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By Michel Serres

ISBN-10: 2080135716

ISBN-13: 9782080135711

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The archetype of the Great Mother provides such structural support; it confers on the ballads mythic overtones and nuances and transforms many of these compositions into literary jewels with universal appeal.  In this guise she implicitly or explicitly occasions the downfall or death of the hero.  In Spanish, for example, death is a feminine noun.  Such frustration experienced early in life underlies the individual's unconscious representation of the negative mother.  In all three instances, death overtakes the protagonists.

When he arrived at the door He did kneel there, He said, mother dear Lift this curse from me.  Te ruego, Madre querida, yo te imploro tu perdón, soy hijo de tus entrañas nacido del corazón. I beseech you Mother dear, I beg your forgiveness, I am your son born from your womb Born from your heart.  ¿Qué dices, madre, qué dices? levanta tu maldición, si no que traigan las velas y que se traiga el cajón. What do you say, Mother? Do lift your curse, If not bring on the candles And bring the coffin.  De allí se salió José muy triste y desconsolado, nomás pensando en la madre que no le había perdonado.

All the mothers were sending off their sons to prosper Except one mother, a bad mother, Yanni's mother. She sat at the window and uttered bitter curses: "Go to foreign lands, O Yanni, and mayst thou never return home! The swallows will come back year after year, But thou, O Yanni, mayst thou never appear, never return home! (Goodwyn, 1947: 246) This, of course, parallels the stance assumed by José Lizorio's mother, with the same tragic results.  From the very beginning down to the latest stages of development we find this archetypal symbol as essence of the feminine.

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Angels: A Modern Myth by Michel Serres


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