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Metamorphic Becomings: Yoko Tawada's 'Opium für Ovid: Ein Kopfkissenbuch von 22 Frauen'

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

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Short Story in German in the Twenty-First Century
EditorsLyn Marven, Andrew Plowman, Kate Roy
Place of PublicationRochester, NY
PublisherCamden House
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781640140462
Published15 Dec 2020

King's Authors


This chapter examines Yoko Tawada’s short prose collection 'Opium für Ovid. Ein Kopfkissenbuch von 22 Frauen' (Opium for Ovid: A Pillow Book by 22 Women, 2000) to consider its experimental contribution to the modern German-language canon. The cycle is read as an early example of the literary challenge to anthropocentric models that has become prominent in Tawada’s acclaimed recent work. Using a Deleuzian framework, the chapter will focus on the central significance of metamorphosis throughout Tawada’s cycle to illuminate its portrayal of human subjects as constantly shifting assemblages of forces. The fragmentary and imagistic mode of the short prose form will ultimately be understood to drive an anti-representational project that challenges static identity constructs and categories.

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