Monday, January 31, 2011

MUEN SHAKAI

Here is a special message just in from Swarthyface, concerning the problem of muenshakai (society of alienation), a neologism coined recently by NHK which refers to the increasingly rapid disintegration of the network of social relations--a phenomenon Japan is now said to be experiencing. (Others of course may argue that this disintegration has been ongoing since the mid-Meiji period.) At any rate, here is his urgent message:
無縁社会って本当に恐ろしいものだなと最近身をもって感じるようになりましたね。そろそろ近代すなわち資本主義とそれに必然的に伴う疎外感や共同体の破壊という歴史的段階を終焉に至らしめて政治的活動を以て超克せねばならないよね。その活動の最先端に立つ旗手として僕は舵をとって無縁社会解体団体を創立しましたので参加・協力したい方、是非メールをくださいね。(男子禁止、悪しからず。)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

特別講義のお知らせ

リース・モートン博士

Professor Leith Morton (東京工業大学)

 

近代日本文藝のモダニズムとは何か
異文化の土着化を中心にー


*聴講自由、事前登録不要。講義・質疑応答は日本語/英語の両方を使って行われます。
  *現代文芸論大学院演習「世界/日本文学へのアプローチ」の一環として行なわれる特別講義ですが、専門的関心のある方のご来聴を歓迎します。

日時 2011131(月)
午後5時~630

場所 東京大学(本郷キャンパス) 法文1号館2217番教室
1130033 東京都文京区本郷7-3-1

交通 地下鉄丸ノ内線・大江戸線「本郷3丁目」、南北線「東大前」、千代田線「根津」など下車、いずれも徒歩10分。
*法文1号館は、東大(本郷キャンパス)正門から中に入り、安田講堂(時計台)に向かって直進、左側2番目の建物です。

講師プロフィール
リース・モートン教授は1951年オーストラリア、シドニーに生まれ、1982年にシドニー大学文学部東洋学科にて有島武郎研究で博士号を取得。シドニー大学、ニューカッスル大学で教鞭を取った後、2003年に東京工業大学に移った。近代日本の文学・文学・美学全般に通じた碩学であり、特に近現代詩およびモダニズムの美学に造詣が深い。近代日本文学に関する著書・論文・翻訳多数。また詩人としても知られており、詩集も出版している(以下のビブリオグラフィーを参照)。英語圏における近代日本文学研究を代表する著名な日本学者の一人。

東京大学大学院人文社会系研究科・現代文芸論研究室 
問い合わせ先 電話03(5841)7955 現代文芸論研究室


Leith Morton was formerly senior lecturer in Japanese at the University of Sydney and foundation Professor of Japanese at the University of Newcastle. He now teaches English at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, where he is a full professor in the Foreign Language Research and Teaching Center and the Department of Value and Decision Science. His main research interests are modern Japanese literature, culture and aesthetics. His books include: Tales From East of the River (Melbourne: Rigmarole Press, 1982); Divided Self: A Biography of Arishima Takeo (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1988); The Fox (Tokyo: Kumon Publishing Co., Ltd, 1989) (illustrated by Murakami Yukuo); Editor (and translator with three others) Seven Stories of Modern Japan (Sydney: Wild Peony Press, 1991); (Edited and translated) Mt Fuji: Selected Poems 1943-1986 by Kusano Shinpei (Michigan: Katydid Press, 1991); (Edited and translated) An Anthology of Contemporary Japanese Poetry (New York & London: Garland Publishing 1993); The Flower Garland (Sydney: Island Press, 1993); a day at the races (Macao: English Dept., Univ. of Macao, 2003); Modern Japanese Culture: The Insider View (Melbourne: Univ. of Oxford Press, 2003); At The Hotel Zudabollo (Sydney: Island Press, 2004); Modernism in Practice: An Introduction to Postwar Japanese Poetry (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2004); (Poetry Co-Editor and Co-Translator) The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature Volume 1: From Restoration to Occupation, 1868-1945 (New York, Columbia University Press, 2005); (Translator) Shuntaro Tanikawa: Selected Poems (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2006); (Translator) Rin Ishigaki: Selected Poems (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2006); (Translator) Masayo Koike: Selected Poems (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2006); Tokyo: A Poem in Four Chapters (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2006) and Yosano Akiko no ‘Midaregami’ o Eigo de Ajiwau (Tokyo: Chukei Shuppan, 2007). The Alien Within: Representations of the Exotic in 20th Century Japanese Literature (Hawaii Univ. Press, 2009).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ART ZINE 「pink」: LOOKING FOR CONTRIBUTORS

This just in from Ms. Ozawa Miwako, founder and editor of the art and literary zine Pink:
Dear Mr. Behold M. Swarthyface,

ちょっとお願いがあってメールしています。
私は友人たちと「pink」というアートのフリーペーパーを作っているんだけど、そこに載せるコラムを書いてくれる人を探しています。

もしコラムをお願いできるというのであれば、
お題も何もかもが要相談という感じで、
つまりは自分の好きなことを書いていただければ良いという感じになります。

今他に依頼しているコラムニストは、食と文学について・・というざっくりしたお題だけある中で、好きに書いてもらっていますし以前に書いてもらった方々も、自分で書きたいものを締切りまでに出してもらってその後私と相談しながら校了するという感じです。

現代文芸論のとある学生さんは、vol1から書いてくれてるんだけど、好評で、柴田先生にもvol.2には出てもらいました。

褐面氏(つまりMr. Swarthyface)や『BEHOLD MY SWARTHY FACE。』の協力者・読者たちは、英語でも日本語でも執筆できると思うので、「pink」の誌面で何か日本映画についてとか、日本文学について、とかバイリンガルで書いてくれても嬉しいです。
 

ただ、文芸誌ではないので、あくまでも軽いタッチで書いてもらえたらいいのですが・・・

ページは見開き2P。
片面に日本語、もう片面に英語、というのでもいいと思います。

今はまだ編集作業にも入っておらず、スケジュールが押し気味です。
なんとか3月中に出版できることを祈っていますが、
このままだと4月に押される可能性が大きいです。

現在vol.3の第一特集は、ファッションフォトグラファーのMark Borthwickです。
あとは、日本人カメラマンの川島小鳥さん。
その他に、フードクリエイターの諏訪綾子さん、などなどの面々を考えております。

あと、原稿料なのですが、『pink』はフリーペーパーなので、
前ページ原稿料はお支払いしていません。
アーティスト達の協力の元でなんとか成り立っている雑誌です。

『pink』はアートのフリーペーパーとしてはクオリティが高いですし、どこにも負けない自信があります!!Swarthyfaceさんの日々思っていることや考えていることを、書いてみませんか?

一度ウェブで誌面を見てもらって、もし興味があれば
お返事ください。

突然のお願いですが、ご検討いただけたら幸いです!

小澤 身和子

Journal Entry #184

This just in from Swarthyface:
秋期の最後の講義は今日で終了しました。残りは来週のファイナルとその翌週の学生との飲み会だけです。

実験として最後の課題を、自分が翻訳した石川淳『佳人』(The Nymphs)にしました。

自分の苦労の成果であるこの訳を取り上げて分析してもらうとは、聞く側として不思議な感覚であり、まるで私自身について語られているように聞こえてきました。

今日の発表者たちはテキストをよく分析してくれたなと感心しました。 そして今まで意義の不明だった一節を、前列に着席していたNemec君が明確にして下さいました。

これから英語圏の市場に挑み、Ishikawa Jun のThe Nymphs を出版し、ベストセラーにさせていくように頑張ります。笑

Letter from Reader, re: Akutagawa and Fragmentary Writing

This just in from Marie-Noëlle Beauvieux:
Hi Beholdmyswarthyface & co.,

I am currently an exchange grad student in Tokyo and I am pursuing a thesis in comparative literature (Akutagawa Ryunosuke and fragmentary writing). As I saw last week with regret, I missed your courses at Sophia University this semester… and that made me wonder if you know of any courses/seminars/symposiums in Tokyo on Taisho literature that are being taught this year, or even of some references books on fragmentary writing and the Japanese language (I am working on a french translation of Shuju no kotoba) . . . or if you know of anything you think might be of interest. 

I hope your Aozora Bunko Translation Project is going well, and thank you for all the interesting things you share.

Sincerely,
Marie-Noëlle Beauvieux
Marie-Noëlle Beauvieux,

Thanks for the mail. If I'm not mistaken, Professor Ando plans to focus on Taisho literature in the next semester of his kokubungaku graduate seminar at Todai, so you might want to check that out. As for books/essays on fragmentary writings of the Taisho period, the first thing that comes to mind is Seiji Lippit's chapter on the dismantling of literary form/genre in Akutagawa's late (fragmentary) works. If anything else comes to mind, I'll be sure to let you know.

Good luck with your translation.

Best,
Swarthyface

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kawabata Yasunari's "Of Birds and Beasts" (1933)

This just in from Sally Suzuki:
Swarthyface,
I know you're busy, so I made you a study guide for your class tomorrow, in which you will discuss Kawabata Yasunari's "Of Birds and Beasts" 「禽獣」. Here are 35 questions to consider while reading the story.
        General Questions

*The protagonist of this story is a sort of urban hermit. Who are some other notable hermits from the Japanese tradition?

*What magazine was Kawabata associated with in 1920s? And what was the name of the movement with which he was affiliated?

*This story is often referred to as an example of shinkyō shōsetsu 心境小説. What does that mean?

*This story is said to employ both “modernist” and “traditional” literary techniques. What are they?

*The title of the story in Japanese is kinjū 禽獣. The Japanese word has two meanings. What are they? How is the second meaning significant to the story?

*Eugenics was big in the 1920s and 1930s, especially in fascist countries like Japan, UK, and Nazi Germany. Think about this theme of eugenics, and how it is presented in the story.

*Do you consider this work to be auto-biographical (or, at least, to be representative of the I-novel mode)?

*This work is often described as an allegory. What is it an allegory of? (Hint: Protagonist is to his pets as Artist is to his materials/creation, etc… .)

*An implied message in the story is that to love something is to inflict pain/damage upon it. What does this mean? How is this “message” conveyed in the story?

          The Characters

*What kind of man is the protagonist? Would you like to befriend him? Be his lover?

*Why does the protagonist prefer the company of animals to that of humans?

*Why does he avoid human contact (with the exception of prostitutes/maids/dancers/etc), and withdraw into his house filled with pets?

*How does the protagonist's attitude toward women resemble his attitude toward his pet animals? Does he regard them as one as the same?

*When he first visits Chikako in the dressing room before her performance, he grabs her breast. This time, however, he does not grab her breast. Why is this?

*The protagonist tells us that keeping/raising pets gives one a sense of “sad purity” and “godlike newness.” What does this mean?

*In the eyes of the protagonist, how are young women similar to dogs?

*Is the protagonist a sad figure? Should we pity him? Envy him? Or despise him?

*Is he a feminist?

*In a very important flashback scene, we learn why the protagonist remains so drawn to Chikako. Why is this?

*What is this “joy of emptiness” to which the protagonist refers?

*The expression on the dog’s face after having its first litter reminds the protagonist of Chikako’s face when he first purchases her. What does this fact (that a dog's expression reminds him of a former lover) tell us about the mental/emotional state of the protagonist?

*Why does he dislike all men, and male animals in general?

*What is it that he seeks/desires?

*Why does he scold Chikako when he meets her shortly after she has her first child?

*What is his attitude toward mongrels? Miscegenation? Is his attitude typical for this time period?

*The protagonist has been described by critics as “vampirish.” What is “vampirish” about him?

            Narration/Style

*The story is told in from what point of view?

*Whose thoughts/feelings is the narrative voice closest to?

*Kawabata's style of prose is often described as "disjointed," "fragmentary," and "haiku-like." What is disjointed and haiku-like about the narration in this story?

*How does the narrative progress? According to what logic?

*How do flashbacks function in the story?

*There is much bizarre and even grotesque imagery in the work. Identify some of these passages.

*What are some examples of the associative leaps in the story? Give an example of how one image/scent/observation triggers a flashback, or how something within the flashback can suddenly bring us back to the present.

*Though the protagonist almost obsessively pursues/worships life/vitality (生命), the story begins and ends with images of death (in the beginning, a funeral procession; in the end, the image of Chikako’s death-like face). What does this suggest about death’s inevitability and the allure it holds for the protagonist?

Kawabata Yasunari's "Of Birds and Beasts" (1933)

Or, in PDF format...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A History of Modern Japanese Literary Criticism: A Play in Two Acts

A History of Modern Japanese Literary Criticism, A Play In Two Acts

Shiga Naoya's Residence

This just in from Grainam De Borja:
Dear Beholdmyswarthyface,

Some of your literature class students went to Shiga Naoya's residence in Nara... but it was closed for the holidays. -Grainam De Borja