J314

 

Japanese Literature in Translation

Spring 2013

R. Loftus

Walton Hall 144

email rloftus

x6275

Course Objectives:

To introduce students to some of the major questions and issues in modern Japanese literature. Classical poetry and narrative prose, along with theatre will be considered at the outset, but the emphasis will be on shôsetsu, Japan's version of the modern novel. This is a Writing Centered course which means that we must pay attention to the process of writing: drafting, editing, peer-review, and revising. No one writes an excellent paper in one sitting.

The aim of this course is to examine how the acts of reading and writing have occurred in the context of modern Japanese culture. To this end, six modern Japanese novels have been selected, four from contemporary authors and two from writers active earlier in the modern period. Several of these novels evoke older literary and cultural practices by referring to or actually quoting lines from classical texts. Encountering such "intertextual" references will provide us with the opportunity to consider how classical Japanese poetry, prose and theatre have left their imprint on modern Japanese literature.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Understand the significance of form and the dynamic relationship between author, reader and text;

2. Understand the challenges involved in textual interpretation and strategies to address them;

3. Understand how texts embody cultural values and are products of particular times and places.

Emphasis in this course will be on in-class discussion (there will be little, if any, formal lecturing) and "writing-to-learn exercises," something rooted in the notion that we write in order to figure out what we think and what we believe. Writing is and should be a process of discovery. We will work on writing in various ways including:

 

preparation and sharing with peer-reviewers of portions of your essays in draft forms focusing often on the Introduction where a specific "claim" or thesis is introduced.

conferences with the instructor or a Wrtiing Center consultant to evaluate drafts of works in progress

"freewrites"as a post-writing exercise to be done immediately after formal papers are collected

Course Requirements:

1. Regular attendance--no more than 3 unexcused absences--or your grade will be lowered

2. Preparation of reading assignments as indicated on the syllabus

3. Participation in in-class discussions

4. Participation in at least one Individual Conference with your professor to discuss a draft of your paper and at least one visit for a consultation at the Writing Center

5. Completion of three formal papers and various in-class writing assignments designed to develop ideas for these papers as well as submitting to and providing Peer Review.

Plagiarism and cheating are offenses against the integrity of the courses in which they occur and against the college community as a whole. Plagiarism usually consists of representing ideas that are not your own as your own so the simple solution is to attribute, i.e., provide clear indications of where you obtained your ideas or information. 

 Note: I will respect any accommodations authorized by the Office of Disabilities Services. Please tell me about these accommodations as soon as possible.

 

Due dates for three formal papers: Feb. 14, March 21, and May 3

Students may exercise a 24 hour "grace" option for one of their three papers--that is, be allowed an extra 24 hours to turn their paper in without penalty. However, you may only do this once during the semester.

Remember:

"There is no perfect teacher...The point is to make a sincere effort to become a perfect student of an imperfect teacher."

Fujita Issho, Zen Teacher

Major Texts:

 

 

KOKORO

THE WAITING YEARS

 

by Natsume SOSEKI

 

by Enchi Fumiko

MASKS

by ENCHI Fumiko

SPUTNIK SWEETHEART

by MURAKAMI Haruki

KITCHEN

by Yoshimoto Banana

KAFKA ON THE SHORE

by MURAKAMI Haruki

NOTE: Some of these texts have explicit language, graphic scenes and "adult" themes or situations. If you are not comfortable reading this kind of material, you should speak to me and perhaps consider taking a different course.

Weekly Reading and Discussion Schedule

January 15

Introductions and Course Overview

Expectations for the Course

What is literature?

January 17

Read PDF from Resources section on WISE: Burch.pdf

See also: Noel Burch, TO THE DISTANT OBSERVER, Ch. 2,3

On Reading and Interpreting Japanese Literature: Where do we find Meaning?

 

January 22

KOKORO by Natsume Soseki--pp. 1-80

Burch Final Questions

Language in Kokoro I

 

 

 

Soseki's likeness on the 1,000-yen note:

 

 

January 24

KOKORO--pp. 81-124

See another brief Bio of Soseki

 

 

Becoming Modern

Video

 

 

 

January 29

KOKORO--pp. 125-248

Kokoro Review

See notes on Kokoro

 

January 31

Kokoro Discussion

See Picture of Soseki in Middle-School

See photos of gingko trees

Zoshigaya Cemetary

In-class Assessment Exercise and review of Preliminary Ideas for Paper #1

 

Question for Paper #1 on Kokoro Due February 14

 

 

 

Wednesday Feb. 6

Student Conferences for Paper #1

8:30-10:30 am

1:30-4:30 pm

Friday Feb. 10

1:30-3:30

Important Note: How to Cite Internet Sources

 

 

February 5

Enchi Fumiko,The Waiting Years,pp. 7-55

 

 

 

February 7

The Waiting Years, 56-129

 

 

 

 

February 12

The Waiting Years, 130-203

 

 

 

14

Discuss The Waiting Years

 

 

Paper #1 Due

19

Tale of Genji

Overview of the History of Japanese Literature

Read two PDFs from Resources section on WISE:

1. Genji-Yugao.pdf

2. Genji-Aoi.pdf

Background: Japanese Poetry;Types of Japanese Poems

Bring four PDFs from Resources section on WISE:

  1. Manyoshu.pdf
  2. Poetry.pdf
  3. Ki-Poetics.pdf
  4. Genji-Fiction.pdf

Additional Useful Materials

On the Manyoshu andthe Kokinshu

"Aware" and Heian Politics Site; Some more on poetry

On Kokinshu and Tosa Diary author Ki no Tsurayuki

On the Kokinshu, Tosa Nikki, The Tale of Genji

The Genji monogatari

Useful Links

 

Brief summary of the YUGAO (Evening Faces) chapter

Another Yugao site

Brief summary of the AOI (Heartvine) chapter

 

Genji website

See more websites on the Genji

Noh: DEFINITIONS, VIDEO, TEXTS;

Excellent Noh Website with Play and Mask databases, etc.

More on Noh; Noh and Illusion

Overview of Medieval Culture

 

Read a Noh Play: Aoi no Uye

PDF Version of Aoi no Uye is also available on WISE

 

 

Another website on Noh and its Masks

 

 

 

21

MASKS by ENCHI Fumiko, First part. pp. 3-59

Role of Noh in Masks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

maskmaskmaskmask

nohtheatre

 

February 26

MASKS--Part Two, pp. 61-112

 

Characters

See my own photos of Nonomiya

Some Notes on the text Masks

28

MASKS--Finish

Article on Masks

 

See a website on Nonomiya or The Shrine of the Fields

See reference to KKS poem

Paper #1 Due

Links to Postmodernism; see a definition here and another link here

March 5

SPUTNIK SWEETHEART, pp. 1-53

 

by Murakami Haruki

7

SPUTNIK SWEETHEART, pp.54-96

Discuss SPUTNIK SWEETHEART

 

Look at the Question and bring in a paragraph on the topic you choose to pursue.

 

Question for Paper #2, Due March 21

Wednesday March 13 Student Conferences for Paper #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 12

SPUTNIK SWEETHEART, pp. 97-210

 

14

 

Discussion of SPUTNIK SWEETHEART

 

19

SKITCHEN pp. 3-56

YOSHIMOTO Banana

21

KITCHEN pp. 57-105 (finish)

 

by YOSHIMOTO Banana

Paper #2 Due

 

 

March 25-29 Spring Break; No Classes

 

April 2

"Moonlight Shadow" pp. 109-152

YOSHIMOTO Banana; Also, see Notes here

Something on Yoshimoto Takaaki, Banana's father

More on Yoshimoto Banana

4

Begin KAFKA ON THE SHORE pp, 3-104

Characters in Kafka

Murakami Haruki

9

KAFKA ON THE SHORE pp. 105-205

NYT Review; John Updike

Interview with Murakami

11
KAFKA ON THE SHORE pp. 206-300

Kafka article here

Another Review

 

Some Definitions of Existentialism

 

April 16

Finish KAFKA ON THE SHORE pp. 301-467

Labyrinth and Dream Logic

 

Quotes from Kafka on the Shore

More Quotes

18

Loftus Travel to Conference, No Class

 

23

Discuss Kafka and Kitchen

 

 

25

Discussion, Develop Ideas for Final Paper

In-class Assessment Exercise and review of Preliminary Ideas for Paper #3

 

Wednesday April 24

Conferences for Final Paper

8:30-10:30

1:30-3:30

 

Friday April 26 more times

1:30-3:30

 

Question for Final Paper

writing

J314 Students Writing their Papers!

 

30

Last Class

   

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL PAPER DUE Friday May,3, by 4:00 pm

 

 

The following are useful sources which can be found in the Reference section of the library. You will be able to find background information on the authors and some analysis of their writings.

Ref. DS 805 .K633

KODANSHA ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JAPAN 8 vols.

Ref. C.52 and C.53

CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS (100+ Volumes)

Ref. PL 717. R55 1

A READER'S GUIDE TO JAPANESE LITERATURE

by Thomas Rimer

Ref PL 747.55. L48

MODERN JAPANESE NOVELISTS: A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY

by John Lewell

Ref. PN 771 .C59

CONTEMPORARY LITERARY CRITICISM

Ref. PN 771 .55

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD LITERATURE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

1981

 

Brief article : "Trends in Present Day Japanese Literature"

 

See "Japanorama" Commercial site for Japanese Literature

http://www.japanorama.com/fiction.html

For a site with MP3 files of Japanese Literary Texts click here

 

Print by Clifton Karhu 

Useful Sources:

1. Doris Bargen

A Woman's Weapon:Spirit Possession in the Tale of Genji

2. Kojin Karatani

The Origins of Modern Japanese Literature

3. Arthur Kimball

Crisis and Identity in Contemporary Japanese Novels

4. Noriko Lippit

Reality and Fiction in Modern Japanese Literature

5. Masao Miyoshi

Accomplices of Silence

6. Irena Powell

Writers and Society in Modern Japan

7. Thomas Rimer

Modern Japanese Fiction and its Traditions

8. Makoto Ueda

Modern Japanese Writers and the Nature of Literature

9. Michiko Wilson

The Marginal World of Oe Kenzaburo

10. H. Yamanouchi

The Search for Authenticity in Modern Japanese Literature

11. Sachiko Schierbeck

Japanese Women Novelists in the 20th Century 104 Biographies 1900-1993

12. Rebecca Copelanad

Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan

13. Chieko Mulhern, ed.

Japanese Women Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

See a photo of Nishi Honganji Temple.