Of Eating and Being (Eaten): Identity, Power, and Food in Eich’s Radio Drama “Tiger Jussuf”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Eating is simultaneously an extremely basic and a highly complex topic: As a means of absorbing nourishment to sustain our bodies, we share this practice with all other living things; yet what type of food one consumes or has access to is closely tied to questions of power. What is “proper food” and “proper eating,” and how do both shape our perception of subjecthood? I propose a reading of Günther Eich’s radio drama Tiger Jussuf (1952/59) in order to consider the epistemological and ontological bases of food and how they relate to ideas about power, identity, and subjectivity. <br>The topic of eating was especially relevant in Germany in the years following the defeat in 1945, the “years of famine.” The power to achieve subjecthood through eating is ironically portrayed in Eich’s radio drama Tiger Jussuf, which deals with an aging circus tiger who devours his trainer and assumes his identity, collecting more human identities with each additional attack. Here, eating is linked to the
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOf Eating and Being (Eaten): Identity, Power, and Food in Eich’s Radio Drama “Tiger Jussuf”
PublisherVernon Press
Pages127-144
StatePublished - Oct 2020

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