The German Idea of Heimat as Metaphor for Identities and Emotions Cover Image

Heimat als Metapher für Identitäten und Emotionen
The German Idea of Heimat as Metaphor for Identities and Emotions

Author(s): Blickle Peter
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Applied Linguistics, Cognitive linguistics
Keywords: Heimat; metaphor; identity; emotion; cognitive;

Summary/Abstract: The German idea of Heimat (home, homeland) is notoriously hard todefine. Qualities of Heimat change from author to author and with differenthistorical and geographical perspectives. Using cognitive linguistic sources aswell as Hans Blumenberg‘s philosophical metaphorology, this article firstintroduces the concept of metaphors for identities and emotions. Heimat is sucha metaphor for identities and emotions. It can be filled with different qualitiesand horizons without turning it into something random or obscure. We find evernew conceptual metaphors in use for Heimat. These conceptual metaphorsallow us to see Heimat as an ontological metaphor, in which the subject in itsever subjective search for orientation finds its identities and emotionsaffirmatively reflected. With Heimat, we start out from a metaphor; and we usefurther metaphors to give our basic notions of identities and emotionsaffirmation. Heimat as a metaphor of identities and emotions is based on acircular metaphorical epistemology that allows the subject to reaffirm itself inits existence. It is this circular metaphorical epistemology which makesmetaphors of identities and emotions open to manipulations, be theycommercial, political, or psychological. In closing, this article looks at themetaphorization of ―home / homeland‖ as a metaphor of identities andemotions in other cultures (Russian rodina, Czech domov / vlast, English home/ homeland, Chinese chia / chia hsiang, and Minangkabau rindu).