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Book|Report Podcast with Elissa Marder: Birth as mysterious as death

Emory's Elissa Marder is interested in birth – but not quite in the way you might think. As professor of French and comparative literature, and with a background in psychoanalysis and literary theory, Marder has been contemplating the concept of birth as it plays out in culture and consciousness. "We think of birth as the event that is ours. Our birthday is something that we celebrate and we think is ours," says Marder. "But in some way our birth is the event that is both closest to us and from which we are most exiled."  

Marder explores the implications and consequences of that exile in her book, "The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Psychoanalysis, Photography, and Deconstruction" (Fordham University Press, 2012). The book focuses on what she calls the "maternal function," rather than the act of mothering. The book is about the idea of being born as it occupies the psyche, she explains.

Listen to Elissa Marder talk about her book and the maternal function and read an excerpt:



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