East Asian Languages and Cultures | Seminar in Traditional Japanese Literature: Issues in Late Heian Fiction
J653 | 29615 | Sarra, Edith


Open to graduates only

Prerequisite:   Successful completion of J461 or equivalent
proficiency in literary Japanese.  Good reading knowledge of modern
Japanese (4th year level or better, or consent of instructor).

This course explores thematic problems in the genre of court fiction
(tsukuri monogatari) written in the aftermath of the Tale of Genji
(first decade, 11th century).  We will begin by concentrating on
close reading and analysis of short, key passages from classical
texts in bungo, and move out from them to address connections with
issues in current secondary scholarship in modern Japanese and
English (which may include but are not limited to: gender,
sexuality, and the representation of the body in Heian narrative;
premodern aesthetic terminologies and strategies for the
interpretation of fiction; literary voyeurism and gender dynamics;
intertextuality and fiction as commentary).  Secondary readings in
English and modern Japanese will provide critical and theoretical
frameworks for discussing how classical Japanese literature has been
critically appropriated by various methods of modern literary
scholarship.  In the last weeks of the semester, students will make
oral presentations of their work in progress, and critique each
other's work.  There will be a final paper due after the end of
classes.  Primary texts tentatively scheduled: Genji monogatari (Uji
chapters), Yoru no nezame, Torikaebaya, and Mumy˘z˘shi.  Students
are urged to read before the beginning of term an English
translation of the Genji (if they have not already), so that they
can come into the class with a general sense of the issues raised by
Heian fiction.