Sirens of the Western Shore: Westernesque Women and Translation in Modern Japanese Literature

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Oktober 2006



Indra Levy introduces a new archetype in the study of modern Japanese literature: the "Westernesque femme fatale," an alluring figure who is ethnically Japanese but evokes the West in her physical appearance, lifestyle, behavior, and, most important, her use of language. She played conspicuous roles in landmark works of modern Japanese fiction and theater.
Levy traces the lineage of the Westernesque femme fatale from her first appearance in the vernacularist fiction of the late 1880s to her development in Naturalist fiction of the mid-1900s and, finally, to her spectacular embodiment by the modern Japanese actress in the early 1910s with the advent of Naturalist theater. In all cases the Westernesque femme fatale both attracts and confounds the self-consciously modern male intellectual through a convention-defying use of language.
What does this sirenlike figure reveal about the central concerns of modern Japanese literature? Levy proposes that the Westernesque femme fatale be viewed as the hallmark of an intertextual exoticism that prizes the strange beauty of modern Western writing.
By illuminating the exoticist impulses that gave rise to this archetype, Levy offers a new understanding of the relationships between vernacular style and translation, original and imitation, and writing and performance within a cross-cultural context. A seamless blend of narrative, performance, translation, and gender studies, this work will have a profound impact on the critical discourse on this formative period of modern Japanese literature.


IntroductionPart One
Foreign Letters, the Vernacular, and Meiji Schoolgirls1. Translation as Origin and the Originality of Translation2. Meiji Schoolgirls in and as LanguagePart Two
Tayama Katai and the Siren of Vernacular Letters3. Portrait of the Naturalist as a Young Exote4. Literary Desire and the Exotic Language of Love: From "Shôshijin" to Jokyôshi 5. Haunting the Laboratory of Vernacular Style: The Sirens of "Shôjobyô" and FutonPart Three
Staging the New Woman: The Spectacular Embodiment of "Nature" in Translation6. Setting the Stage for Translation7. Gender Drag, Culture Drag, and Female InteriorityFinal Reflections: Gender, Cultural Hierarchy, and Literary StyleNotesBibliographyIndex


Indra Levy


"A richly textured study... cogently argued, lucidly written, and offers the reader insights on both theoretical and biographical levels." -- Nanette Gottlieb, Monumenta Nipponica
EAN: 9780231137867
ISBN: 0231137869
Untertitel: Empfohlen ab 22 Jahre. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2006
Seitenanzahl: 330 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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