Thanks To A Poetic Expression Of The Language: I Cry In My Mother Tongue


(MENAFN- Khaama Press) Written By: Mehdi Rezai

Fabio Morabito, a Mexican-Italian poet and writer, has a book titled poetically as“I Cry in My Mother Tongue.” Regardless of the content of the book, this poetic expression of language underscores the importance of the mother tongue, serving as a pretext for writing this note on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.

“Language,” alongside other phenomena like“time,”“identity,” and“existence,” bears particular complexities. These complexities often arise from humans' constant interaction with language, or as Michel Foucault put it,“We live within the confines of language,” which to some extent explains the necessity of addressing language.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, the renowned Austrian philosopher of the twentieth century, lived and left enduring works in the field of the philosophy of language. This philosopher concurs with Michel Foucault regarding the definition of“our linguistic boundaries.” According to him,“Linguistic boundaries define our worldly boundaries. We live within the limits of our language.”

Foucault, in his theoretical elaborations on language, went even beyond the concept of“worldly boundaries” determined by language for us. According to his assertion,“Reality and selfhood” exist only within linguistic boundaries:“Language shapes self-belief and reality.”

Pierre Bourdieu, the prominent French sociologist and anthropologist, defines language as a“particular social space” that“shapes reality.”

However, all these theories or philosophical arguments about“language” revolve around and cannot adequately explain the importance of the“mother tongue.” Is the mother tongue indeed“a special space” where“reality” exclusively takes shape? Do we forget reality outside the realm of the mother tongue? Why do we still“cry in the mother tongue” despite distancing ourselves from it?

The book“I Cry in My Mother Tongue” does not offer clear answers to these questions. It articulates the concerns of an author in compact essays, writing in a language other than the mother tongue.

The author of this book explains:“I can say I write in a language I have learned, not in a language that I have 'opened' and no one has given it to me. I write in a language I learned at fifteen, which some might think is early for language learning and others late.”

Implicitly, the title of this book evokes the concepts of“hunger, sleep, anger, and desire” as inherent attributes of humans in the reader's mind. By extension, one might infer from the book's title the deep bond that the mother tongue holds with an individual, manifesting in the most fundamental states, such as moments of crying or perhaps laughter, falling in love, dreaming, and moments of sensuality with one's partner.

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