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Frage:
Mutter Haus  
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-18, 23:58  like dislike  Spam?  
This noun phrase, "Mutter Haus", occurs in the text of the concluding song in Mahler's Kindertotenlieder:

In diesem Wetter, in diesem Saus, in diesem Braus,
sie ruh'n als wie in der Mutter Haus,
von keinem Sturm erschrecket,
von Gottes Hand bedecket.

The "sie" refers to the poet's (Friedrich Rückert) two children who were victims of scarlet fever.  I seem to recall somewhere that "Mutter Haus" is an idiomatic expression for "mother's womb" or "mother's lap", however I can't seem to confirm this.

Does anyone know if "Mutter Haus" has a meaning beyond the obvious one?
Antwort: 
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2015-10-19, 01:38  like dislike  Spam?  
 #820987
Apparently, Mahler changed Rückert's ...in der Mutter Haus to ...in der Mutter Schoss. Some time after that, someone changed Schoss back to Haus. It could have been Mahler or a well-meaning editor.

Niekerk translates Schoss with "lap, womb" but isn't quite convinced that the return to the Schoss symbolizes a new beginning (page 264, footnote 63). Mitchell translates Schoss with "womb" and thinks that this change made by Mahler is significant and revealing (page 122). Unless we know what Mahler meant by Schoss when he made that substitution, I think all we can do is speculate. As far as I know, der Mutter Haus is not and never was a customary metaphor for the womb.

Niekerk and Mitchell books are at the top of the list at the link:

Google: mahler womb
Antwort: 
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 01:41  like dislike  Spam?  
 #820991
Thanks for that good bit of research, Michael.  The score of Kindertotenlieder which I have is a reproduction of the 1905 (first) publication (the work was completed in 1904).  

I have a feeling that it was Mahler, and not some editor, who changed the wording back.  Mahler sometimes changed the wording, the order, etc. of his texts, not to mention adding lines of his own creation.  The editors, in all other cases to my knowledge, left his changes alone.
Antwort: 
in der Mutter Haus = im Haus der Mutter   #820992
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 01:43  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.45....
in der Mutter Haus may be a metaphor for in der Mutter Schoß which houses all of us for nine months. Depending on the building, a mother's house may remind people in a poetic way of that mother's womb. Considering the central role a Jewish mother plays for all her children throughout her lifetime, such a train of thought may not have been alien to G. Mahler.

Der HERR hat mich gerufen von Mutterleib an; er hat meines Namens gedacht, da ich noch im Schoß der Mutter war, Jesaja 49:5. Here Schoß of course means womb rather than lap.+
http://bibeltext.com/jeremiah/1-5.htm
https://www.google.de/#q=%22im+Scho%C3%9F+der+Mutter%22+%22%22+%22%22
Chat:     
Odd mistake in the copy-and-paste part: ... gerufen vom Mutterleib an ...  #820993
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 01:47  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.45....
Chat:     
Braus  #820994
von Catesse (AU), 2015-10-19, 01:56  like dislike  Spam?  
The changes may have something to do with the fact that "Schoss" has a deeper meaning, but it does not rhyme with "Braus". Choice between meaning and sound.
Antwort: 
Proteus  #820995
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 01:56  like dislike  Spam?  
That metaphorical connection might even explain why Mahler vacillated between using "Schoß" and "Mutter Haus" in his text.

Thanks.
Chat:     
What about interpreting house in terms of fourfold meaning? — (2) womb, (3) family union, (4) her house prefiguring our home in heaven  #820996
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 02:07  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.45....
Ever since the MA, scripture was interpreted with a fourfold meaning in mind (which spread to any elevated context): (1) the literal meaning
(2) the allegorical or metaphorical meaning
(3) the moral meaning
(4) the anagogical meaning (leading up to God)
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anagogical
ἀναγωγή > 4. lifting up of the soul to God
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999....
Chat:     
More on the fourfold meaning of Scripture  #820997
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 02:10  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.45....
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2015-10-19, 02:15  like dislike  Spam?  
 #820998
4;geo225: My personal feeling is that Haus means just that. The previous images of sending someone out of the house into the weather, of having someone carried out of the house after their death are just so strong that I can't really make that jump to the womb.
Considering when the poems were written, there is a slight strangeness in "the mother's house" because the literary or poetic house in those days was almost always the father's or the parent's. Perhaps this made Mahler think of the possibility of Haus being a metaphor for the womb.
I agree that Schoss can be and often is a metaphor for the womb. But it's also the lap, which signifies protection and love, especially for little children.
Mahler wrote such wonderful music. After I listen to Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, I'm a different person for the rest of the evening.
Antwort: 
Catesse  #820999
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 02:14  like dislike  Spam?  
Good point.  Perhaps, then, Mahler never intended to publish the verse with "Schoß" but put that word in the ms. to remind him of the metaphorical meaning
Antwort: 
Proteus  #821002
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 02:25  like dislike  Spam?  
Regarding the analogical meaning, Mahler used the closing lines from Faust in his 8th symphony (composed just a couple of years after Kindertotenlieder): Das ewig Weibliche zieht uns hinan.

The connotations and interrelationships of the "Weibliche" and its "zieht uns hinan" with the womb, birth, final transcendence fit neatly into your analogical meaning.
Chat:     
Mind your language though, geo255 — unusually the word is anaGOGICAL rather than the well-known anaLOGICAL  #821003
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 02:30  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.45....
Antwort: 
MichaelK  #821004
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 02:33  like dislike  Spam?  
Somewhere, I believe in a letter, Mahler described his wife (or the ideal wife) as being a safe harbor for him.  Of course, a harbor is like the nautical equivalent of a house.  Since Kindertotenlieder deals with children, the wife is, of course, a mother, hence another tie-in between the text and Mahler's own beliefs.

Safety, of course, must have been a deep concern for someone who witnessed so many siblings (I count seven!) who died young and before Mahler reached adulthood.
Antwort: 
Proteus  #821005
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 02:37  like dislike  Spam?  
Oops, right.  I've turned ἀναγωγή in the wrong direction.  :-))
Antwort: 
02:15 — a streak of maternal power ran right across paternalistic society — from the aristocracy and haute bourgeoisie over to artisans and farmers  #821006
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 02:47  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.45....
In quite a few instances the mothers transmitted more wealth and loftier social standing than the fathers. Accordingly they were held in high esteem. All of which may yet even be more true in the Jewish context.

Quote:
Öffne dich, du stille Klause,
Denn die Ahnfrau kehrt nach Hause!

http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/die-ahnfrau-1536/11
Antwort: 
Proteus: In actuality, no doubt.  #821007
von MichaelK (US), 2015-10-19, 02:56  like dislike  Spam?  
4;geo225: This score has Haus as "arms" and then as "breast." Interesting.
http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/variations/scores/bgz3142/large/index.h...
Chat:     
Interpretation  #821008
von Catesse (AU), 2015-10-19, 03:22  like dislike  Spam?  
My eyes almost gave out on this, but it is clearly an interpretation rather than a translation. So "breast" to rhyme with "rest", and "arms" as a near-miss rhyme for "storms".
When you are translating poems and songs, you can rarely get a match for meaning and rhythm and sound pattern. Something has to be relinquished.
Antwort: 
von geo255 (US), 2015-10-19, 04:25  like dislike  Spam?  
 #821010
My Dover score is a reprint of the 1905 1st edition.  However, and quite wisely, the publisher removed that ill-conceived translation and provided a new one which abandons the attempt to duplicate the original rhyme scheme in favor of increased veracity.

I wonder why the Leipzig publisher (C. F. Kahnt) even bothered with the English translation as performances of Mahler's works in England and, particularly in America, seemed unlikely.  It was only when, in 1909, Mahler came to America that his works began to be performed in an English speaking-country.
Antwort: 
von MichaelK (US), 2015-10-19, 11:57  like dislike  Spam?  
 #821030
Perhaps the English was provided in anticipation of such performances. It's also possible that it was done to get English-speaking performers interested--a marketing move, as we would say today.
Chat:     
02:47 Grillparzer's lines  #821060
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 14:51  like dislike  Spam?  178.191.26....
The way I remember these lines:

Öffne dich, du stilles Kläuschen,
Denn die Ahnfrau geht aufs Häuschen.
Chat:     
02:07  #821066
von Proteus-, 2015-10-19, 15:01  like dislike  Spam?  178.191.26....
I wrote, Ever since the MA, scripture was interpreted with a fourfold meaning in mind instead of has been because nowadays this way of reading scripture or other spiritually elevating texts has been by and large forgotten.

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