Wunden als zeitzeichen

Translated title of the contribution: Enclosure: Wounds as signs for time

Galili Shahar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This treatise analyzes descriptions of wounds in European myths to show how wounds can function as signs for time: the symbolic wound as a split in the body through which the subject becomes aware of time (as described by Sigmund Freud in connection with symbolic castration); the calendrical wound, which records time (as pointed out by Homer with reference to the wounds of Philoctetes and Ulisses); the stigmatic wound, which makes the holy reappear in a timeless space (as exemplified by the wounds of Amfortas and Parsifal in Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal); the symptomatic wound, which allows to interpret the future by means of categories from the past (as performed by the medical doctor in Franz Kafka's short story A Country Doctor and commented upon in his correspondence); and the wound of being, which makes time conceivable as past future and offers the subject a possibility for self-design.

Translated title of the contributionEnclosure: Wounds as signs for time
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)175-189
Number of pages15
JournalZeitschrift fur Semiotik
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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