course of this project, throughout Tawada‘s entire body of writing. There is also the marked, scaly skin that the protagonist attempts to remove in a kind of recurring flaying ritual done to minimize her social marginalization; there is her punctured skin that oozes a rancid white substance and which she attempts to keep ‗clean and proper‘, or ‗normal‘, through bathing; there is the burned skin of the mysterious dead woman; and there is the debated skin that either is naturally or genetically coloured, or that has colour projected upon it. Skin is utilized with both poetic and political intentions in the Tawada texts I address, insofar as not every representation of skin is ideologically loaded, but instead there are several figural functions that it can serve: as border, container, landscape, communicative surface, or interface, though many of these are also politically connoted. Following in the footsteps of texts like Ahmed and Stacey‘s Thinking Through the Skin, which as its point of departure poses the question ―of how skin becomes, rather than simply is, meaningful‖ as a boundary-object that is ―lived, read, written, narrated, seen, touched, managed, worked, cut, remembered, produced and known‖ (1-2), my methodological approach likewise considers skin from diverse, sometimes discordant, angles, which recognize skin as a discursive construct and material object. The representations of skin in Tawada‘s texts must be approached from various literary, cultural, semiotic, critical race, gender and historical theoretical perspectives because only then can it be seen for what it is: discursively constructed and a material sheath; encoded and decoded, read and interpreted; contingent on place, culture, time and class; a protective integument but also one that is extremely vulnerable; and, in a comparable sense to photographs and photography, skin is crucial to the process of identity construction for the protagonists in Tawada‘s texts. Similar to the photograph that paradoxically presents both denotatively and connotatively coded messages to its viewer, skin is also a kind of paradox in the sense that, as Cohen and Weiss describe in Thinking the Limits of the Body, ―it is as problematic when it is marked (e.g., 18  by its race, sex, class, ethnicity, age, abilities, etc.) as when it is un(re)marked and viewed as natural or universal‖ (1). This alludes to one of the primary goals of this dissertation: by focusing on skin as the subject (of this study and Tawada‘s texts, but also as metonymically standing for the subject herself), I attempt to make skin visible in its complex and variegated representations in the works of Yoko Tawada, and detail its many markings, the ideological implications of these markings, the power forces behind concealing skin, but also the power of transgressing the repressively differentiating effect of assigning some skins as marked, and others as not. This tension between the skin as too visible, where the skin stands metonymically for the whole of the subject‘s identity, and invisible, in the sense that it is so close to us that it seems solely part of nature or biology and thus beyond dispute, is a tension that vibrates throughout Tawada‘s texts, and to which she points in a 2005 interview with Bettina Brandt published as ―Ein Wort, Ein Ort, or how Words Create Places.‖ Tawada states: The skin is, of course, something that is very close to us. But at the same time, we human beings cannot take our skin off; that would, first of all, hurt a lot and, even worse, without a skin, we would finally just die. Think about it: we cannot even hold our skin in our hands and look at it, contemplate it. No, our skin is very close to us and because of that, it is also often invisible to us. (―Ein Wort, ein Ort‖ 4; my emphasis) In the Konkursbuch Verlag Claudia Gehrke collection titled Haut from 2003,12 Tawada‘s short poem ―Eine Hautnahme‖ is featured on a page resembling human skin, and unsurprisingly represents the metaphorical and material skin as its central theme. At times the focus on skin in Tawada‘s texts is explicit, as in Das Bad or ―Eine Hautnahme,‖ but in other texts it is more subtly embedded in metaphors and historically contingent contexts that need to be explicated  12  Nearly all of Tawada‘s numerous German language texts, whether prose, poetry, essay collections or even her dissertation, have been published by Konkursbuch Verlag Claudia Gehrke.  19  through critical race, gender, semiotic, or cultural theories in order to comprehend its significance. These texts serve to expose the processes of naturalization that have buried skin, and its implications in race, in the ideological optics of invisibility, and thus as a taken-forgranted given in reality. ‗Naturalization‘ is meant here in the sense of Stuart Hall‘s definition, whereby it is ―a representational strategy designed to fix difference and thus secure it forever. It is an attempt to halt the inevitable slide of meaning, to secure discursive or ideological closure‖ (Representation 245). Naturalization plays a number of roles in Tawada‘s work, from the photographic images to constructions and acceptance of race and racial differentiation, but in each case the ease and immediacy of visual perception is a contributing factor, albeit only one of many. The highly unstable and interrogatory counter-ethnographic perspective of Tawada‘s texts work to reveal the often overlooked, naturalized power politics involved in photography, skin and race and their enormous influence in classifying bodies and shaping identity, by repeatedly articulating these concepts as literary tropes, metaphors and literal representations throughout her writing.  1.2 SECONDARY SCHOLARSHIP ON TAWADA When researching and writing a project of this length on an author like Yoko Tawada who is still writing prolifically in two languages, there are two significant difficulties which arise and that should be addressed before continuing any further. The first, and by no means insurmountable, challenge lies in keeping apprised of the volumes of secondary scholarship examining Tawada‘s texts that are constantly appearing in book collections, special issues, regular print and online journals, and dissertation formats. In July 2011, for example, issue 191/192 of Text + Kritik featured sixteen articles on Tawada‘s texts and two short fictional pieces by Tawada herself (―Vierundzwanzig‖ and ―Der Handwerker‖), plus a comprehensive, 20  although not complete, bibliography of primary Tawada texts in German, Japanese, French and English, and secondary research on Tawada in mostly German. In 2010 volume sixty-five issue three of Études Germaniques was a special issue on Tawada titled ―L‘oreiller occidental-oriental de Yoko Tawada,‖ which is comprised of one poetological essay piece by Tawada called ―Europa und Mehrsprachigkeit,‖ and then eighteen articles in German and French that address a range of Tawada‘s works with a focus predominantly, although not exclusively, on translation and language issues. Christine Ivanovic‘s 2010 edited volume Yoko Tawada: Poetik der Transformation. Beiträge zum Gesamtwerk is to date the most extensive collection of secondary research on Tawada, consisting of thirty English and German essays examining a variety of primary texts, including two on the fictional piece ―Sancho Pansa,‖ which serves as the collection‘s starting point. Doug Slaymaker‘s 2007 edited volume Yoko Tawada: Voices from Everywhere remains the only English-exclusive book collection of secondary articles on Tawada, and as the title suggests, these eleven essays, in addition to Tawada‘s own original piece ―Tawada Yoko Does not Exist,‖ diversely investigate questions of language, identity, belonging and the body from a multiplicity of theoretical angles and cultural perspectives. Ruth Kersting‘s 2006 Fremdes Schreiben – Yoko Tawada (Foreign Writing – Yoko Tawada) exists thus far as the only published monograph on Tawada and her texts. In 250 pages Kersting provides an extremely detailed and comprehensive analysis of, first, Tawada in the context of migrant literature in Germany, and then investigations into some of her lesser known poems, and extensive research into more well-known texts, such as ―Wo Europa anfängt,‖ Verwandlungen and, especially, Das Bad. Kersting‘s text is indispensable for scholars interested in Das Bad because of its contribution to outlining and examining the specific historical and cultural allusions and context upon which the text, in both its textual and visual manifestations, is based, together with a theoretically robust, Kristeva-inspired, close reading. 21  These published issues, collections and monograph are in addition to the numerous dissertations that have been appearing with relative frequency over the past decade. Some of the more in-depth and expansive of these analyses include Ekaterina Pirozhenko‘s 2011 ―Migrant Flaneuse: Women and the City in the Works of Yoko Tawada and Emine Sevgi Ozdamar;‖ Suzuko Mousel Knott‘s 2011 ―Text, Medium, Afterlife: Intertextuality and Intermediality in the Works of Yoko Tawada;‖ Robin Tierney‘s 2010 ―Japanese Literature as World Literature: Visceral Engagement in the Writings of Tawada Yoko and Shono Yoriko;‖ Maria Grewe‘s 2009 ―Estranging Poetic: On the Poetic of the Foreign in Select Works by Herta Müller and Yoko Tawada;‖ Marcus Mueller‘s 2008 ―Opposing ‗Real‘ Realities: Critiques of Dominant Reality Constructions in German Intercultural Writing;‖ Yasemin Yildiz‘s 2006 ―Beyond the Mother Tongue: Configurations of Multilingualism in Twentieth-Century German Literature;‖ and Christina Kraenzle‘s ―Mobility, Space and Subjectivity: Yoko Tawada and German-Language Transnational Literature‖ from 2004. Even though this is by no means a totally exhaustive list of dissertations that take Tawada‘s texts as either a partial or an exclusive point of analysis, it does give a sense of some of the theoretical frameworks in which these texts are being researched; frameworks that consider Tawada‘s texts and poetics from trans-national, trans-lingual, and multi-cultural angles, but that also consider the various linguistic and cultural processes and power structures underpinning subjectivity construction. All this, in addition to a bounty of individual articles in English and German published in print and online journals, means that the future trajectory of Tawada studies is splitting into culturally, theoretically, linguistically and thematically diverse paths of investigation. My research, as I detail below, attempts to forge a path that highlights the political impulse subtending Tawada‘s poetics by outlining, and expanding on, the counter-ethnographic narratorial technique as a literary interrogation of racial, gendered and ethnic subjectivities. 22  Throughout the course of this dissertation I confront, reflect on or use as support the vast majority of secondary works on Tawada‘s writing that are even remotely connected to my topic, yet, as will become clear, the references I make are occasionally tangential because representations of photography, skin and race have so far remained un(der)researched in secondary analysis. I readily admit the influence, both in terms of concepts and theory but also quality, of research by Tawada scholars including but not limited to Ruth Kersting, Christine Ivanovic, Christina Kraenzle, Sabine Fischer, Andrea Krauß, Claudia Breger, Miho Matsunaga, Maria Grewe and, recently, Suzuko Mousel Knott, that have inspired and motivated me to take this course of analysis with respect to Tawada‘s texts. While above I noted the significance of Kersting‘s book, and in particular its insights into the cultural-historical meaning of the photographic images in Das Bad, its detailed outline of the text‘s complex visual and textual structure, in addition to numerous other investigations into the symbolism and context of the fish, the doll and the coffin, in order to position and differentiate my own work within the field I will make a few detailed comments on some of the other secondary sources most germane to my study. Of course more in-depth engagements with these secondary works will arise over the course of this project, and the following is merely intended to provide a context for the reader. One of the first, and most influential, secondary sources I confronted in Tawada studies is Sabine Fischer‘s ―Wie der Schlamm in einem Sumpf‖ (―Like the Mud of a Swamp‖), and the related ―Verschwinden ist schön‖ (―Disappearing is Wonderful‖), both from 1997. ―Wie der Schlamm in einem Sumpf‖ is a crucial source of reference for scholars interested in Das Bad, especially with respect to analyzing the protagonist‘s process of identification against the mirror image, the role of the camera and photographer in constructing and capturing an exotic ‗authenticity‘, but especially the productivity of metamorphosis and mutability symbolized by her fluid body. Fischer famously states ―die Haut bildet keine feste Trennungslinie zwischen 23  Innen- und Außenwelt, sondern ist durchlässig und amorph. Der Blick in den Spiegel offenbart die Flexibilität der Ich-Identität, aber auch ihre Anfälligkeit für Fremdeinwirkungen‖ (―Skin does not form a fixed line of separation between the inside and outside world, but rather it is porous and amorphous. The look in the mirror reveals the flexibility of self-identity, but also its susceptibility to foreign influences‖; ―Wie der Schlamm‖ 64). This line was key to prompting my interest in the function of representations of malleable skin in Das Bad and other Tawada texts, and served as a kind of conceptual lynchpin in my 2010 article ―Reading Skin Signs: Decoding Skin as the Fluid Boundary between Self and Other in Yoko Tawada.‖ Andrea Krauß‘s article ―‗Talisman‘ – ‗Tawadische Sprachtheorie‘‖ is likewise beneficial in establishing the centrality of fluidity and the skin as bodily boundary in Tawada‘s texts, as she states ―Wasser, das in sich formlose, bewegte Element, taucht genau dort auf, wo Grenzen nur allzu natürlich erscheinen: in Hinsicht auf den nationalen Körper und den Körper des Individuums‖ (―Water, itself a formless, moving element, appears exactly there where the border seems most natural: in terms of the national body and the body of the individual‖; 55). Though Krauß‘s article proceeds from a partly Freudian perspective with a focus on ‗Verschiebung‘ or ‗displacement‘ and ‗Verdichtung‘ or ‗condensation‘, it is from this position of complicating the all too natural bodily border as potentially, both materially and symbolically, mobile that my analysis develops throughout this paper. Christina Kraenzle‘s work on the interconnectivity between mobility, geography, language and identity has been a rich resource for comprehending whether or not the boundaries presented in Tawada‘s texts, be they national, linguistic, geographic or bodily, are really as flexible as some scholars, such as myself, see them, and therefore helps to restore balance to readings that sometimes neglect the very real, material consequences of physical and conceptual borders and limits. Kraenzle is also one of the few to research Tawada‘s ―Bioskoop der Nacht,‖ 24  which is the focus of chapter four, in the articles ―Travelling without Moving‖ and ―The Limits of Travel,‖ and especially in the first of the two she highlights the problematic notion of a singular tie between language and identity, and how the presence of Afrikaans in the protagonist‘s unconscious is reflective of debunking this untenable myth. Kraenzle‘s ―The Limits of Travel,‖ like Fischer‘s ―Durch die japanische Brille gesehen‖ (―Seen through Japanese Glasses‖), is particularly productive in establishing the ―ethnographic parody‖ mentioned earlier in this chapter that is so central to Tawada‘s literary perspective, especially in the short texts comprising the Talisman collection. Kraenzle stresses that ―the observing narrator is as much a fiction as the constructed other‖ (―Limits of Travel‖ 248), while Fischer expresses Tawada‘s approach with ―sie propagiert dagegen eine Ethnologie, die den fiktionalen Charakter ihrer Repräsentationen des Fremden kenntlich macht und die Mechanismen des Fremdverstehens offen legt‖ (―In Tawada‘s ethnology the fictional character of her representations of the foreign is made explicit, and the mechanisms behind understanding the foreign are exposed‖; ―Durch die japanische Brille gesehen‖ 64). As noted in the opening to this chapter, there is a common theme throughout Tawada‘s texts grounded in this fictive ethnological literary technique that questions the very notion of representing difference, ‗authenticity‘ or a cultural ‗essence‘ and the power politics involved in those representations, especially with regard to different types of photographic representation, e.g., tourism, anthropological, colonial, marketing etc., but also with respect to the construction of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and national identities as performatively enacted. I am not attempting to fill a completely neglected hole in the field of Tawada studies, but rather expand and deepen through close readings and cultural studies analyses some of the areas of research previously opened by the scholars just mentioned, and also contribute new research on texts that are either thus far unexplored (―Eine Hautnahme‖ and ―Afrikanische Zunge‖), or 25  texts that have received relatively little critical investigation (―Bioskoop der Nacht‖). Moreover, I investigate texts that have been comprehensively researched from different theoretical and historical perspectives that stress the significance of race and performativity theories in Tawada‘s written narratives with the hope of generating new lines of debate on rich and provocative works like Das Bad, ―Das Fremde aus der Dose‖ from the Talisman collection and ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ from Überseezungen. Das Bad holds such a dominant position in this project because contained within this short text are some of the most prominent concepts, themes and political and ethical critiques found throughout Tawada‘s writing, for example: representations of photographs and photography; mirrors and processes of identification and subjectivity formation; and also skin as a ubiquitous and highly contestable material and metaphorical literary pattern appearing throughout the oeuvre. My analysis is the first to take as its salient point of investigation the representations and interconnectivity of photography, skin and race and their various functions in identity construction in Tawada‘s texts, and the different literary techniques and contexts Tawada deploys to most effectively highlight, critique and deconstruct their often problematic meaning and value. In congruence with Tawada‘s own self-reflexive and fictionally ethnographic literary approach, I do not assume a particularly judgmental position when analyzing her texts, especially with regard to their aesthetic and literary qualities since those are determined by subjective interpretation. Rather, I see my role as unpacking and clarifying the enormous theoretical complexity and compelling political commentary that often goes unexplored.  1.3 SELECTION OF PRIMARY TEXTS With respect to the second major obstacle I have confronted in investigating the prolific writings of Yoko Tawada, the challenge lies in selecting the most appropriate works to best 26  illustrate and support the thematic and theoretical points I am trying to make from a body of writing far too expansive to address in its entirety. My selection criteria require that the texts be in a German or European cultural, linguistic, historical and spatial context since it is in these texts that representations, constructions and engagements with identity in relation to foreignness, othering, boundary construction, alienation, dislocation and marginalization are most prevalent. These key topics I investigate within the broader framework of Tawada‘s ‗fictive ethnological‘ or critically counter-ethnographic literary approach, and especially how they are confronted through the ubiquitous tropes and representations of photography, skin and race in Tawada‘s writing. I have chosen fictional prose texts such as Das Bad, ―Wo Europa anfängt,‖ ―Das Fremde aus der Dose,‖ and ―Bioskoop der Nacht;‖ poetic texts like Ein Gedicht für ein Buch, ―Eine Hautnahme‖ and ―Afrikanische Zunge;‖ and essayistic / poetological / reflection pieces including ―Der Schriftkörper und der beschriftete Körper,‖ Verwandlungen, ―Europa und Mehrsprachigkeit,‖ and ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen, aber Europa gibt es nicht‖ as the main focal points of inquiry. However, I also incorporate many other Tawada texts to provide context, reference or complement to more detailed lines of investigation. And while ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ is set primarily in Cape Town, South Africa rather than a European frame of reference, the reflections on skin colour and race in this work are constructed from a very ‗western‘ intellectual, historical and cultural background. In this text, against the context of apartheid Tawada explores and subverts the fixity of colour coded hierarchies of difference and the very stability of racial identity, the processes involved in retroactively establishing collective unity based on these constructed, visually verifiable categories, and how colour coded systems of differentiation have been, and still are, deployed in contemporary ‗western‘ contexts. Methodologically speaking, one course of investigation I take with respect to the role of skin colour and race in Tawada‘s texts utilizes the theory of whiteness studies scholars, including 27  but not limited to Richard Dyer, Ruth Frankenberg and Peggy McIntosh, in order to expose the reified construction of whiteness as ideologically unmarked or invisible, which then serves to conceal the privileges inherent to it and maintain its normative, unwritten status. With the support of Critical Race Studies theory by Omi and Winant, David Goldberg, and Mirόn and Inda, the latter of which are heavily reliant on the discourse and performativity theory of Derrida, Foucault and especially Butler, I consider the representation of race in Tawada‘s texts from the perspective that ―race is not the effect of biological truths, but a historically contingent, socially constructed category of knowledge‖ (Mirόn and Inda 86). That does not mean, however, that these claims about race as an effect of discourse, or that skin colour should be understood as a metaphor, are implying that race is merely a meaningless and empty category that any discerning and self-aware person would recognize as an ideological myth. Mirόn and Inda accept that even though race is a discursive effect, it nevertheless has very real, material implications, stating that ―while ‗race‘ may not be a natural category, it nevertheless plays a central role in the construction and rationalization of orders of difference, making group relations appear as if they were natural and unchangeable … [I]t gives social relations the façade of long duration, hence reducing, essentializing, and fixing difference‖ (99). In their representations and problematizations of ‗raced‘ subjects, texts like ―Bioskoop der Nacht,‖ Das Bad and its companion piece ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen‖ intersect skin, race and the production of differential subjectivities, and work to de-naturalize and de-essentialize skin and race by detailing the terms and processes of its construction.  1.4 CHAPTER OVERVIEWS First off, the organizational logic behind this study uses thematic and theoretical points of reference, rather than a linear progression or analysis of individual texts as self-contained, 28  enclosed units, as the principle justification for comparing and connecting each of the primary texts included in the chapters. For example, Das Bad appears in all three core chapters because it works as a productive point of analysis for all the diverse themes and theory that run throughout this study, but it also stands as a kind of nexus point linking the thematic network of Tawada‘s German language texts that are often in communication with each other, and with literary and cultural traditions outside themselves as well. Since Das Bad is such a theoretically complex and dynamic piece of writing, especially if we consider its visual and textual representations of photographs, its central focus on skin as metaphorically and materially meaningful in relation to constructing and conceptualizing foreignness and belonging, its representation of skin as the site where physical and psychical pain are experienced and manifested, and also its interrogation of skin colour and the reification of whiteness as beyond embodiment and teeming with implications of ideology and power, it becomes more sensible to disambiguate Das Bad by breaking it down to its constituent tropes, themes and theory. It is with this image of Tawada‘s texts as a web of interconnectivity in mind that I proceed in this study to examine her works as in dialogue with each other – reflecting on, complementing, supporting and connecting key themes, concepts and criticisms that otherwise might go overlooked because of the general opacity, or resistance to realistic representation, that punctuates her rhetorical style. Recognizing Tawada‘s texts as a network rather than discrete units helps to ‗suture the conceptual thread‘, as I later describe the outcome, and aids in bringing at least a modicum of coherence to an often disorienting reader engagement. Suzuko Mousel Knott appropriately enlists terms of modern literary theory, such as ‗pastiche‘, ‗intertextual‘, ‗intermedial‘ and ‗rhizomatic‘13 to describe both Tawada‘s texts and her writing process (―Yoko  13  Though too sophisticated a theory to articulate in detail here, ‗rhizomatic‘ is a useful theoretical figuration with respect to my reading of Tawada‘s texts. Mousel Knott outlines the concept generally as ―laut vielen, unter anderen Deleuze und Guattari mit ihrer Auffassung des Rhizoms, sei die Welt als unendliche Vernetzung, die eine Vielfältigkeit der Erlebnisse und Wahrnehmungen fördert, zu verstehen. Mit keinem erkennbaren Eingangs- oder  29  Tawada und das ‗F-Word‘‖ 570-71), and which also supports my approach to reading these texts as intrinsically intertwined. Mousel Knott describes Tawada‘s first German-Japanese published text Nur da wo du bist, da ist nichts as representative of a pastiche of material layout and book form, and utilizing a Tawada quote from ―Bilderrätsel ohne Bilder,‖ which reads ―[s]o wie aus den Scherben einer Geschichte eine neue Geschichte entsteht‖ (―from the broken shards of one story another story is created‖), develops a connection between pastiche and intertextuality that can be applied to Tawada‘s texts and writing technique on the whole. Reflecting on this Tawada quote Mousel Knott states ―genauso läuft es in den intertextuellen Verfahren einer literarischen Pastiche, wo sich die angesammelten Stränge verschiedener Narrativen verflechten und der Schreibprozess der Autorin ist gleichermaßen als eine aus Scherben zusammengeschriebene Geste zu verstehen‖ (―and so too is it in the intertextual process of a literary pastiche, where the collected strands of various narratives weave together, and at the same time the author‘s writing process is to be understood as a move towards reassembling broken pieces through writing‖; ―Yoko Tawada und das ‗F-Word‘‖ 571). In my reading the texts themselves enact these net and web metaphors, tropes and literal representations so prevalent in her texts, and therefore I see the concept of pastiche as applicable both to individual texts, and to the texts as a collective. But the pastiche should be conceptualized as a patchwork of both Tawada‘s literary themes and concepts, but also the cultural, media, race, and gender theory that is reflected in so many of her texts. By figuring her texts as pastiche or intertextual networks, I approach and investigate these works as theoretical prose, which is far more enjoyable to read than prosaic theory. In chapter two (the first main chapter), as an example of this interconnectivity, Tawada‘s co-created artists‘ book Ein Gedicht für ein Buch is utilized as a kind of point of departure, support and reference for investigating the material construction of, and inclusion of Ausgangspunkt in dieser Art Vernetzung seien damit auch keine klaren Hierarchien mehr zu identifizieren‖ 571. Margret Brügmann also uses Deleuze and Guattari‘s concept of the ‗rhizome‘ as an analytical tool in her Tawada article ―Jeder Text hat weiße Ränder‖ 346-47.  30  photographic images in, the 1993 first edition (third printing) of Das Bad, and how this edition is differently connoted than the recent 2010 bilingual edition that omits most of these photographs, and by extension the centrality of photography as its theme. The justification for focusing on Ein Gedicht für ein Buch is that in its extreme, self-conscious materiality, it is one of the most explicit examples in Tawada‘s oeuvre of texts insisting on being seen, read and comprehended as material objects, and as such they signify and produce semantic messages and meaning through this materiality rather than solely through linguistic codings. As chapter two states, a focus on the meaning and significance of materiality in Tawada‘s texts is not absent in secondary research, evidenced by the scholarship of Christine Ivanovic, Christina Kraenzle, Ottmar Ette, Suzuko Mousel Knott and Ruth Kersting. Each of these scholars has examined the various material and visual-aesthetic dimensions in texts including Nur da wo du bist, da ist nichts, Talisman, Überseezungen, and, to a certain degree, Das Bad. It is in the muted gesturings towards photographs and photographic technique present in Ein Gedicht für ein Buch with its images, paper construction and fish-skin book cover that motivate me to examine more closely the potential messages and meaning (as ethnographic objects, ethnic and racial types, representations of essence and otherness) contained within the visual photographs (as opposed to only the textually represented photographs) that adorn the pages of Das Bad, and which are almost entirely absent in literary analysis, with a few, brief exceptions. As I outline in chapter two, the few secondary sources that investigate the visual photographs and the function of photography in Das Bad include Sabine Fischer‘s articles ―Wie der Schlamm in einem Sumpf‖ and ―Verschwinden ist schön,‖ and Ruth Kersting‘s chapter in Fremdes Schreiben that points to the cultural-historical significance of photographs of Japanese women at the bath and their connotations in Das Bad. Fischer‘s articles are particularly useful with respect to the textual depiction of photography for developing and subverting the ubiquitous 31  construction of concepts of authenticity, exoticism, and the body as an exchange object and commodity that feature throughout this, and many of, Tawada‘s texts. However, what is absent from any investigation into the photographs and depiction of photography in Tawada scholarship is, from a Media Studies perspective, the significance of photographic theory in relation to the visual and textual representations of photography, and how this photographic theory can help us better relate to the concepts and (de)construction of originality, repetition, commodification, voyeurism, identification and authenticity that are either explicitly or implicitly articulated in Das Bad. More specifically, with the theoretical support of Barthes, Batchen, Benjamin, Burgin, Sekula, Sontag and Urry, I suggest that the photographic representation visually and linguistically presented in Das Bad reflects a number of the theoretical positions fronted by these canonical theorists: such as the destruction of the aura through mechanical reproducibility as exemplary of the destruction of an originality or essence in subjectivity construction;14 or the complexity of reading photographic images that, due to their pretence of representational verisimilitude, can serve the ideological function of fixing or freezing an image as commonsense reality, and therefore as part of nature and beyond dispute. Secondly, there is a multiplicity of photographic histories reflected in this text through the authoritative symbols of the photograph and Xander the photographer that serve as formative in the protagonist‘s subjectivity construction, but are also complicit in marketing her as a representation and representative of difference. With echoes of tourism, colonial and anthropological/ethnographic photography, the photographic session between the protagonist and her photographer/boyfriend is illustrative of something far more than a simple modeling session, and instead points to one of the central thematic concepts consistently present in Tawada‘s texts:  14  ‗Aura‘ is used here in reference to Benajamin‘s development of aura in ―Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit,‖ which I also elaborate upon in the following chapter. Aura, authenticity and representational authority are intertwined terms and all become eroded under the mechanical means of reproduction, such as photography.  32  the (im)possibility of representing, or even defining, a core essence formative of identity. The attempt to fix ‗essence‘ by capturing her image through representational closure fails however, although it does suggest that this kind of representation is more a reflection of the one doing the representing, rather than of the one being represented. This of course implies that there is power in representation, and elicits a long history of photography that has served to construct a highly mediated and subjective image of otherness crucial to the construction of the racial stereotype. However, as the end of this second chapter outlines, there is also a good deal of instability in the photograph, and similar to the concept of race that photography helped construct, the photograph has never been as fixed nor eternal as it is sometimes considered to be. Each chapter is underwritten by a common theoretical and analytical tool that utilizes the power of the prefix de- as a means of fleshing out, highlighting, exposing and explaining the sometimes subtle, politically invested critiques and messages that are baked in to Tawada‘s poetics. My role is to highlight and analyze how Tawada deploys the prefix de- in techniques and approaches that de-naturalize, de-familiarize, de-habitualize, de-essentialize, and de-construct the ideologically infused, common-sense and taken-for-granted elements and givens in social relations, subjectivity construction, human differentiation and classification, but also in representational practices, such as the objective fidelity of the photograph as a testament of the ‗real‘, or even the capacity of so-called ‗realism‘ to accurately represent the complexity of reality. And similar to the theoretical support informing my reading of the ‗photographic paradox‘ and the ‗rhetoric of the image‘, so too is my attention to the de-naturalizing function of Tawada‘s texts indebted to the work of Roland Barthes. In Barthes‘s Mythologies, which incidentally can be a useful companion piece to investigating Tawada‘s texts, he makes a statement on denaturalization which I consider analogous to my own departure point when engaging with the texts analyzed in this project. The Barthes quotes reads: 33  The starting point of these reflections was usually a feeling of impatience at the sight of the ‗naturalness‘ with which newspapers, art and common sense constantly dress up a reality which, even though it is the one we live in, is undoubtedly determined by history ... I resented seeing Nature and History confused at every turn, and I wanted to track down, in the decorative display of what-goes-without-saying, the ideological abuse which, in my view, is hidden there. (11) In an effort to force the spotlight on how frequently the natural and the historical are confused and conflated to produce that which ‗goes-without-saying‘, Tawada adopts a literary technique that combines strategies of de-naturalization with de-familiarization in order to complicate and reveal the seemingly natural and habitual as possibly cultural, or the apparently common-sense biological as in fact historically, culturally and spatially contingent. Chapter three of this dissertation takes as its point of analysis one such concept that is frequently mistaken as singularly biological, or as pure material without symbolic meaning: human skin. Again in this chapter, I utilize one key text as a kind of literary fulcrum that links the theoretical and conceptual threads of the other texts I analyze, and in this case it is the as yet unresearched Tawada poem ―Eine Hautnahme‖ that serves this function. As its title indicates, this poem focuses on skin, but in a commensurately complex, discordant and theoretically compelling way befitting of Tawada‘s overall conceptualization of skin that features in so many of her texts. Beginning with the two well researched texts ―Das Fremde aus der Dose‖ and Verwandlungen, my research opens a new avenue of inquiry by examining the ways that Tawada considers skin, and more specifically the skin of the face, as something which is produced and read through a kind of cultural literacy limited by often habitual and stereotyping reading 34  practices. Utilizing a literary technique of de-familiarization, which I connect to the works of Victor Shklovsky, Maria Grewe‘s dissertation on ‗estranging poetics‘ and Clara Ervedosa‘s article on Verfremdung or ‗alienation‘ techniques in Tawada‘s writing, I underscore how these texts advocate for a ‗change of perspective‘ that recognizes the types of cultural codings embedded in skin as a legible bearer of significations and problematic signifier of foreignness. ―Das Fremde aus der Dose‖ considers how this foreignness inscribed on the protagonist‘s skin is appropriated as a marketing technique by totalizing and packaging an easily consumable semantics of otherness into a canned commodity. Yet, as Tawada demonstrates in her subversion of Lavater‘s physiognomic interpretation, the external packaging is no one-to-one representation of an internal essence or of a ‗true self‘ inside, but rather beneath the layers are only more layers, or more signifiers that are not attached to a core signified. Next, with recourse to a selection of literary and cultural theory that includes Claudia Benthien‘s Skin: On the Cultural Border between Self and the World and Steven Connor‘s The Book of Skin, I consider the variety of functions that skin has as both a material and symbolic border between inside and out, and between belonging and exclusion, in Tawada‘s ―Eine Hautnahme,‖ ―Wo Europa anfängt‖ and especially Das Bad. While it may sound trivial, these texts, first and foremost, bring skin out of the background and push it under the spotlight, so to speak, making skin the primary focus of analysis instead of just naturally being there. This chapter emphasizes that, because of processes of habituation and naturalization, skin has come to be seen as so close to us that it is often overlooked as invisible, and it is against this notion of invisibility that Tawada is reacting, for skin becomes invisible because it is too visible, it is taken-for-granted and reduced to mere common-sense, rendering it static, fixed and closed to discussion. And it is due to the frequently passive acceptance of skin as a biological truth and  35  pre-discursive given that it occupies such a prominent place throughout Tawada‘s writing in order that it be drained of these congealed natural, mythical and essential qualities. In the short poem ―Eine Hautnahme,‖ after detailing the connotations of this poetical neologism, I point to the numerous conceptual and theoretical possibilities represented in this brief work with regard to skin, and how these possibilities can be extended to other Tawada texts. In this short poem alone there are figurations of the skin as analogous to landscapes and cartographic representations; to the skin as a protective container; as imagined both as enclosing the subject, and also standing metonymically for the whole body; skin as both constitutive and reflective of subjectivity; as a permeable and fluid border that can determine belonging and marginalization; and as a material surface that bears the marks of physical and psychical pain and trauma, but that can also be the cause of pain and trauma. Again taking up Das Bad as a productive text for analysis, I consider how the protagonist‘s scale-covered skin is representative of the pivotal role skin occupies in signifying a subject‘s position as marked, stigmatized and different, but also how, in removing her scales, Tawada recasts the flaying metaphor as a symbolic act towards self-liberation and development, while subverting the notion of identity as inevitably tied to the skin. Although the skin is frequently represented and emphasized as a fluid and porous border and boundary in texts from Das Bad to ―Wo Europa anfängt,‖ Tawada does not neglect the very real, material consequences that can result from inhabiting marked, aberrant or marginalized skins, most trenchantly portrayed by the protagonist and the dead woman in Das Bad. Therefore, while I do underscore the very productive reconceptualization of skin present in these texts, I also outline how skin is physically and culturally vulnerable, and whether it is valorized or stigmatized skin is still a stubbornly persistent reflection of ignorance and ideology. And as chapter four illustrates, ignorance and ideology are frequently complicit in conceptualizing skin and skin colour as visually verifiable justifications for establishing and 36  maintaining ineradicable and hierarchical difference between human subjects. But as an immediate visual marker skin colour is also a way of already knowing the racialized subject, insofar as it is connotatively meaningful and tied to countless images that precede and erase individuality. Once again in this chapter I enlist a hitherto unexamined Tawada poem, this time ―Afrikanische Zunge,‖ as a point of thematic and theoretical departure for investigating comparable patterns in other Tawada texts. Even though this particular poem is not as rich a source for analysis as ―Eine Hautnahme,‖ it nevertheless provides a productive impulse for engaging with the later, much longer and considerably more compelling short story ―Bioskoop der Nacht,‖ which can be found under the sub-heading ―Südafrikanische Zungen‖ in the collection Überseezungen. There is to date only one secondary source that takes ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ as its primary focus of analysis, which is Bettina Brandt and Désirée Schyns‘s ―Neu vernetzt: Yoko Tawadas ‗Bioskoop der Nacht‘ auf Niederländisch‖ (―Newly Networked: Yoko Tawada‘s ‗Bioscope of the Night‘ in Dutch‖). In addition however, Christina Kraenzle‘s ―Travelling without Moving‖ and Yasemin Yildiz‘s ―Tawada‘s Multilingual Moves,‖ both address this short story at considerable length. The Brandt and Schyns‘s article provides a useful historical context behind the development of Afrikaans in colonial South Africa and the deployment of Afrikaans as the protagonist‘s dream language in the text, but my analysis takes a considerably different angle that has thus far been untouched in the Tawada studies. By sketching the colonial roots and development of often bizarrely ambivalent apartheid law, my research outlines the historical, political and cultural context in which Tawada situates ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ as a means of highlighting the processes involved in constructing race as a retroactive unifying category, performatively enacted and contingent on prevailing discourses and ideological positions that produce it as a seemingly natural identity. But despite its contingency and performative constitution, Tawada‘s texts also highlight the real, material 37  ramifications of reifying colour as a principle for belonging and exclusion. I focus on textual examples (such as representations of segregated public toilets and a ‗whites only‘ public bench) that most explicitly demonstrate Tawada‘s engagement with public spaces as constitutive of everyday racial identifications, but also the power and ambiguity of racial classification. I then suggest that the South African particularities of this text can be expanded to broader theoretical and cultural contexts, for example: Japan, Europe and North America. ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ is such a thought-provoking piece because of the racial apartheid historical context against which it is written, and with which it is clearly in dialogue. More specifically, I examine how the initial introduction of Afrikaans as a kind of conceptual paradox that summons associations of its role in the articulation of apartheid racial segregation, but also the fact that it is a multi-accentual pastiche of various and incongruent voices, sets the stage for a destabilization of notions of racial and cultural homogeneity that the text later articulates. Severing links between identity and essence, in all its manifestations, is a key component to the texts addressed in this and the other chapters. Through representations of the tension between constructing racial unity and the ever present threat of fracturing that unity, which thereby exposes racial borders as malleable, contingent and open to re-articulation, ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ serves to undercut the fixity of racial difference in not only white-supremacist regimes, but also in more subtle, more contemporary, and more immediate contexts. In connection to ―Bioskoop der Nacht‘s‖ detailed and extensive consideration of skin colour in the extreme context of the racial hierarchy of apartheid South Africa, I then bring the discussion back to a dialogue in Das Bad that I omitted from the first two core chapters because it is most productively analyzed from the perspective of the Critical Race Theory and whiteness studies work of Ruth Frankenberg, Steve Garner, Richard Dyer, Peggy McIntosh, Omi and Winant, Mirόn and Inda and David Goldberg. And because this dialogue I am analyzing is also 38  published in Tawada‘s essay ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen, aber Europa gibt es nicht‖ with additional commentary inserted into the dialogue and with subsequent reflections on the theoretical implications behind this spirited dispute between the protagonist and Xander, I utilize this annotated version as my source of study. With its explicit focus on skin colour as the guarantor of identity and marker of the ‗us‘ vs. ‗them‘ divide, but also the fact that Xander considers skin colour to be a common-sense biological or natural fact instead of also a culturally and historically contingent discursive construct, this particular passage provides illuminating insight into Tawada‘s general political platform that works to problematize, de-essentialize and de-naturalize the most seemingly taken-for-granted markers of identity, such as skin colour and race. The juxtaposition of the two theoretical stand-points in this dialogue points to how colour has become synonymous with race, and how one character represents a discourse that naturalizes race and fixes difference, while the other represents a much more fluid, contingent and discursive position. Xander‘s position in this debate is symbolic of the differentiation that has come into effect because of dominant discourses which have served to ‗naturalize‘ difference. As Mirόn and Inda indicate in their provocative ―Race as a Kind of Speech Act,‖ this means ―differentiating human subjects into a number of natural and distinct races based on their typical phenomenal characteristics, and the consignment of some groups as inferior, … amounts to the familiar practice of locating difference in the presocial realm, as part of nature, hence rendering it immutable‖ (86). While Tawada‘s texts are by no means attempting to deny the very real, material construction of the biological body, they are inviting readers to take the ideologically invested politics of the racially constructed, naturalized, differentiating and inherently privileged body, more seriously. With respect to the reified category of whiteness that is prevalent in both ―Bioskoop der Nacht‖ and ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen,‖ though it is deployed to very different 39  ends, I attempt to underscore how Tawada‘s texts, with the support of whiteness studies theory mentioned above, attempt to make whiteness as a mechanism of power visible to those who benefit from it without recognizing it. Being unmarked or ‗just human‘ (as Richard Dyer terms it) infuses subjects with material and psychical privileges that only become apparent once one is marked, although it is much less common to attempt to pass as ‗marked‘ than it is to pass as unmarked. While Tawada employs the explicit and extreme example of South Africa for its production of race as hyper-visible, this context should compel readers to focus on the much more subtle, but equally consequential and hierarchical, construction and maintenance of differentiation based on skin-colour that still persists in western contexts, where privilege is guaranteed by the power of invisibility. Tawada again, in the texts examined in this chapter, creates a travelling narrator to bring the unseen and common-place structures and processes underpinning social relations and differentiation into focus, and forces readers to reflect on what seems so self-evidently natural and beyond question.  40  CHAPTER TWO: COUNTER-ETHNOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN YOKO TAWADA‘S DAS BAD 2.1 INTRODUCTION ―Eine Frau sitzt vor dem Spiegel und vergleicht ihr Bild mit einem Porträtfoto. Sie steigt ins Bad, reist als Schuppenfrau durch traumartige und alltägliche Sequenzen‖ (―A woman sits in front of a mirror and compares her image with a portrait photograph. She climbs into the bath, and travels as a scale-covered woman through dream-like and everyday sequences‖). This laconic, though telling, description of Yoko Tawada‘s Das Bad finds itself on the inside of the book jacket in the most recently released, 2010 German-Japanese edition of the text. And while it is extremely difficult to condense a sixty page novella into a two sentence description, this particular promotional blurb touches on a few of the most critical features of the work; namely, identification with the mirror and photograph, movement (in both the sense of moving through space, but also in the sense of resisting stasis), and the scales that cover the protagonist‘s body as a kind of second skin. This dissertation will consider each of these key themes in-depth. More specifically, the following chapter will investigate Das Bad as a kind of critical ekphrasis, and as an intermedial text and amalgam of various photographic interactions that have, thus far, received rather short shrift in secondary research. Nearly every page of the original German edition of this book contains a heavily manipulated photographic image over which the linguistic text is written, and thus I will first consider these frequently overlooked visual representations of photographs, and then how they productively interact with the written text. The self-reflexive materiality of a number of Tawada‘s texts, like Das Bad and her co-created artists‘ book Ein Gedicht für ein Buch, demands an interpretation that considers and respects their collaborative genesis. In other words, these texts require an interpretation that does not privilege the author‘s contribution at the expense of the other signifying features and semantic messages present  41  therein. Therefore, the significance of the book itself, as an object, and the images that adorn it, will first be addressed. Secondly, as the quote above indicates, the protagonist‘s portrait photograph and her mirror image feature prominently in this work as external images against which she constructs, but also complicates, her self-identity. I will therefore investigate how representation, and especially photographic representation, is not just reflective, but rather is constitutive, of identity formation. Thirdly, I will consider the photographic interaction between the protagonist/ photographic model (who is a Japanese female presumably in her late twenties) and her German boyfriend/photographer Alexander (who goes by the name Xander).15 Xander, who is employed by a travel company, attempts to photograph the protagonist with the intention of using her image for an advertising poster, and it is from the narrative of this photographic session that a number of theoretically complex criticisms can be untangled that serve to unmask and expose the ideological politics inherent in certain representational practices – especially photography. There is an explicit power discrepancy expressed during this photographic session and throughout this text. It is a discrepancy that points to the oppressive, exploitative and violent history of colonial and anthropological photography, which both served to crystallize hierarchies of value-laden ‗otherness‘. Representational politics and power are also witnessed in the photograph‘s capacity to objectify, commodify and fetishize the female subject for a masculine, voyeuristic gaze. The interaction between photographer and model, however, is no simplistic subjugation of victimizer over victimized, but rather it highlights and then problematizes the very  15  The name Xander immediately summons an image of der Zander, or pike-perch fish (also known as Sander or Zander in English). This is apt considering the use of water and scales that feature throughout the text, but it is also indicative of X-ander, der Andere, or ‗the Other‘ in English. In reference to the significance of the name Xander, Christine Ivanovic points out, ―[d]er griechische Name Alexander (aus αλέξω ich wehre ab, und ανήπ, Gen. ανδπόρ der Mann) bedeutet wörtlich ‗der Männerabwehrer‘. In der hier gegebenen (eher ungewöhnlichen) Abkürzung, die aus der Abspaltung von ‗Alex‘ nur den Konsonanten ‗X‘ als Kapitale bewahrt, bleibt lediglich der auf das Männliche bezogene Teil des Namens erhalten... Die auf sie einschüchternde Wirkung dieses Names bewirkt daher ein Verstummen, zu dem vielleicht auch die im japanischen Kontext übliche gestische Realisation des X als Zeichen der Durchkreuzung, des Durchstreichens, der Verneinung beiträgt‖ (―Aneignung und Kritik‖ 147).  42  notion of representing ‗authenticity‘ in visual imagery, and how these representations are often more a reflection of the one doing the representing than they are of the represented. Das Bad, similar to many of Tawada‘s texts, complicates common-sense beliefs and exposes seemingly natural and immutable differences like race and gender as culturally and discursively contingent categories. Because it is often viewed as an objective, unmediated representation of reality, photography has served this ideological function of solidifying racial and gendered categories as visually verifiable, and thus beyond contestation. As the end of this chapter highlights though, the stability of the photographic image itself has never been universally accepted, but rather has even served to complicate and problematize ethnographic knowledge of the racialized ‗other‘. However, before I enter into an analysis of photographic theory and practice and their role in Tawada‘s texts, I will consider how these texts in their very materiality already point to the centrality of photography for Tawada, and how this materiality must be understood in concert with the linguistic medium.  2.2 FOCUSING ON THE MATERIALITY OF THE TEXT: EIN GEDICHT FÜR EIN BUCH It must be recognized that the material book is not merely the vector utilized for transmitting a linguistically coded message to the literate, but rather is itself, as an object, a signifying process that needs to be recognized as part of the collaborative construction of textual meaning. The physical features or textual materials of the book (layout, paper choice, font size and type), paratextual details (dedications, jacket reviews, summaries and recommendations), 16 images and author photos, and other surface phenomena often overlooked as ancillary to the author‘s written words are all complicit in the sum of textual meaning, and all comprise what  16  The term ‗paratext‘ is attributed to Gerard Genette from his work Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. The concept is useful for literary interpretation especially here because it refigures para-textual components not as a border or boundary, but as a threshold that allows for a more complete and sophisticated reception of the text, while at the same significantly influencing how one reads the text.  43  Jerome McGann has labelled the ‗bibliographic code‘ in his work The Textual Condition.17 While Gérard Genette‘s focus on paratexts points in the right direction, it is still exclusively linguistically-centric.18 Conversely, the bibliographic code draws attention to the semantic messages and meaning contained within the tangible vehicle itself, and when considered in relation to, and in dialogue with, the author‘s linguistic code, the two can create a composite text dramatically different than would be the case if these codes were read in isolation. More often than not it is the linguistic code that enjoys the status as the text and thus the primary object of analysis, while the bibliographic code is often relegated to the periphery or is seen as complementary to its linguistic companion, if it is not entirely overlooked altogether as extraneous ‗noise‘ that needs to be filtered. This might be due to the fact that while the author (at least to a certain extent) is the creator of the linguistic text, usually the images, design layout, and overall material instantiation of the book are the creation of the designer, publisher and printer, thereby making the bibliographic code appear as mere window dressing to the author‘s sacred word. Yet, as the editorial theory of McGann and later George Bornstein in his work Material Modernism: The Politics of the Page highlights,19 the text is a ―field of communicative exchange‖ (McGann 62) and its meanings are ―collaborative events‖ (60) constructed by the author, editor, publisher, printer and reader, and thus extend beyond the author‘s words, to say nothing of authorial intention. And while the Russian Formalist Boris Tomashevsky went so far 17  Jerome McGann, in his work The Textual Condition, relegates the role of the author and authorial intention in governing textual meaning, and instead focuses on the fact that ―all texts, like all other things human, are embodied phenomena, and the body of the text is not exclusively linguistic‖ 13. McGann attempts to outline a ―materialist hermeneutics‖ that ―considers texts as autopoietic mechanisms operating as self-generating feedback systems that cannot be separated from those who manipulate and use them‖ 15, because ―the meaning is in the use, and textuality is a social condition of various times, places and persons‖ 16. 18 McGann does not believe Genette‘s concept of paratexts goes far enough, mainly because ―first, their textuality is exclusively linguistic; and second, they are consistently regarded as only quasi-textual, ancillary to the main textual event (i.e., to the linguistic text)‖ 13. 19 Bornstein‘s work, heavily indebted to McGann‘s concept of the ‗bibliographic code‘, centers on the role the material construction of the text plays in historicizing the text. Material Modernism, according to Bornstein, ―highlights the notion of material textuality as both the physical features of the text that carry semantic weight and the multiple forms in which texts are physically created and distributed‖ 1.  44  as to state ―it is not important where the author aims, but what end he reaches‖ (Martens 212), authorial intention is certainly one of the criteria that enters the process of textual creation, but it is not the sole authoritative voice. If the material medium and its bibliographic code remain transparent, as they often do, then the text becomes only a limited fragment of its potential and its reception and interpretation are possibly, significantly, diminished. The text is, in a way, akin to a photograph, as the material transmitter (the book or photographic paper) is really just a transparent conduit relaying the written message (or in the case of the photograph, the image rendered) to a qualified reader. The following analysis takes issue with this kind of textual understanding with respect to selected works by Yoko Tawada, and approaches her texts, as Gunter Martens advocates in his essay ―What Is a Text?,‖ as always in fluid motion and never completely fixable. Artists‘ books20 are one way of ―thickening the medium‖ (McGann 13), so to say; of putting the resources of the medium on full display, which thereby underscores the text as a tautological, self-conscious and self-generating reflection on its own material textuality and its presence as a book-as-object. The artists‘ book places the printed word on an equal plane with the visual and material text. It thus demands to be read as a compendium of constituent, though sometimes discordant, meanings, and rather heavy-handedly emphasizes the inextricability of medium and message. As someone who herself claims to be ―intrigued by books as objects‖ (―Scattered Leaves‖12) Yoko Tawada has twice participated in the co-creation of artists‘  20  While a precise definition on artists‘ books has proved to be a moving target over the past half-century, in my opinion one of the more trenchant descriptions is ―the artist book, however disruptive of tradition, strives for cohesion among its constituent parts by giving equal status to images, typography, binding, page-setting, folds, collages, and text. The reader must search … for unifying coherence … within and outside the text‖ 11. This quote can be found in Renee Riese Hubert and Judd D. Hubert‘s The Cutting Edge of Reading: Artists‟ Books, which is useful for the theory behind, and examples of, artists‘ books. For an overview of the ongoing debate of defining what actually constitutes artists‘ books, and even the difficulty of settling on the term artists‘ book, I suggest Stefan Klima‘s concise Artists Books: A Critical Survey of the Literature.  45  books.21Ein Gedicht für ein Buch, for example, which is a combination of the Japanese handmade book and the more recent European tradition of livres d‟artistes, is a collaborative effort between Tawada, photographer and papermaker Stephan Köhler, and book artist and designer Clemens-Tobias Lange. It features an interweaving of Tawada‘s poem of the same name, photographs of Tokyo train commuters and Japanese temples taken by Köhler, printed on translucent paper made by Köhler, and a ray-skin book cover obtained by Lange. 22 ClemensTobias Lange Presse describes the book, of which there are only forty-five extant, as follows: Alle Papiere in dem Band von Stephan Köhler sind original Silber-GelatineHandabzüge. Die handgeschöpften Japanpapiere von Köhler wurden mit lichtempfindlicher Silberemulsion beschichtet und belichtet. Die schmetterlingsleichten Seiten sind nicht fest eingebunden, sondern liegen beweglich übereinander. Lose, gefaltete Blätter in Einbandmappe aus Perlrochen (Galuschat) von Thomas Zwang. (CTL Presse) There are only a few words on pagefilling silver-gelatine printed sheets. The photographs by Köhler are painted on the translucent and crispy medium. Photoemulsion and letterpress on handmade Japanese paper. Bound in natural colour ray-skin (Galuschat) by Thomas Zwang. (CTL Presse) As my own research investigates the relationship between written text and photographic images in the context of a range of photographic theories and histories in Tawada‘s works, as well as the variegated application of skin in her writing, this particular artists‘ book seems to highlight a 21  Ein Gedicht für ein Buch and Spiegelbild are the two examples I am referring to above. Because they are artists‘ books they are, by their nature, neither copied nor mass distributed, and thus they remain elusive to most readers. 22 Clemens-Tobias Lange Presse provides images of the cover of this book and a sample of the translucent paper on its website. This site also gives a sample of the Tawada-Köhler collaboration Ein Gedicht in einem Buch, of which there were 1,000 copies made, including one which I viewed in the Philologische Bibliothek der Freien Universität Berlin. Information on these artists‘ books can be found on Clemens-Tobias Lange Presse‘s website at: http://www.ctl-presse.de/buecher/11ta.htm  46  number of themes which the author frequently addresses, and thus I will return to it occasionally throughout this dissertation. It is noteworthy in the above description of the book‘s material construction that not only does it contain photographic images, but the technique of the paper production itself is depicted as a process similar to photographic development. The ―SilberGelatine-Handabzüge‖ and the Japanese paper coated and exposed with light-sensitive silver emulsion is strikingly reminiscent of the silver-coated plates of nineteenth century daguerreotypes and later twentieth century photographic developing techniques. 23 The bibliographic code in this instance then is brought to the fore, the medium is made murky, and the very process of the text‘s creation and the act of reading become matters of interpretation and reflection in addition to, and in communication with, the written text. The relationship between written text, the material text and the images that adorn it is complex to say the least. In an interview with Bettina Brandt, Tawada outlines part of the thought process that led her to choose this particular poem for the book. Having already created a poem that was conceptually congruent with the photos of train commuters in Tokyo and Japanese temples,24 Tawada was told by Clemens-Tobias Lange that ―the relationship between text and image should not be too direct ... the text should not look like an explanation of the  23  Mary Warner Marien‘s Photography: A Cultural History and Photography and its Critics both outline the origins of photographic developing techniques and the differences between Daguerre, Niépce and Fox Talbot‘s processes. Photography and its Critics describes Daguerre‘s process as follows: ―a photographic plate sensitized with a surface layer of silver iodide was exposed in a camera obscura. The image, which was not visible at the time of the exposure, was developed out by using mercury flames‖ 31. Niépce abandoned this technique of employing the photosensitivity of silver for one that was more like engraving and etching. Because of their silver plating, Daguerreotypes also came to be viewed as Silberspiegeln - mirrors that both transmitted and reflected an image. The metaphor of the photograph as a mirror of reality is thus based in a more literal origin. See the chapter ―Silberspiegel‖ 200-203 from Stiegler‘s Bilder der Photographie for a brief history of its technical and cultural development. 24 There are no page numbers for these photographic images because the book is unpaginated. The CTL Presse website provided in the above footnote gives a sense of what these images look like, and the only secondary source which mentions these images can be found in the Brandt interview ―Scattered Leaves.‖ In the interview Brandt says ―Stephan Köhler‘s black and white photographs for A Poem for a Book are of two kinds: those that portray adults and children in Tokyo traveling by commuter train while reading a book, and a series of images of temple installations‖ 16. In this interview Tawada later states ―Stephan flew to Tokyo and took photographs of [people reading in the commuter transportation system] and combined them with photographs he had taken in Japanese temples earlier‖ 16-17.  47  images, or vice versa, the images like illustrations of the text‖ (―Scattered Leaves‖ 17). She thus abandoned the synergetic approach and opted for a poem that prevents the reader from seeing the image as a mere accent to the written word, or as an unequivocal one-to-one representation of the semantic content. Looking now briefly at Tawada‘s poem, I suggest that ‗word‘ is, appropriately, the self-reflexive and central theme of Ein Gedicht für ein Buch, a title which indicates that the book itself as materially and textually encoded is of equal significance to the linguistic poem. Ein Gedicht für ein Buch ein wort ein mord wenn ich spreche bin ich nicht da ein wort in einem käfig fesselnd gefesselt spuckt einen bericht über meine taten über meine karten kein wort nur sein schatten in dem ich ruhe mein schatten verschwindet darin nichts wird bewertet wenn ich schweige bin ich aus demselben stoff gemacht wie du stoffliche zeit zwischen einem wort und einem schluck wasser dort wo die stimme im fleisch aufwacht hört man ohne ohren ein wort befreit von seinem dienst ein wort direkt auf das trommelfell geschrieben die trommel fällt lautlos stimmhaft ein wort  48  ein ort25 A Poem for a Book a word a murder when i speak i am not there a word in its cage arresting arrested spits a report about my crimes about my cards no word only its shadow in which i rest my shadow disappears in it nothing is judged when i am silent i am made of the same material as you material time between one word and a sip of water there where the voice awakes in the flesh you hear without ears a word liberated from its duty a word written directly on the eardrum the drum falls soundless voiced a word a place (trans. Emily Sullivan;qtd. in Brandt ―Scattered Leaves‖ 17)  On the one hand, because the cover of this book is comprised of a fish skin, one that, incidentally, both appears and feels like human skin in terms of texture, there is already a very material, corporeal experience pre-figuring the linguistic text. The book‘s materiality sets up the reading experience as something that is simultaneously a bodily experience. The somatic 25  This poem can also be found, though without the translucent paper, images and overall material experience of the artists‘ book, in Tawada‘s Aber die Mandarinen müssen heute abend noch geraubt werden. Prosa and Lyrik 93-94.  49  connection to language is then further expanded in the poem‘s semantics, especially in the lines ―dort / wo die stimme im fleisch aufwacht / hört man ohne ohren.‖ Here, as is the case in a number of Tawada‘s texts, there is the suggestion that language has both a symbolic (in the discursive sense) and a material (in the corporeal sense) effect on the body. 26 In lines such as ―wenn ich spreche / bin ich nicht da‖ and ―wenn ich schweige / bin ich aus demselben stoff gemacht / wie du‖ and ―ein wort / befreit von seinem dienst,‖ there is an implication of a kind of displacement of the ‗word‘ from its conventional function as communicative sign, pointing towards a liberating potential for the ‗word‘. Free from its service‘, according to Florian Gelzer, means that the word ―dient nicht mehr nur als Bedeutungsträger, kann es körperlich und sinnlich in seiner Materialität, als ‗stimme im fleisch‘, aufgenommen werden‖ (―no longer serves as the carrier of meaning; it can be bodily and sensorily received and absorbed, as a ‗voice in the flesh‘‖; ―Wenn ich spreche‖ 85). Of course this sensual and bodily experience is considerably augmented when the poem is read in relation to the paper on which it is written. These translucent sheets of Japanese paper are meant to give the reader a feeling of looking through water when attempting to read and comprehend the semantic meaning contained within the words. Viewing this poem, as Tawada claims, gives the feeling ―that this object is about to change, that the book will transform itself into something else if you leave it alone for too long‖ (Scattered Leaves 15). This sense of immanent transformation, however, is likely absent if the poem is read in a more conventional material context, such as in Tawada‘s text Aber die Mandarinen müssen heute abend noch geraubt werden: Prosa und Lyrik, where the poem is also found, but without the message of the medium. In Ein Gedicht für ein Buch the translucent pages that remain unbound, loosely held 26  The connection between language and corporeality has been investigated in relation to Überseezungen by Christina Kraenzle in ―Travelling without Moving‖ 6-7. Kraenzle outlines how, in Tawada‘s texts, there is a ―physical transformation that takes place when switching from one language to another.‖ Kraenzle argues that Überseezungen marks a strong reinstatement of the material and corporeal in Tawada‘s texts, ―attributing substance to the symbolic and reinvesting words with the power to evoke physical sensation‖ 7.  50  together in the fish skin book-cover allude to the centrality of representations and metaphors of water and fluidity, of mobility and change that feature so prominently throughout in both the content and materiality of her works, where textual bodies, analogous to the human bodies they depict, are unstable and open to variation. Tawada‘s artists‘ book-text - self-conscious of its construction and materiality - thus requires a different approach to reading. It virtually insists on being comprehended beyond language, and rather as a compendium of physical, visual and linguistic messages. The interplay between the bibliographic code (meaning the text outside the text, manifested as images, paratexts or textual materiality) and the author‘s written text can be found in a number of Tawada‘s works in various forms. Its most explicit instantiation is probably in the artists‘ books already mentioned, but is also a productive point of analysis in Nur da wo du bist, da ist nichts, Das Bad, Talisman, Überseezungen27 and Schwager in Bordeaux, as well as in a number of her other texts. Nur da wo du bist, da ist nichts, for instance, is an unambiguous example of an interactive text that self-consciously reflects on its textual materiality and the importance of the reader in producing textual meaning. The book includes a plastic insert comprised of part text, part plastic windows which the reader lays over a poem and can move up or down in order to constantly reproduce a new version of the poem. Christine Ivanovic‘s ―Jenseits des Vergleichs,‖ in which she focuses on the book‘s horizontal/vertical aesthetics, its typography, and the sensory rather than semantic experience this work produces. is by far the most extensive analysis of the form and materiality of this text.28 More recently, Suzuko Mousel Knott has outlined how the layout of this book and the inclusion of the reader as producer is  27  Christina Kraenzle‘s ―Travelling without Moving‖ underlines how in Überseezungen (where the stress rests on ‗see‘) the typography of the text‘s title and the graphics depicting geographical regions overwritten with symbols and characters from various alphabets ―reflect the themes that run through each text: language, translation, travel, geography and the embodied self‖ 2. 28 Ivanovic‘s article then goes on to consider some of the bibliographic codings in Wo Europa anfängt and Talisman, which are two texts I will be addressing later in this dissertation.  51  representative of Tawada‘s broader literary technique of pastiche, in the sense that her texts are really intertextual patchworks of various texts and threads woven together (―Yoko Tawada und das ‗F-Word‘‖ 570-71). Similar to the original German edition of Das Bad, Talisman also features a nude female figure on its book cover (though this image is a sculpted body rather than a photographic representation), which, in addition to the numerous other bibliographic codings present in this text, has been analyzed in secondary scholarship. Ruth Kersting and Ottmar Ette, for example, consider the significance of the author‘s photo by Isolde Ohlbaum in connection to the biographical information provided in Talisman for contributing to a kind of myth that has developed around the author; a myth that has a tendency to influence, and constrict, how her texts are read and researched. Kersting notes how this photo designates and classifies the author as a young woman and as Asian. She continues by describing how in author photos ―der Körper des Künstlers oder der Künstlerin ist gezeichnet, Sexualität und ethnische Herkunft sind in ihn eingeschrieben. Gebildet durch Diskurs und sozialen Umgang, ist der Körper in einem ständigen Zustand der Definition und Objekt im dehnbaren Gefüge der Machtverhältnisse‖ (―the body of a male or female artist is drawn, and sexuality and ethnic background are written into this image. Formed by discourse and social contact, the body is in a constant state of definition and is an object stretched between oppositional forces of power‖; Fremdes Schreiben 60). Ottmar Ette, influenced by Kersting, also analyzes the author photo and biographical information in Talisman, but with a nod to Barthes‘s Empire of Signs. He states: Die wenigen Biographeme, die paratextuell eingestreut werden, finden sich vielerlei Formen den Texten der Autorin wieder. So wie Barthes seine eigene Photographie in seinen Ikonotext L‟Empire des signes aufnahm, so liefert Tawada dem Lesepublikum zumindest paratextuell eine Bildvorlage für die 52  Subjektkonstruktion, die durch die Wiederkehr bestimmter Biographeme die Identität von Autorfigur und textexterner Autorin nahelegt. (―Zeichenreiche: Insel-Texte und Text-Inseln‖ 223) A few biographical details can be found in varying forms scattered paratextually throughout the author‘s texts. Like Barthes reception of his own image in the iconic Empire of Signs, Tawada supplies her reading public with a kind of paratextual model image of subject construction, which through the recurrence of certain biographical details brings the identity of the author figure and the textexternal author closer together. In her collection of poetic lectures titled Verwandlungen, Tawada even quotes Barthes‘s comment from Empire of Signs in which he suggests that the reception of his author photo published in a Japanese newspaper is altered by the alienating context and surrounding typography, indicating that his photograph has undergone ‗eine Japanisierung‘, as ―die Typographie Nippons läßt seine Augen schmaler, seine Augenbrauen schwärzer erscheinen‖ (―This Western lecturer, as soon as he is ‗cited‘ by the Kobe Shinbun, finds himself ‗Japanned‘, eyes elongated, pupils blackened by Nipponese typography‖; Verwandlungen 53; Empire of Signs 90).29 Barthes is referring to himself in the third-person here because it is not actually Barthes as a person, but rather his image and the perception of his image that is being manipulated by its (dis)placement vis-à-vis the Japanese characters, and the resulting  29  In Verwandlungen, Tawada also describes Barthes‘s ruminations on the author photo and its capacity to manipulate the author‘s image and the resulting reception. She expands with an anecdote: ―Einmal in New York sagte eine amerikanische Fotographin zu mir, daß mein Autorenfoto wie das einer deutschen Schriftstellerin aussehe. Seitdem schaue ich mir die Autorenfotos in den US-amerikanischen Büchern genauer an und habe tatsächlich Unterschiede zu den deutschen Fotos festgestellt. In US-amerikanischen Büchern wird ein Autor oft als ein normaler Mensch dargestellt: als einer, der auch ein Nachbar des Lesers sein kann. Hingegen wird das Gesicht eines deutschen Autors im Foto wie eine historische Mauer dargestellt, die man nicht durchbrechen kann, weil sie nicht mehr existiert. Seine Haut wird mit einer heiligen Schicht bedeckt und dadurch unnahbar... Auf einem Autorenfoto verkörpert das Gesicht die Vorstellung von Autorschaft, wie sie in einer spezifischen Kultur hervorgebracht wird. Insofern werden Gesichter geschrieben und nicht abgebildet‖ 54. Tawada further reflects on the author(ial) photograph in her more recent work ―Tawada Yoko Does Not Exist‖ on page 16.  53  juxtaposition between photo and text may influence how he is read as an author and a celebrity. For Tawada, this confusion is commonplace in textual reception, and she even suggests that ―[t]he authorial image produced from the work is the true author, and the living person who exists as the author may be, in relation to the text, a complete stranger‖ (―Tawada Yoko Does Not Exist‖ 15). Because both the linguistic and visual codes articulated and represented in Das Bad feature photography as one of the primary themes, 30 I will be focusing on the significance of various procedures involved in taking particular kinds of photographs, i.e., staging or not staging the photographic subject, focus, lighting, developing and disseminating, and also some of the more canonical theories of photography from cultural, historical, ethnographic, colonial, and marketing perspectives by academics including Barthes, Batchen, Benjamin, Burgin, Eco, Sekula, Sontag, and Urry. More specifically with regard to Tawada‘s text, I am concentrating on the third print of the first edition of Das Bad, published in 1993 by Konkursbuch Verlag Claudia Gehrke, translated into German from the Japanese by Peter Pörtner, with the design layout by the artist Günter H. Seidel. While Das Bad was originally written in Japanese, it was actually first published in German in 1989, and thus I refer to this as the ‗original‘ edition. I state these publication details explicitly because since 2010 there is a new German-Japanese edition available. This marks the first time that this text has appeared in its original Japanese language, and even though it contains a limited selection of the images featured in the original edition, in the newer text these images have been minimized and superimposed over images of vast ocean  30  I will be partly addressing the kind of ‗photography theory‘ outlined by Victor Burgin in his introduction to Thinking Photography, which considers photography as a practice of signification. Burgin notes that the ―emphasis on ‗signification‘ derives from the fact that the primary feature of photography, considered as an omnipresence in everyday social life, is its contribution to the production and dissemination of meaning‖ 2. Though indebted to semiotics, Burgin‘s, and the other authors in the volume, recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the theory, and thus also consider ―the complex articulations of the moments of institution, text, distribution and consumption of photography‖ 2.  54  expanse. 31 Furthermore, this bi-lingual 2010 edition from Konkursbuch Verlag Claudia Gehrke has the German text horizontally running front to back, while the Japanese reads vertically back to front in a similar fashion to Nur da wo du bist, da ist nichts. Because the Japanese text reads back to front and vertically, the German text does not actually mirror the Japanese text either visually or semantically, which symbolically represents the disjuncture between the subject and her mirrored image in the text, but also undermines the notion that there can be a direct one-toone literal translation and correlation between languages. As I noted in the opening to this chapter, the publisher‘s blurb on the inner book jacket reads ―eine Frau sitzt vor dem Spiegel und vergleicht ihr Bild mit einem Porträtfoto. Sie steigt ins Bad, reist als Schuppenfrau durch traumartige und alltägliche Sequenzen.‖ This description indicates that, although the photos have been removed from each individual page, nonetheless the photograph and mirror remain central to the meaning of the text. However, in my opinion the recent edition diminishes the emphasis on the photograph and the text‘s implicit dialogue with the histories, development and deployment of photography from an especially European, and ethnographic, perspective. Because my focus is on the significance of the visual and textual photographic images in Das Bad, I will therefore be making use of the original edition that exposes photography as its central theme. Lastly, regarding the various editions of this text, it is finally worth noting here that there is an English translation of Das Bad, translated as ―The Bath,‖ which was published in a collection of short stories by New Directions in 2002 called Where Europe Begins.32 This edition does not feature any of the photographic images present on each individual page in the German 31  It also bears noting that the publisher info reads: ―Dies ist eine überarbeitete Neuauflage von ‗Das Bad‘. Die erste, vergriffene, Ausgabe der deutschen Übersetzung, gedruckt auf transparenten Bildern, erschien 1989. Der japansiche Originaltext ist hier erstmals veröffentlicht.‖ This is noteworthy because the original appears twenty years after the translation, confusing the sanctity of ‗originality‘. 32 According to the author, while Claudia Gehrke Verlag ultimately decided on the particular images used in, and design of, Das Bad, Tawada indicated to them that she wanted some kind of skin represented on the book cover. With New Directions, however, she was content to leave the book design up to them without her input (from my ―Personal Conversation with Yoko Tawada‖).  55  edition, but rather features a cover photograph of the Trans-Siberian Railway. This initial visual encounter with the text sets up a substantially different context and point of entry than that provided by the German edition, not to mention the fact that the German edition of Das Bad stands alone as an independent text, while the English edition is subsumed in a collection bearing the title of the anchoring text. Due to the English edition‘s conspicuous omission of the photographic images, and because the content of Das Bad is situated primarily in Germany and is likely intended for a German-speaking readership, I will thus refer exclusively to the German edition of the text in my analysis.  2.3 THE DE-CONTEXTUALIZED IMAGE: PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES IN DAS BAD Das Bad‟s written text is superimposed over thirty-two individual, monochrome, faded photographs of mostly naked, seemingly young, probably Asian, females. My language here is consciously imprecise because the photographs themselves are so ambiguous and open to interpretation. This is no doubt intentionally done as the ambiguity provides an unmistakable quality that contributes to the text‘s overall effect of ambivalence and polysemy. Present among these thirty-two photographs are also, what appear to be, a hand-mirror, a three-legged pot with flowers, and what seem like more or less blank pages. However, because there is some colour present on these otherwise blank pages, they provide an effect of over-exposure rather than an absence. 33 The thirty-two photographs appear in sequence on the first thirty-two pages, and then they repeat this same sequence on the next thirty-two pages, making the text sixty-four pages in length, though not every page consists of written text. This is only noteworthy because the text (and I am of course referring to the original edition that contains all the photographic images) is unpaginated, and since it is more challenging for readers to orient themselves in the middle of a  33  Ruth Kersting‘s Fremdes Schreiben provides a detailed breakdown of these images in Das Bad, including on which pages these images are found (though the text itself is unpaginated) 133-37.  56  text without page numbers, as customarily page numbers provide a standard point of reference and a stability, the lack of pagination adds a subtle layer of dislocation and disorientation. In this text, both in terms of the content and visual imagery, the only logical sequence is the sequence of images, yet due to their ambiguity it is unlikely that a reader would recognize the fact that each image appears twice in sequence in this work. Furthermore, as two of the images from the collection of thirty-two photographs appear on the front and back cover of the text, these two images are present a total of three times, thereby elevating their profile. The image on the cover of the text is the same image that appears on the colophon or Impressum page providing the publication and translator information, possibly because this image is one of the least equivocal of the text‘s photographs in terms of signifiers of race, gender, age and the obvious lack of clothing. This page containing the publication information does not provide the origin of these photographs (but rather only publication and publisher details, and printer and designer names), nor can any trace of the origin of these photographs be found throughout the text. We learn nothing of the photographer, the photographed subjects, the place of their taking, to which collection they belong, or any other hint of the referents from which these images were born, and therefore any attempt to label the identities of these subjects in terms of nationality, ethnicity, age etc. would be pure conjecture. Perhaps the fact that on the book cover the author‘s name, Yoko Tawada (obviously the name of a Japanese woman), appears across the photographed subject‘s forehead, or the fact that ―aus dem Japanischen von Peter Pörtner‖ is written across the same subject‘s chest on the page prior to the written text‘s beginning, could give the impression that these are photographs of Japanese females. But what is more probable, considering Ruth Kersting‘s claim that the publisher at Gehrke Verlag attributes these photographs to a Chinese photographer from the 1920‘s or 1930‘s  57  (again note the uncertainty) (Kersting 133), 34 is that they underscore the problematic relationship between image and text, between the referent and the photographic image, between original and copy, and ultimately the dubiousness of the photograph as reliable evidence or testament of authenticity. 35 Despite the fact that Das Bad is one of the most analyzed of Tawada‘s texts in secondary literature, the photographic images that feature throughout this piece have received relatively scant attention. One of the few examples in which these photographs are considered can be found in Sabine Fischer‘s 1997 article ―Verschwinden ist schön,‖ where she points to the interaction between image and text: In Tawada‘s Kurzroman Das Bad wird die Wechselwirkung zwischen Wort und Bild bereits durch die, von der Autorin initiierte, graphische Ausstattung der Buchseiten kenntlich gemacht: Dem Text sind die zarten Bilder asiatischer Frauenkörper unterlegt. Der exotische weibliche Körper wird mit Schrift bedeckt. Die Schrift wiederum wird ‗verkörpert‘. Unter dem Einfluß fremder Blick und fremder Worte durchläuft der Körper der Protagonistin, einer in Deutschland lebenden Japanerin, ständige Metamorphosen. (104) In Tawada‘s short story ―The Bath‖ the interchange between word and image is exposed through the graphics adorning the books pages – a textual feature initiated by the author. Underlying the text are the delicate images of Asian females. The exotic feminine body is covered in writing; this writing conversely becomes ‗embodied‘. Influenced by a foreign gaze and foreign words the body of 34  With regard to the origin of the photographic images in Das Bad, Kersting states, ―[a]ls unterste Schicht zeichnet sich eine schmenhafte Photographie ab, die Kopf und unbekleideten Rumpf einer jungen, leicht in sich gekehrten, vermutlich ‗asiatische‘ Frau zeigt. Die Verlegerin des Konkursbuchverlags Gehrke meinte sich auf meine Anfrage hin zu erinnern, dass es sich um Bilder eines chinesischen Photographen aus den 1920er oder 1930er Jahren handelt. Man habe die Bilder ‗abgesoftet‘, um sie als ‗traumhafte Andeutung‘ erscheinen zu lassen‖ 133. 35 It is interesting to note that, because this text was first written in Japanese but only published as a German translation, the copy is actually the original.  58  the protagonist (a Japanese woman living in Germany) undergoes continual metamorphoses. The significance of the unity between body and text and subsequently physiognomically reading bodies will be expansively addressed in the following chapter. In the Fischer quote above, however, there is already a telling example of how bodies in Tawada‘s texts are coded as ethnically and racially marked, as the exotic, female body in this text is both literally and figuratively written upon and read and interpreted by a highly subjective ethnographic gaze. The heavily stylized photographic images underlying the written text work in connection to the content insofar as they serve a kind of counter-ethnographic function by providing no knowledge of the figures they portray, but rather only an invitation to re-consider the representational practice itself. Ruth Kersting‘s Fremdes Schreiben provides undoubtedly the most extensive account of the photographic images in terms of historical-cultural context and significance, and with respect to how they are structured within the text itself. Kersting considers how the front and back covers of the text (the front cover depicting the image of a naked Asian female, half covered by a drawing of a fish and the text‘s title; the back cover featuring a photo of the author overlaying the same image of a naked Asian female) create ―eine ambivalente Spannung, denn einerseits werden Klischees von ‗der Japanerin‘ und damit assozierte Stereotype von Exotik bzw. Erotik in Form der Photos bedient ... und andererseits durch die Collage auf der Titelseite problematisiert, da diese den Konstruktcharakter von Identität andeutet‖ (―an ambivalent tension, since on the one hand clichés of the Japanese woman and associated stereotypes of exotic or erotic are connoted in the form of the photograph, but on the other hand these clichés are problematized by the collage on the book cover, which points to the constructed character of identity‖; 136). Kersting recognises Das Bad as a Bilderbuch in which the photos often parallel, confront or 59  complicate the textual passages they accompany. For example, she notes that on the pages where seemingly no image appears, ―[e]ine Leerstelle spiegelt die entsprechende Textpassage, in der erzählt wird, dass die Ich-Erzählerin auf Photos nicht zu sehen sei‖ (―An empty space reflects the corresponding textual passage, in which the first person narrator is absent from the photographic images‖; 137). Of course a direct relation between image and text is not possible for every page in this work, but as Kersting remarks, ―[d]ennoch ergibt sich aus der Kombination von exotistischen, historischen Bildern und Schrift bzw. Text über eine zeitgenössische Japanerin in Deutschland ein spannungsvolles Ganzes‖ (―The combination of exotic, historical images together with writing, or in other words text, about a Japanese woman living in Germany creates a kind of suspenseful whole‖; 137). While Kersting‘s analysis of these photographs and their historical and cultural significance with respect to the Japanese protagonist is without equal in secondary scholarship, there is more that needs to be said in terms of how these photographs contribute to the overall effect of this text. I argue that this effect is consistent with the text‘s over-arching counterethnographic approach that exposes these particular photographic representations as heavily mediated and invested, and which then challenges the very possibility of objectively representing ‗authenticity‘ and the seemingly incontrovertible knowledge of the ‗Other‘ gained by visual images. The instability and ambiguity of the photograph are central to the complex construction of the protagonist‘s identity in this text, and thus the following will investigate the diverse deployment of photographs and photographic histories present in the visual and textual content that has hitherto been absent from any discussion of Tawada‘s writing. As noted above, Das Bad literally employs photographic images as context and background to a linguistic code that is rife with photographic content and themes. Moreover, without any indication as to the origin of the photographed subjects adorning its pages the text is 60  implicitly situating itself within theories of photography and imaging technologies from Benjamin to Baudrillard. These images are essentially copies without originals, false representations with the pretence of reality in the sense of Baudrillard‘s simulacra, 36 and seem to exist without an external equivalent – meaning there is no original object to which they correspond. It is certainly no accident that each photographed subject is repeated at least twice in the images in this text, emphasizing its multiplicity and its reproducibility, and as a consequence there is an unmistakable disavowal of originality. Furthermore, in relation to the reproducibility and repetition of the photographs, in addition to the images of naked women there is also an image of a mirror present among these photographs. While I will refer later in this chapter to the crucial role played by the mirror in the protagonist‘s identity construction, the inclusion of the mirror among the photographic images in the text should not go overlooked with respect to its unstable status as an ethnographic object. And especially if we consider the extent to which Das Bad is a refraction of Barthes‘s Empire of Signs, then Barthes‘s thoughts on the culturally specific symbolic function of the mirror as the ultimate empty sign and its implication of repetition without origin resonate here. Barthes states: In the West, the mirror is an essentially narcissistic object: man conceives a mirror only in order to look at himself in it; but in the Orient, apparently, the mirror is empty; it is the symbol of the very emptiness of symbols (‗The mind of the perfect man,‘ says one Tao master, ‗is like a mirror. It grasps nothing but repulses nothing. It receives but does not retain‘): the mirror intercepts only other mirrors, and this infinite reflection is emptiness itself (which, as we know, is form). Hence the Haiku reminds us of what has never happened to us; in it we  36  In the era of simulation, reproduction is key. The difference between the real and its representation is erased. For one of the most influential articulations of ‗simulacra‘, see Baudrillard‘s Simulacra and Simulation.  61  recognize a repetition without origin, an event without cause, a memory without person, a language without moorings. (Empire of Signs 78-79) Walter Grond implicitly connects this quote with Das Bad in his assertion that ―Das Bad ist auf den Spiegel geschrieben, in den sie schaut. Ich denke an die nackten Körper der Frauen auf dem Papier, aber sie ist im Spiegel nicht zu sehen, wie die Körper der Toten nicht zu sehen sind … Der Spiegel ist nicht nur nicht leer, er ist Symbol für die Leere der Symbole‖ (―‗The Bath‘ is written on the mirror in which [the protagonist; J.R.] looks. I am thinking of the naked female bodies on the paper, but she can‘t be seen in the mirror, just as the bodies of the dead cannot be seen … The mirror is not only not empty, it is symbolic of the emptiness of symbols‖; 100). Both Barthes and Grond are promoting here the poststructural notion of the mirror as symbolic of the emptiness of the sign, and especially for Barthes the mirror of his imagined ‗Orient‘ is indicative of the infinite play of signifiers, or ‗language without moorings‘ as he calls it. In Das Bad, as I will later highlight, the mirror and the photograph are being figured as both visually and conceptually analogous symbols through the combined visual and textual content. They both operate as points of identification, but are also symbolic of repetition and a disavowal of originality. Neither the photograph nor the mirror can be taken as direct reflections of an unmediated reality or as connected to a stable referent, but rather can be viewed as constantly changing representations, and as self-reflexive symbols of the one doing the representing (in this case the photographer) rather than the object being represented. Although we are now in a digital and post-photographic age and nearly seventy-five years have passed since his seminal work ―Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit,‖ there is still a relevant theoretical dovetailing between Das Bad and Benjamin‘s focus on the effect of mechanically reproducing images. This ability to mechanically reproduce and circulate multiple copies of images not only influences artistic practices and how 62  the public is able to access and engage with art, but it also has a significant impact on the relationship between representation and notions of authenticity and originality. The individuals represented in the photographs in Das Bad have become photographic subjects, meaning they are now subjected to a multiplicity of ideologically and historically infused discourses embedded in representational practices, and thus they have abdicated any claim to individuality. As Benjamin points out, though without the ideological underpinning, ―indem sie die Reproduktion vervielfältigt, setzt sie an die Stelle seines einmaligenVorkommens sein massenweises. Und indem sie der Reproduktion erlaubt, dem Aufnehmenden in seiner jeweiligen Situation entgegenzukommen, aktualisiert sie das Reproduzierte‖ (―the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced‖; ―Das Kunstwerk‖ 141; ―The Work of Art‖ 220). This technique of mechanical reproducibility serves to dislocate, de-contextualize and potentially re-contextualize the photographed subjects in ways very dissimilar from their original rendering. While ―das Hier und Jetzt des Originals macht den Begriff seiner Echtheit aus‖ (―the presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity‖; ―Das Kunstwerk‖ 139; ―The Work of Art‖ 219), now the reader of these images need not know the referent rendered on the photographic page in order to formulate a seemingly verifiable opinion, making the image open to multiple and divergent readings and interpretations that are limited only by the reader‘s own parameters of knowledge and experience. Spatial and temporal limitations have been erased by the ability to reproduce and circulate these images, and therefore they have taken on the status of mobile cultural objects. Of course for Benjamin the ability to reproduce and circulate images to a wider audience irrespective of traditionally  63  restrictive hierarchies like class or education made this new form of technical reproducibility a more democratic, inclusive and less elitist practice of representation. 37 As is the case with any engagement with photographic images, the deployment of the photographs in Das Bad, and especially their interpretation, is extremely complex and often paradoxical. On the one hand, with the destruction of the ‗aura‘ that surrounds the reproduced image due to the nature of mechanical reproduction, there is an erosion of the connection between ‗source‘ and ‗image‘. Such an erosion effects a concomitant alteration and destabilization of the notion of originality, and therefore, authenticity itself. Without having any credible evidence as to the source of Das Bad‟s photographs, or more importantly the historical, cultural or social context from which they were taken, these photographs transmit to the observer only surface, two-dimensional, monochrome details. ―The insufficiency of the decontextualized image‖ means that ―what you see is not necessarily what you get‖ (Jay 163), as it is especially necessary when reading photographic images to have some sense of the context of the rendering and its reception if one is to establish a plausible line of connotative meaning. Documentary photography provides a different context for legibility than commercial or advertising photography, and thus a viewer must recognize the codes of second-order meaning embedded in a photograph that are based on the context of its rendering and on the circumstances of its reception. The American critic Mary Price, in her book The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space, argues that context and description of the photograph in its reception and usage are most significant in the determination of meaning, as the relationship between the image and the actual reality to which it belonged is but one element in the construction of its message. Because the photographic images in Das Bad have been decontextualized and then recontextualized in this  37  Benjamin also draws attention to the destruction of the ‗aura‘ through mechanical reproduction, and in this case by means of photographic reproduction, in his ―A Short History of Photography.‖ He states ―the prizing of the object from its shell, the destruction of its aura is the mark that the sense of the sameness of things in the world has grown to such an extent that by means of reproduction even the unique is made to yield up its uniqueness‖ 21.  64  text for what I must presume is a very different readership than was originally intended, the potential therefore for connotative meaning proliferates, though not without parameters. These images must be read in dialogue with the written text, and in the context of a variety of photographic histories to which they relate: ethnographic, colonial, tourism, erotic and even personal and amateur photography.  2.4 THE RHETORIC OF THE IMAGE AND THE PARADOX OF THE PHOTOGRAPH Before I address the images in Das Bad within the context of different types of photography and their historical, cultural and social implications, I will first attend to the crucial problem and paradox of reading photographic images, for here we find the source of complexity for photographic literacy. Historically, the power and authority of the photograph as a medium of representation and as a historical artefact lie in its evidentiary quality as an objective, first hand witness to the person or event represented. Alan Sekula, in his straw man account of photographic veracity, professes that the ostensible power of the medium resides in its ability to represent nature itself. It delivers an unmediated copy of reality, and consequently ―the propositions carried through the medium are unbiased and therefore true‖ (―On the Invention‖ 86). Photograph literally means ‗light writing,‘ 38 and in its earliest instantiation as the Daguerreotype was referred to as a ‗mirror image‘ or a ‗mirror with a memory‘ due in part to the fact that the copper plate upon which the image was inscribed was silver-coated, giving it the effect of a mirror. It was also labelled as a mirror though because it was viewed as a direct and objective reflection of reality uncompromised by a human agent (and in contrast to Talbot‘s creation, did not contain a negative, thus making each image unique and un-reproducible). Unlike preceding forms of representation like painting, drawing, sculpting, and of course  38  From the Greek photo-, form of phos meaning ‗light‘ and -graphy meaning ―process of writing, recording or description‖ from Greek -graphein ―write, express by written characters.‖  65  language, photography was a mechanical medium of representation and thus did not emerge as a product of culture, was not infected by cultural determinations, and therefore belonged purely to nature. William Henry Fox Talbot, who along with Louis Daguerre and Nicéphore Niépce was attributed with developing and popularizing photography, 39 referred to the camera as ‗the pencil of nature‘ in a series of books of the same name featuring photographic images, while Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph, articulated his admiration for photographic truth and fidelity when he claimed that photographs ―cannot be called copies of nature, but portions of nature herself‖ (Sekula 86). Since photography was elevated above communicative techniques compromised by the human hand and its cultural codes, it was considered a kind of universal language, one that was infinitely more immediate and accessible to its recipient. Bernd Stiegler points to this ‗achievement‘ whereby the photograph supersedes language as a communicative medium: Gerade dank der ihr zugeschriebenen Objektivität sei die Photographie allen anderen Sprachen überlegen und könne endlich die babylonische Sprachverwirrung aufheben, indem sie die Zeichen und die Dinge miteinander gewissermaßen auf natürlichem Wege so eng verknüpft, daß das Band unauflösbar ist. (Theoriegeschichte der Photographie 337)40 It is exactly because of the objectivity ascribed to it that photography is superior to all other languages, and is finally able to quash the Babylonian language confusion. Photography connects sign and thing so tightly with one another in the most natural way, so that the bond seems inseparable.  39  Photography as a ‗human invention‘ is problematic, as Talbot, Daguerre and Niépce all trumpeted photography as originating in nature. It is spontaneous, the product of a flash of light, and thus does not belong to a progressive line of print media. See Photography and its Critics 2-7 for a more expansive introduction into the genesis of photographic development, and pages 15-21 in the aptly titled subchapter ―Inventing Photography‘s Inventors.‖ 40 Photography‘s capacity to register things-as-they-really-are is trumpeted by the likes of Fox Talbot, Berenice Abbot, Cartier-Bresson and Moholy-Nagy. See Sontag 119-21 for an overview of photography‘s relation to realism.  66  While it is difficult to dispute that the image developed by the photographic process was seemingly a more faithful depiction of reality than was previously possible with preceding representative techniques, the idea that this new Bildsprache or ‗language of images‘ was somehow a natural, universal language and guarantor of objectivity soon revealed itself as untenable. Because the photographic process is a near instantaneous capture and representation of the moment, where ―photo sensitive emulsion necessarily registers the distribution of light to which it is exposed‖ as Victor Burgin puts it (―Photographic Practice‖ 61), there is the feeling that the photograph contains a ‗trace of the real‘. This is what Barthes would later translate into semiotic language as ―a message without a code‖ (―Rhetoric of the Image‖ 25). Although Barthes himself, in the very same essay and in ―The Photographic Message,‖ would subsequently highlight the paradox of an uncoded message, it is nevertheless this ―aura of mythic neutrality‖ surrounding the photograph that lends it its authoritative currency and its persistent status as a testament to the way someone or something really was in reality (Sekula 87). Yet the paradox of the photograph as a ―message without a code‖ becomes evident when the culturally and socially embedded elements in the image are deciphered. Stiegler sets up the ontology of the photograph in Barthes‘s text: Wenn man die Photographie als Sprache versteht, muß sie, um verstanden zu werden, notwendig Zeichen und somit codiert sein. Wir hätten es daher mit kulturell wie gesellschaftlich codierten Zeichen zu tun, der immer wieder angenommene Natürlichkeit Ergebnis von kulturellen Operationen ist und dann auch Gegenstand der Kritik werden kann. (Theoriegeschichte der Photographie 344) If photography is to be understood as a language, in order for it to be comprehended it must also be a sign and thus coded. We would therefore be 67  dealing with culturally and socially coded signs, whose assumed naturalness is in fact a product of cultural factors, and which would consequently make them objects of criticism. In viewing photography as language, however valid its claims to reflecting an objective and authentic reality, it becomes subject to the cultural, historical, social and material conditions external to itself that inform any kind of literacy - whatever the sign system may be. Roland Barthes was certainly aware of the complexity of reading photographs as one would a language. Not only did he reveal this awareness in the above mentioned essays, but also, and more acutely, in an interview conducted shortly before his death with Angelo Schwarz and Guy Mandery: To call photography a language is both true and false. It‘s false, in the literal sense, because the photographic image is an analogical reproduction of reality, and as such it includes no discontinuous element that could be called sign: there is literally no equivalent of a word or letter in a photograph. But the statement is true insofar as the composition and style of a photo function as a secondary message that tells us about the reality depicted and the photographer himself: this is connotation, which is language. Photographs always connote something different from what they show on the plane of denotation. (―On Photography‖ 353) The photographic paradox then, according to Barthes, lies in the fact that a photograph consists of both denotative (meaning image as exact analogon of the referent) and connotative (meaning the cultural, historical, subjective, and interpretive) messages. However, it is this perceived absence of a code ―that reinforces the myth of photographic ‗naturalness‘‖ (―Rhetoric of the Image‖ 33), which can ultimately serve the ideological function of transforming the appearance  68  of cultural phenomena into natural phenomena. 41 The denoted message can appear ―as a kind of Adamic state of the image; utopianly rid of its connotations, the image would become radically objective, i.e., ultimately innocent‖ (31). Barthes, and many since, sought to unmask the process of naturalization that subsumes the cultural under the natural, the invested under the objective. Geoffrey Batchen points to the photograph as a potentially ―powerful ideological weapon because photography works to naturalize a view of the world that is in fact always political and interested‖ (Photography Degree Zero 8). The naturalized view is so dangerous because when beliefs and assumptions sediment into common-sense, into the taken-for-granted, they are placed beyond question and serve to maintain the dominant order. Despite the seemingly one-to-one relation of object to image, the photographic image, like language and text, is contingent on not only the referent, but also on codes of perception and recognition, as Umberto Eco outlines in his ―Critique of the Image.‖ In this seminal essay Eco details the multiple conventions of perception that determine how we read photographs like other sign systems. He also recognizes that we have now abandoned any theory that suggests the photographic image is an exact analogue of reality – in contrast to Barthes‘s assertion that both a denotative and connotative message are simultaneously present. And while he meticulously outlines the conditions and processes of codification involved in the transmission, recognition and perception of photographs,42 these codes are not necessarily evident to the average reader of images, and thus photographs continue to be read at face value. Photographic literacy, like all 41  While a number of Barthes‘s texts are dedicated to exposing the ideological underpinnings in cultural practices through techniques of demythification and denaturalization, Mythologies makes this explicit in the line: ―the starting point of these reflections was usually a feeling of impatience at the sight of the ‗naturalness‘ with which newspapers, art and common sense constantly dress up a reality which, even though it is the one we live in, is undoubtedly determined by history ... I resented seeing Nature and History confused at every turn, and I wanted to track down, in the decorative display of what-goes-without-saying, the ideological abuse which, in my view, is hidden there‖ 11. 42 Umberto Eco‘s ―Critique of the Image‖ outlines a list of iconic codes, such as those of perception, recognition, transmission, taste and style, which can be recognized in every photographic image. Eco contends that the theory of the photo as an analogue of reality has long since been abandoned, as now ―we know that the image which takes shape on celluloid is analogous to the retinal image but not to that which we perceive. We know that sensory phenomena are transcribed, in the photographic emulsion, in such a way that even if there is a causal link with the real phenomena, the graphic images formed can be considered as wholly arbitrary with respect to these phenomena‖ 33.  69  forms of literacy, is learned over time, and unlike linguistic literacy, the photograph effectively conceals the multiple and diverse codings that infuse every image behind a perceived objectivity and ‗aura of mythic neutrality‘. Regardless of whether a viewer sees the paradoxical presence of two codes of meaning in a photograph or not, it is difficult to deny the photograph‘s power to serve as a faithful recorder of reality. As Susan Sontag claims, ―the camera record justifies. A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened‖ (On Photography 5). The notion that photographs ―furnish evidence,‖ to use Sontag‘s words, is directly connected to the first order, denotative message that the photograph transmits. With regard to the photographic images on the pages of Das Bad, however, reading these images as messages without codes would be extremely challenging. While the photographed subjects are seemingly represented in as natural a state as a human can be (meaning they are au naturel, completely naked), this nonetheless does not cleanse them of connotative meaning. In Empire of Signs Barthes makes a comparable move towards washing away meaning with the statement: ―to imagine, to fabricate a face, not impassive or callous (which is still a meaning), but as though emerged from water, rinsed of meaning, is a way of answering death‖ (91). Walter Grond hints at connecting this Barthes quote with Das Bad in his slightly less opaque remark: Gesten der Ideen sind die Gestalten Yoko Tawadas, gereinigt von aller Expressivität. Eine bestimmte Art mit dem Tod umzugehen, nannte Roland Barthes diese japanische Undurchdringlichkeit. Gesichter wirken wie aus dem Wasser gezogen, sind von jedem Sinn reingewaschen. Den Gestalten wird nicht nur nicht Leben und Wirklichkeit verordnet, diese Gestalten werden ausdrücklich in der Qualität von Zeichen gehalten. Zeichen, lese ich bei Roland Barthes, die  70  von ihrem referentiellen Alibi, dem der lebenden Sache, abgeschnitten sind. (Stimmen 96) Gestures of ideas comprise Yoko Tawada‘s figures, cleansed of all expressivity. Roland Barthes named this Japanese impenetrability as a particular way of avoiding death. Faces have the effect of appearing from water, cleansed of all sense or meaning. Not only are these forms not prescribed by life and reality, but they expressively keep the quality of a sign. Signs, as I read them in Roland Barthes, are cut from their referential alibi. The spirit of Barthes and Grond‘s reflections suggest an idealistic refashioning of reading faces and bodily figures, pointing to bodies cleansed of pre-determined and naturalized meanings and read like signs disconnected from a stable or static signified. In Tawada‘s text the bath is similarly coded as the site of the protagonist‘s constant metamorphosis and a signifying fluidity, but it is also symbolic of the administrative space of a normative body ideal that requires cleansing and policing of the bodily boundary. The absence of clothing represented in the visual and textual bathing scenes, however, is by no means indicative of an absence of meaning and cleansing of connotation. Clothing is, of course, an immediate signifier of cultural, class and historical meanings, and were these women wearing clothes an astute observer would be able to determine something of their heritage or context. Codes of dress are always ideologically laden, 43 and thus stripping the images in Das Bad of this level of signification might, at first, suggest that they be (mis)read like a photograph: as uncodified, as part of nature rather than culture, as evidence of reality. What seems more productive though, given the intermedial nature of this text and its engagement with  43  In Roland Barthes‘s The Fashion System the author develops a semiotic reading of choice and combination of clothing and the ideologically (bourgeois) investment in arbitrarily assigning preference to certain clothes as more fashionable than others. Malcolm Barnard‘s Fashion as Communication delves even further into the ideological implications of fashion.  71  photographic practice, is that these photographs be read as reflections on the variegated use of the body in photographic representation, here in all its manifestations as the nude body, the female body, and the foreign or exotic body. In these images there is a larger politics of power and ethnographic representation at work that is also in dialogue with the linguistic code, and it is this politics of power and representation that I will be investigating shortly with regard to a number of textual examples.  2.5 OBJECTIFICATION AND COMMODIFICATION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC SUBJECT With respect to the actual photographic images in this text, it seems to me that they conceal more than they reveal of the subjects rendered. As mentioned, they have been retouched by the human hand to blur or mask the subjects‘ features, and as such transmit only the coarsest signifiers of human identity. The knowledge gained from such empirical testimony is inimical because it is so superficial, even though it has the gloss of objective reality. The affected ambiguity of these photographs underscores the complexity and paradoxical nature of reading photographic images. They seem to be asking more questions of the viewer than they are providing answers. Even the most obvious ‗facts‘ delivered by these images are problematic and self-consciously reflective, starting with perhaps the most conspicuous detail punctuating each photographed subject: the subject‘s naked body. 44 The paradox of the naked or nude body lies in the tension between the seemingly innocent, natural and objective body without clothing, and the connotations of sexuality, commodification, voyeurism, scopophilia and fetishism that are frequently entangled in naked photographic images, especially when these are images of female  44  Kerstin Gernig‘s edited book Nacktheit: Ästhetische Inszenierungen im Kulturvergleich touches on a number of ways that representations and the reality of nudity have prominently figured in mythology, religion, eroticism, sexuality, pornography, commodification and discipline. The book addresses how understanding nudity differs depending on gender, age, culture and era, and encompasses a variety of approaches including sociological, literary studies, historical, ethnological, culture studies and art historical.  72  nudes. John Berger teases apart the subtle though illuminating, culturally invested semantic distinction between naked and nude bodies with: To be naked is simply to be without clothes, whereas the nude is a form of art... [T]he nude is always conventionalized – and the authority for its conventions derives from a certain tradition of art. The nude also relates to lived sexuality. To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude. Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. To be naked is to be without disguise. (Ways of Seeing 53) Objectively speaking, the photographed subjects in Das Bad are naked, they are without clothing, and therefore they are in their natural state.45 But because every image is read through a code, they are simultaneously subjectively nude and have been contextualized in a ―fantasy space where the hidden, the private, and the forbidden is made available to the eye‖ (Clarke 131). Several of the images in this text actually indicate that the subjects are either involved in Schönheitspflege or ‗beautification‘, or are at a bath, which, as Ruth Kersting points out with reference to articles by Kerstin Gernig and Claudia Delank, provides a provocative culturalhistorical frame for contextualizing the images in the original edition of Das Bad. 46 As a means  45  In her book Skin: On the Cultural Border between Self and Other, Claudia Benthien notes that ―we still believe that something is true if it is naked, the absence of makeup is still seen as a mode of authenticity, and nakedness is still the ideal of the natural ... Nakedness is ... not an ontological category but rather a relationship that always relates to something else. Consequently, what we define as skin is also profoundly shaped by history and culture‖ ix. 46 Kerstin Gernig‘s ―‗Photographs furnish evidence‘: Zu Funktion und Bedeutung der Photographie im Kontext des europäischen Japonismus‖ and Claudia Delank‗s ―Japanbilder – Bilder aus Japan. Yokohama-Photographie in der ostasiatischen und europäischen Bildtradition des 19. Jahrhunderts‖ are the two articles Kersting refers to. Delank‘s article, which preceded Gernig‘s, delivers similar examples of the popularity of photographs of Japanese women at the bath, and also delivers this relevant quote from Oscar Wilde, especially in the context of Tawada‘s texts like Das Bad and ―Eigentlich darf man es niemandem sagen, aber Europa gibt es nicht‖: ―Do you really imagine that the Japanese people, as they are presented to us in art, have any existence? If you do you have never understood Japanese art at all. The Japanese people are the deliberate self-conscious creation of certain individual artists ... The actual people who live in Japan are not unlike the general run of the English people; that is to say they are extremely commonplace, and have nothing curious or extraordinary about them. In fact, the whole of Japan is a pure invention. There is no such country, there are no such people‖ 274. Both articles suggest that the effectiveness of the photograph to construct an image of Japanese ‗reality‘ was due to its ability to accurately and objectively represent  73  of highlighting the significance of photography in the ethnographic construction of Japan in the Western imaginary, Gernig‘s article ―‗Photographs Furnish Evidence‘‖ demonstrates that through travel reports and ethnographic photographs the image of the far-away, foreign and exotic world of Japan was visually and textually constructed for European consumption. Women beautifying themselves and naked women at the bath were among the most popular photographic motifs for both European and Japanese photographers, and these photographs played a substantial role in the eroticization of the Japanese woman in Western perceptions. The inclusion in Das Bad of these stereotypical photographs of Asian women at a bath is clearly linked to this representational tradition, but in an effectively counter-ethnographic way that subverts and undermines ‗knowledge‘ of the heavily manipulated, mediated, and reproduced ‗other‘ through visual representation. And whether the naked women represented in Das Bad were photographed at a public or private bath is difficult to say, but what is apparent is that they have been removed from a closed space and have been recontextualized for public viewing and consumption. The poses of these photographed subjects seem carefully and consciously choreographed, for if we consider the most recognizable selections from the thirty-two images provided, those being the images uncovered by, or stripped of, written text, it is clear that they are avoiding the camera‘s gaze by looking downwards or off into the distance. The nature of the photographic medium invites looking, yet the voyeuristic pleasure realized with these particular images stems from these photographed subjects being seemingly unaware that they are the object of the gaze, evidenced by the fact that they are not looking back at the camera. Voyeurism, as Liz Wells describes, is ―a mode of looking related to the exercise of power in which a body becomes a spectacle for someone else‘s pleasure, a world divided into the  nature. See also Eleanor Hight‘s ―The Many Lives of Beato‘s ‗Beauties‘‖ 126-58 that analyzes the photographs by Felice Beato of Japanese courtesans and geishas. This article suggests Beato‘s photographs not only reveal the traditional market of Western males for sexually alluring Asian women, but also the exploitation of these women by their own countrymen who forced them into positions of servitude.  74  active ‗lookers‘ and the passive ‗looked at‘‖(171). The visual nudity in the text situates the reader as the voyeur, as there is something undeniably taboo in gazing at these naked females, their age unknown, who have been put on display without their knowledge or consent. The sense of passivity created by this avoidance of the camera‘s gaze gives the impression that the viewer, or voyeur, has a kind of power over the photographed subject. John Urry points to this sense of control created by photographic representation: To photograph is in some ways to appropriate the object being photographed. It is a power/knowledge relationship. To have visual knowledge of an object is in part to have power, even if only momentarily, over it. Photography tames the object of the gaze, the most striking examples being of exotic cultures. (The Tourist Gaze 139)47 Although there is nothing explicitly obscene or pornographic about the images in this text, the interplay of pose, nudity, erotic and exotic intimates that these women are being represented and read through a fairly narrow set of determining signifiers that make them objects of desire. Moreover, as photographs they become literally material objects which a viewer can hold and possess; or put differently, they become fetish objects that are viewed as the focus of sexual desire. Christian Metz‘s article ―Photography and Fetish‖ compares and contrasts film and photography and the nature of each media with respect to their fetish qualities, ultimately coming to the conclusion that ―film is more capable of playing on fetishism, photography more capable of itself becoming a fetish‖ (90). Metz points to the fact that, because of its qualities, photography is more like a slice of nature that freezes a moment in time. He explains this with ―in all photographs, we have this same act of cutting off a piece of space and time, of keeping it unchanged while the world around continues to change‖ (85). It is this static rendering, this  47  John Urry‘s The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies will feature later in this chapter with regard to the relationship between the photographer Xander and his photographic object / girlfriend.  75  subject frozen in time, which facilitates the transformation of a human subject into an inert object that can be gazed at and fixated upon – or in other words, fetishized. Das Bad not only points to the objectification of women through photographic images, but also to how in everyday life women are subjected to a kind of objectifying masculine gaze, one which women ultimately internalize and then use to self-surveille. John Berger, again from his Ways of Seeing, transitions from ‗photographic‘ to ‗everyday‘ vision and provides a particularly germane description of this internalization of the gaze with respect to Tawada‘s text. He argues that ―a woman‘s self being has been split into two. A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself‖ (46). Berger expands on this idea with ―men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of women in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object – and most particularly an object of vision: a sight‖ (47). The idea here is that the way men look at women in photographs, as objects of desire, slips or spills over into everyday life and affects the way that men look at women in reality. Moreover, as women are aware that they are being looked at as objects, they begin to survey, surveille and discipline themselves as objects of vision. Celia Lury, with reference to Foucault‘s notion that the subject interiorizes the gaze and becomes his or her own overseer, further extends the point and asserts that ―subjectivity of the individual is developed by self-surveillance or reflection upon his or her own appearance, as if it were a mirror of the soul‖ (Prosthetic Culture 10). This self-surveillance through reflection as constitutive of the individual‘s subjectivity is a central theme in Das Bad, as indicated in the opening lines where she attempts to conform to a photographic idealization of herself, but which she inevitably fails to appropriate. This crucial scene will be the focal point of the following pages. 76  2.6 THE PHOTOGRAPH, THE MIRROR AND PROCESSES OF IDENTIFICATION IN DAS BAD Because images are essentially silent and infinitely interpretable on their own, the theoretical context provided above must be read in relation to both the photographic images covering the pages of Das Bad, and in dialogue with the written text, as image-text, itself. This will permit a much clearer understanding of their context and meaning to be established; therefore, I will now demonstrate how they function in connection with the linguistic code. To begin, the first two paragraphs of Tawada‘s text simultaneously serve a descriptive and performative function in relation to the work as a whole. These paragraphs descriptively, actively and conceptually provide a frame for the reader that works as a point of entry into the content and theoretical implications of the text. The opening lines read: Der menschliche Körper soll zu achtzig Prozent aus Wasser bestehen, es ist daher auch kaum verwunderlich, dass sich jeden Morgen ein anderes Gesicht im Spiegel zeigt. Die Haut an Stirn und Wangen verändert sich von Augenblick zu Augenblick wie der Schlamm in einem Sumpf, je nach der Bewegung des Wassers, das unter ihm fließt, und der Bewegung der Menschen, die auf ihm ihre Fußspuren hinterlassen. Neben dem Spiegel hing in einem Rahmen eine Portraitaufnahme von mir. Mein Tag begann damit, dass ich beim Vergleich des Spiegelbilds mit der Fotographie Unterschiede entdeckte, die ich dann mit Schminke korrigierte. (Das Bad 7)48 Eighty percent of the human body is made of water, so it isn‘t surprising that one sees a different face in the mirror each morning. The skin of the forehead and cheeks changes shape from moment to moment like the mud of a swamp, shifting  48  Although it is the unpaginated, 1993 third printing of the first edition of Das Bad with the full set of photographic images so essential to the text‘s composite meaning that I am using in this analysis, for the sake of ease of reference and current spelling I will provide page numbers and quotes from the new, paginated 2010 edition.  77  with the movements of the water below and the footsteps of the people walking above it. I had hung a framed photograph of myself beside the mirror. The first things I would do when I got up was to compare my reflection with the photograph, checking for discrepancies which I then corrected with makeup. (―The Bath‖ 3) What becomes immediately evident from these two paragraphs is the establishment of a tension between the fluid and malleable body made up of eighty percent water that changes from day to day, and the fixed, frozen and static image inscribed on the photograph that functions as a kind of regulatory model against which the protagonist measures and stylizes her self-identity. At the same time, there is also a tension between notions of surface and depth at work, as the body is being represented as prone to movements and influences taking place beneath and within, while the mirror and photographic images are surface reflections and representations that influence from without. Throughout the text notions of surface and depth serve to situate the photograph amidst this paradox of change and stasis. The depiction of a different face that appears every day in the mirror image can also be read as reflecting the different photographic images that appear on the pages of the text. In both the linguistic and visual media the face that we literally see at the beginning of the text is not the same face that we see at the end, although each face does occasionally repeat itself. Bluntly put, there is a process of subject constitution developing in these opening lines of Das Bad that underscores the complexities and paradoxes involved in the construction of subjectivity. On the one hand there is a sense of transformation and human agency exemplified by the constant repetition of difference and the sense that she has some control over her appearance, but this is contrasted by the power of prescriptive and binding norms to which the subject is unconsciously beholden. The photograph here is representative of 78  these normative and ideologically infused discourses that act on, and ultimately constitute, the subject – not in any kind of overtly subjugating way, but in the quotidian performance of daily rituals, e.g., the application of make-up. Marshall McLuhan‘s insightful chapter ―The Photograph‖ from Understanding Media aptly underscores the impact photographic representation has had on the subject‘s process of identification and self-consciousness. He remarks: The complete transformation of human sense-awareness by [photographic] form involves a development of self-consciousness that alters facial expression and cosmetic makeup as immediately as it does our bodily stance, in public or in private ... if outer posture is affected by the photograph, so with our inner postures and the dialogue with ourselves. The age of Jung and Freud is the age of the photograph, the age of the full gamut of self-critical attitudes. (197) The photograph then not only serves the purpose of a seemingly accurate representation of the subject, but it is also complicit in the construction of the subject‘s sense of selfhood and selfidentity. Photography does not just passively reveal what was already there, but it actively constructs how a subject knows him/herself, and how one is known by others.49 In the sense that the protagonist is repeatedly employing images, manifested as a mirror and a photographic representation, to form an identity, the images then can be read as points of identification to which she relates and measures herself. Identification here is meant in the 49  Christina Kraenzle‘s dissertation ―Mobility, Space and Subjectivity‖ 83-101 outlines how mapping, in a similar sense to photographic imaging, actively creates reality rather than objectively represents it. Photography and mapping have an intertwined history, and the Victorian Lady Eastlake even goes so far as to call photographic portraits ‗facial maps‘. I quote Lady Eastlake in full from Tristam Powell‘s ―Fixing the Face,‖ where she claims ―what are nine tenths of these facial maps, called photographic portraits, but accurate landmarks and measurements for loving eyes and memories to deck with beauty and animate with expression, perfect certainty that the ground plan is founded upon fact‖ 10. At one time both maps and photographs enjoyed the status of objective and unmediated representations of reality. Olu Oguibe comments on the impact of this naïve faith, stating ―resting on this supposed fidelity and transparency, whole disciplines came to rely upon the evidentiary potentials of the photograph, sociology appealing to it for concrete statistical purposes, anthropology for indubitable evidence of the evolutionary order of the human species and by extension, justification for its mission of salvage exploration outside Europe‖ 571.  79  context of ―[p]rocesses whereby the individual subject assimilates an aspect, property or attribute of that which is seen and is transformed, wholly or partially, after the model which the other – in this instance the image – provides. Personality is constituted through such imaginary identifications‖ (Wells 282). In his essay ―Remembering Fanon,‖ Homi Bhabha remarks that ―the question of identification is never the affirmation of a pre-given identity, never a selffulfilling prophecy – it is always the production of an ‗image‘ of identity and the transformation of the subject in assuming that image … For identification, identity is never an a priori, nor a finished product; it is only ever the problematic process of access to an ‗image‘ of totality‖ (117). Identification with a mirror image as a process of subject constitution naturally summons Lacan‘s ‗mirror stage‘, a theoretical interplay that is certainly not lost on Tawada scholars. 50 Sabine Fischer, for instance, notes in her 1997 articles ―Verschwinden ist schön‖ and ―Wie der Schlamm in einem Sumpf‖: Der Blick in den Spiegel offenbart die Flexibilität der Ich-Identität, aber auch ihre Anfälligkeit für Fremdeinwirkungen. Individual- und Sozialpsychologie benutzen traditionsgemäß die Metapher des Spiegels zur Erklärung von Prozessen der Fremdbestimmung und Entfremdung des Subjekts. Lacans Ausführungen über das Spiegelstadium des Kleinkindes basieren auf der Grundannahme, daß im Verlaufe der Beschäftigung des Kleinkindes mit seinem Spiegelbild eine  50  Kersting also addresses the mirror motif and implied connection to Lacan in this text: ―Das Motiv verweist mit den psychoanalytischen Ausführungen Lacans über das Spiegelbild als ‗Matrix für die spätere Ich-Identität‘ auf eine bestimmte Entwicklungsphase des Subjekts‖ 155. She then goes on to suggest another direction fort the motif with ―[i]n einer weiteren Lesart aufbauend auf traditionellen japanischen Vorstellungen von Spiegeln wird hier die Möglichkeit eröffnet, im Spiegel einen ‗Durchgang‘ für abwesende oder tote Menschen aus einer fremden Welt zu sehen.‖ Fischer also highlights the significance of the mirror image for creating a subject‘s concept of the self with ―[e]thnische Minderheiten sehen sich im Spiegel der dominanten Kultur; Frauen reagieren auf die Bilder, die ihnen von der überlegenen Männerwelt entgegen werden‖ (―Wie der Schlamm‖ 66). Fischer concludes that ―Tawadas Protagonistin im Das Bad formt ihre Identität in Beziehung zu den von Männern konstruierten, durch geschichtliche Tradition verfestigten Weiblichkeitsbildern aus zwei Kulturen. Ihre Reaktionen auf diese Fremdbilder sind widersprüchlich‖ 66.  80  ‗Identifikation‘ stattfindet: ... eine beim Subjekt durch die Aufnahme eines Bildes ausgelöste Verwandlung. (―Verschwinden ist schön‖105) The gaze into the mirror reveals the flexibility of the I-identity, but also its susceptibility to foreign influences. Individual and social psychology traditionally use the metaphor of the mirror to explain the processes of constituting what is foreign and the alienation of the subject. Lacan‘s take on the mirror stage of infants is based on the premise that during the course of the infant‘s occupation with its mirror image an ‗identification‘ takes places … a metamorphosis which happens with the subject‘s inculcation of an image. The most interesting component present in Fischer‘s analysis of this opening encounter with the protagonist‘s mirror identification comes when she states that this process of identity construction is not merely passive, but rather ―die Interpretation des Spiegelbilds ist von einem bestimmten Vorwissen, von Wünschen und Absichten geprägt. Individuen sind bis zu einem gewissen Grad an der Schaffung ihrer Spiegelbilder mitbeteiligt‖ (―The interpretation of the mirror image is directed by prior knowledge, and by desires and intentions. To a certain extent individuals actively contribute to the construction of their mirror images‖; ―Verschwinden ist schön‖ 105).The manner in which the protagonist reacts to these external images is somewhat ambiguous, in the sense that she both adapts to and resists these models. As the opening lines of this text emphasize, the human body is in a state of constant change and flux, as is human identity, and thus the photographic image in this text initially serves as a point of reference and reassurance for a protagonist seeking control of her personhood, but later proves as unstable and contingent as the identity it helps construct. If we bear in mind that the image to which the protagonist aims to conform is a mediated representation of reality, meaning it is no exact, objective document of truth but rather is rife 81  with codes of connotation like style, pose, framing, the photographer‘s influence, and context of rendering and reception, then it can be read as both an idealization and technique of control. It is an idealization because it is the selected, directed and stylized creation of a photographer (Xander, the protagonist‘s boyfriend)51 who chose to capture that very moment as the one most exemplary of his image of the protagonist. Der Rahmen of this Portraitaufnahme functions as a kind of signifier of human intervention that undermines any pretence of ‗realism‘ associated with the photographic portrait. Framing signifies a special status for that particular rendering, the one chosen from an infinite number of possibilities. It also suggests a particular ideological frame for the photograph insofar as one viewpoint is being promoted while everything existing outside of this frame of reference is being discarded. The photograph‘s observer ultimately needs to bear in mind more than just the depicted image itself when interpreting a photograph, since the meaning of the photograph cannot be contained within this frame, however much it appears as a literal and figurative boundary separating the fabricated image from the mirror image hanging next to it. In ―Rhetoric of the Image‖ Barthes makes the etymological connection between image and its root, imitari,52and in these opening lines of Das Bad we witness the imitation of an 51  The text makes this explicit with ―das Foto von mir, das an der Wand neben dem Spiegel befestigt war, hatte Xander vor ein paar Jahren aufgenommen‖ 25. With regard to the text‘s structure, the three main characters in Das Bad (the protagonist, Xander the photographer and the dead woman), make up, as Matsunaga outlines in ―Ausländerin, einheimischer Mann, Confidante,‖ a triadic constellation that can be found in several other Tawada texts. Texts like ―Bilderrätsel ohne Bilder,‖ ―Missing Heels‖ (―Kakato o nakushite‖), ―Das Leipzig des Lichts und der Gelatine‖ (―Hikari to zerachin no raipuchihhi‖), ―The Gotthard Railway‖ (―Gottharto tetsudô‖), etc., are all first person narrations taking place in Germany/Europe (or at least not Japan) that feature a Japanese (or Asian) female main character, a German (or European) male lover/friend character, and a female confidante who usually remains unnamed. In Das Bad the constellation consists of the female Japanese protagonist, her German boyfriend/photographer/language instructor Xander and the dead woman as confidante. The more recent Das nackte Auge features a similar pattern, with a female Vietnamese protagonist who comes to (East) Germany and then France, has a German boyfriend (Georg), and a female confidante (Ai Van), although it could be argued that Catherine Deneuve plays the more central role of confidante. 52 Barthes states, ―[a]ccording to an ancient etymology, the word image should be linked to the root of imitari‖ (―Rhetoric of the Image‖ 21). The psychoanalytic term imago first utilized by Jung in 1912 is also etymologically linked to image, and when considered in relation to Das Bad‟s mirror scene, can be productively understood by its OED definition as ―a subjective image of someone which a person has subconsciously formed and which continues to influence his attitudes and behaviour.‖ In the case of the protagonist and her process of identification, the subjective image is that of herself.  82  image, insofar as the protagonist is attempting to copy a copy of the ‗real‘. The photograph has obtained this authority as a mirror of reality, even more real than the mirror that hangs next to it, because of its unique and obviously paradoxical status as an unbiased and unmediated testament, or as a ‗message without a code‘ to again cite Barthes. Herein rest the ideological implications of the photograph that, due to the apparent veracity of its denotative message, is read as though it were merely a natural reflection and not a culturally embedded object. It is partly this naturalization of the cultural that lends the photograph its evidentiary and ideological quality, and furthers the notion that real ‗truth‘ and ‗knowledge‘ can be established from looking at a photograph. Even though photographic realism based on the iconic code of resemblance between referent and image is obviously problematic, the indexical quality of the photograph,53 meaning the sense that the referent is present in the image, which thus points to its actual existence in the world, its having-been there at the moment of capture, is what really advances the photograph‘s power as something that is both seen and felt. While essays like ―The Rhetoric of the Image‖ acknowledge the indexical power of the photograph to connect image and referent, it is really in Camera Lucida where this sentiment becomes most explicit. Barthes emphasizes this with, ―I call the ‗photographic referent‘ not the optionally real thing to which an image or a sign refers but the necessarily real thing, which has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph‖ (49). The simultaneous presence of iconic and indexical qualities infuses the photograph with its authority and makes it a powerful point of identification for the protagonist in Das Bad. Especially when placed opposite the mirror, the photograph opens a complex negotiation of identity construction that continues throughout the text. 53  The three codes of communication, as designed by Charles Sanders Peirce, are the iconic, the indexical and the symbolic signs. The iconic sign is one that resembles in its representation the subject represented – a photograph for example. The indexical, as Barthes later addresses in Camera Lucida, is physically linked to, affected by, or seemingly ‗touched‘ by, the object it represents. Barthes also sees the photograph as containing this quality. Finally, the symbolic sign, such as words or speech, always require interpretation, and thus symbol and interpretant are inseparable. See Peirce on Signs: Writings on Semiotics by Charles Sanders Peirce for a complete outline of these sign-types.  83  The photograph and the mirror are juxtaposed to one another in these opening paragraphs in order to immediately thematize, and ultimately problematize, the significance of the image with regard to the construction of human identity and subjectivity. These terms themselves are suggestive of the theoretical interplay between the mirror and the photograph with respect to the construction of the subject, as identity indicates more of a stability and singular core to the individual, while subjectivity points to the processual and indeterminate nature of development that is often done both by and upon the subject.54 Both the mirror and the photograph in Das Bad serve as external points of identification for the protagonist, as they seemingly present an image of a unified, coherent, and fixed model with which she can identify and ultimately appropriate. Yet, at the same time, they also underscore the fact that identification is a process of misrecognition of an image external to the self. As ‗objective‘ reflections, the mirror and photographic images are misperceived by the subject because they are, in fact, idealizations of reality (despite the seemingly one-to-one relation of referent to image). The mirror image, according to Lacan, presents the illusion of a stability of the ego and promise of return to an original unity, while the photographic image provides the pretence of a stabilized and fixed identity that can be obtained with the daily application of make-up. Because the protag