Comparative Literature | Asian Literature & the Other Arts
C257 | 1216 | Aiko MacPhail
MW 4:00-5:15 HP 012
Above section carries COAS A & H and Cultural Studies credit
This course is an introduction to literature and the other arts of
Japan. Throughout the semester, literary texts of various genres
ranging from poetry to prose fiction will be presented along with
representative visual and to a lesser extent musical arts. The
semester starts with Shintoist shrines and mythological texts in Japan
presented with Chinese history and Korean arts. From the ancient
period, Heian court poetry and fiction comes next with the flowering
of Japanese painting and the oldest pan-Asian music, gagaku, conserved
in Korea and Japan. The Medieval Buddhist essay Hojoki and military
tales are presented with ink painting by monks and warriors to show
how the concept of ephemeral human life is historically possible.
The pre-modern Edo period (1600-1868) is the time of popular culture.
Poetry and travel, the favorite theme of pre-modern literature, are
represented by literati painting and by the Chinese vernacular fiction
Monkey and the Japanese poet Basho's poetic travel diary. Japanese
customs such as the tea ceremony will be touched upon via theoretical
reading to support pre-modern Japanese esthetics. Various excerpts
from famous Edo fiction illustrated by painters such as Hokusai will
be read to end the semester with a possible continuation to modern
Japanese visual cultures.
Texts include: Ueda Makoto's Literary and Art Theories in Japan, Wu
Ch'eng-en's Monkey, Kamo-no-Chomei's Hojoki.
Grades will be based on response papers and mid-term and final papers.