<<The>> mother tongue and bilingual hysteria : translation metaphors in Tsitsi Dangarembga's nervous conditions
Approaching Tsitsi Dangarembga's 1988 novel Nervous Conditions as an extended metaphor of translation, the article analyses the complementary relationship between the two female cousins, Nyasha and Tambu, by examining the complex ways in which they situate themselves in relation to language and culture. The comparison between Nyasha and Tambu is anchored in translation theory and psychoanalysis, while highlighting the Shona linguistic undercurrent present in the text of the novel. In examining Tambu, it pursues the question of translation (both literal and figurative) and the parallels between the female subject's relation to language, on the one hand, and to the maternal, on the other. Nyasha's relationship to language, on the other hand, is read through psychoanalytic theories of polylingualism: her inability to locate her own identity with regards to language and culture eventually leads to anorexic hysteria.