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Dances with Sheep

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Book Series: Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies ISBN: 9780472902026 Year: Pages: 255 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.18278 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press Grant: National Endowment for the Humanities - [grantnumber unknown]
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:22
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As a spokesman for disaffected youth of the post-1960s, Murakami Haruki has become one of the most important voices in contemporary Japanese literature, and he has gained a following in the United States through translations of his works. In Dances with Sheep, Matthew Strecher examines Murakami’s fiction—and, to a lesser extent, his nonfiction—for its most prevalent structures and themes. Strecher also delves into the paradoxes in Murakami’s writings that confront critics and casual readers alike. Murakami writes of “serious” themes yet expresses them in a relatively uncomplicated style that appeals to high school students as well as scholars; and his fictional work appears to celebrate the pastiche of postmodern expression, yet he rejects the effects of the postmodern on contemporary culture as dangerous. Strecher’s methodology is both historical and cultural as he utilizes four distinct yet interwoven approaches to analyze Murakami’s major works: the writer’s “formulaic” structure with serious themes; his play with magical realism; the intense psychological underpinnings of his literary landscape; and his critique of language and its capacity to represent realities, past and present. Dances with Sheep links each of these approaches with Murakami’s critical focus on the fate of individual identity in contemporary Japan. The result is that the simplicity of the Murakami hero, marked by lethargy and nostalgia, emerges as emblematic of contemporary humankind, bereft of identity, direction, and meaning. Murakami’s fiction is reconstructed in Dances with Sheep as a warning against the dehumanizing effects of late-model capitalism, the homogenization of the marketplace, and the elimination of effective counterculture in Japan.

Appropriation and Representation

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Book Series: Michigan Monographs In Chinese Studies ISBN: 9780472901517 Year: Pages: 197 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.19263 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press Grant: National Endowment for the Humanities - [grantnumber unknown]
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:28
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Feng Menglong (1574–1646) was recognized as the most knowledgeable connoisseur of popular literature of his time. He is known today for compiling three famous collections of vernacular short stories, each containing forty stories, collectively known as Sanyan. Appropriation and Representation adapts concepts of ventriloquism and dialogism from Bakhtin and Holquist to explore Feng’s methods of selecting source materials. Shuhui Yang develops a model of development in which Feng’s approach to selecting and working with his source materials becomes clear. More broadly, Appropriation and Representation locates Feng Menglong’s Sanyan in the cultural milieu of the late Ming, including the archaist movement in literature, literati marginality and anxieties, the subversive use of folk works, and the meiren xiangcao tradition—appropriating a female identity to express male frustration. Against this background, a rationale emerges for Feng’s choice to elevate and promote the vernacular story while stepping back form an overt authorial role.

Musashino in Tuscany

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Book Series: Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies ISBN: 9780472901975 Year: Pages: 311 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.9340158 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press Grant: National Endowment for the Humanities - [grantnumber unknown]
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:34
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By the late Meiji period Japanese were venturing abroad in great numbers, and some of those who traveled kept diaries and wrote formal travelogues. These travelogues reflected a changing view of the West and changing artistic sensibilities in the long-standing Japanese literary tradition of travel writing (kikoobungaku). This book shows that overseas Meiji-period travel writers struck out to create a dynamic new type of travel literature, one that had a solid foundation in traditional Japanese kikobungaku yet also displayed influence from the West. Musashino in Tuscany specifically examines the poetic imagery and allusion in these travelogues and reveals that when Japanese traveled to the West in the mid-nineteenth century, the images they wrote about tended to be associated not with places initially discovered by the Japanese traveler but with places that already existed in Western fame and lore. And unlike imagery from Japanese traveling in Japan, which was predominantly nature based, Japanese overseas travel imagery was often associated with the manmade world.

Modern China, 1840–1972

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Book Series: Michigan Monographs In Chinese Studies ISBN: 9780472901869 Year: Pages: 111 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.19051 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:43
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Graduate students have traditionally learned a good part of what they know about sources and research aids on modern China through hearsay and serendipity, in unsystematic and unreliable bits and pieces. The field has now developed to the point where this need not and ought not to be so. It is now possible for beginning researchers to start with some shared basic knowledge of research aids and documentary resources. This research guide is meant to provide that knowledge. The user of this guide is envisaged as an American graduate student in history or the social sciences who is already familiar with the major English-language secondary literature on modern China and is about to begin original research, either for a seminar paper or for a dissertation.

Imagination without Borders

Book Series: Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies ISBN: 9780472901623 Year: Pages: 175 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.9340221 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press Grant: National Endowment for the Humanities - [grantnumber unknown]
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:46
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Tomiyama Taeko, a Japanese visual artist born in 1921, is changing the way World War II is remembered in Japan, Asia, and the world. Her work deals with complicated moral and emotional issues of empire and war responsibility that cannot be summed up in simple slogans, which makes it compelling for more than just its considerable beauty. Japanese today are still grappling with the effects of World War II, and, largely because of the inconsistent and ambivalent actions of the government, they are widely seen as resistant to accepting responsibility for their nation’s violent actions against others during the decades of colonialism and war. Yet some individuals, such as Tomiyama, have produced nuanced and reflective commentaries on those experiences, and on the difficulty of disentangling herself from the priorities of the nation despite her lifelong political dissent. Tomiyama’s sophisticated visual commentary on Japan’s history—and on the global history in which Asia is embedded—provides a compelling guide through the difficult terrain of modern historical remembrance, in a distinctively Japanese voice.

The Grand Old Man and the Great Tradition

ISBN: 9780472901616 Year: Pages: 177 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.9340226 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:52
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In 1995, on the thirtieth anniversary of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s death, Adriana Boscaro organized an international conference in Venice that had an unusally lasting effect on the study of this major Japanese novelist. Thanks to Boscaro’s energetic commitment, Venice became a center for Tanizaki studies that produced two volumes of conference proceedings now considered foundational for all scholarly works on Tanizaki. In the years before and after the Venice Conference, Boscaro and her students published an abundance of works on Tanizaki and translations of his writings, contributing to his literary success in Italy and internationally. The Grand Old Man and the Great Tradition honors Boscaro’s work by collecting nine essays on Tanizaki’s position in relation to the “great tradition” of Japanese classical literature. To open the collection, Edward Seidensticker contributes a provocative essay on literary styles and the task of translating Genji into a modern language. Gaye Rowley and Ibuki Kazuko also consider Tanizaki’s Genji translations, from a completely different point of view, documenting the author’s three separate translation efforts. Aileen Gatten turns to the influence of Heian narrative methods on Tanizaki’s fiction, arguing that his classicism, far from being superficial, “reflects a deep sensitivity to Heian narrative.” Tzevetana Kristeva holds a different perspective on Tanizaki’s classicism, singling out specific aspects of Tanizaki’s eroticism as the basis of comparison. The next two essays emphasize Tanizaki’s experimental engagement with the classical literary genres—Amy V. Heinrich treats the understudied poetry, and Bonaventura Ruperti considers a 1933 essay on performance arts. Taking up cinema, Roberta Novelli focuses on the novel Manji, exploring how it was recast for the screen by Masumura Yasuzo. The volume concludes with two contributions interpreting Tanizaki’s works in the light of Western and Meiji literary traditions: Paul McCarthy considers Nabokovas a point of comparison, and Jacqueline Pigeot conducts a groundbreaking comparison with a novel by Natsume Soseki.

The Linguistic Turn in Contemporary Japanese Literary Studies

Book Series: Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies ISBN: 9780472901432 Year: Pages: 309 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.9340192 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:58
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The 1970s and 1980s saw a revolution in Japanese literary criticism. A new generation of scholars and critics, many of them veterans of 1960s political activism, arose in revolt against the largely positivistic methodologies that had hitherto dominated postwar literary studies. Creatively refashioning approaches taken from the field of linguistics, the new scholarship challenged orthodox interpretations, often introducing new methodologies in the process: structuralism, semiotics, and phenomenological linguistics, among others. The radical changes introduced then continue to reverberate today, shaping the way Japanese literature is studied both at home and abroad. The Linguistic Turn in Contemporary Japanese Literary Studies is the first critical study of this revolution to appear in English. It includes translations of landmark essays published in the 1970s and 1980s by such influential figures as Noguchi Takehiko, Kamei Hideo, Mitani Kuniaki, and Hirata Yumi. It also collects nine new essays that reflect critically on the emergence of linguistics-based literary criticism and theory in Japan, exploring both the novel possibilities such theory created and the shortcomings that could not be overcome. Scholars from a variety of disciplines and fields probe the political and intellectual implications of this transformation and explore the exciting new pathways it opened up for the study of modern Japanese literature.

Pearl from the Dragon’s Mouth

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Book Series: Michigan Monographs In Chinese Studies ISBN: 9780472901357 Year: Pages: 267 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.19024 Language: Chinese
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:00
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Yosano Akiko and The Tale of Genji

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Book Series: Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies ISBN: 9780472902002 Year: Pages: 235 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.18495 Language: Japanese
Publisher: University of Michigan Press Grant: National Endowment for the Humanities - [grantnumber unknown]
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:01:50
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Mao Zedong’s “Talks at the Yan’an Conference on Literature and Art”

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Book Series: Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies ISBN: 9780472901333 Year: Pages: 113 DOI: 10.3998/mpub.19066 Language: English
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Subject: Arts in general
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-05 00:02:09
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The writings of Mao Zedong have been circulated throughout the world more widely, perhaps, than those of any other single person this century. The “Talks at the Yan’an Conference on Literature and Art” has occupied a prominent position among his many works and has been the subject of intense scrutiny both within and outside China. This text has undoubted importance to modern Chinese literature and history. In particular, it reveals Mao’s views on such questions as the relationship between writers or works of literature and their audience, or the nature and value of different kinds of literary products. In this translation and commentary, Bonnie S. McDougall finds that Mao was in fact ahead of many of his critics in the West and his Chinese contemporaries in his discussion of literary issues. Unlike the majority of modern Chinese writers deeply influenced by Western theories of literature and society (including Marxism), Mao remained close to traditional patterns of thought and avoided the often mechanical or narrowly literal interpretations that were the hallmark of Western schools current in China in the early twentieth century. Many of the detailed discussions on the “Talks” in the West have been concerned with their political and historical significance. However, since Mao is a literary figure of some importance in twentieth-century China, McDougall finds it worthwhile to follow up his published remarks on the nature and source of literature and the means of its evaluation. By better understanding the complex and revolutionary ideas contained in the “Talks,” McDougall suggests we may acquire the necessary analytical tools for a more fruitful investigation into contemporary Chinese literature.

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