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A History of Japanese Literature, Volume 3

The High Middle Ages

Jin'ichi Konishi

In this third of five volumes tracing the history of Japanese literature through Mishima Yukio, Jin'ichi Konishi portrays the high medieval period. Here he continues to examine the influence of Chinese literature on Japanese writers, addressing in particular reactions to Sung ideas, Zen Buddhism, and the ideal of literary vocation, michi. This volume focuses on three areas in which Konishi has long made distinctive contributions: court poetry (waka), featuring twelfth-and thirteenth-century works, especially those of Fujiwara Teika (1162-1241); standard linked poetry (renga), from its inception to its full harvest in the work of Sogi (1421-1502); and the theatrical form noh, including the work of Zeami (ca. 1365-1443) and Komparu Zenchiku (1405-?). The author also considers prose narrative and popular song.

Originally published in 1991.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Hitomaro and the Birth of Japanese Lyricism

Ian Hideo Levy

Professor Levy explores the ritual origins of Japanese verse, the impact of Chinese and Korean literary influence on the seventh-century Court, and the rhetorical deification of the imperial family as the condition under which Hitomaro would begin his career as a Court poet.

Originally published in 1984.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Holy Ghosts

The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction

Rebecca Suter

Christians are a tiny minority in Japan, less than one percent of the total population. Yet Christianity is ubiquitous in Japanese popular culture. From the giant mutant “angels” of the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise to the Jesus-themed cocktails enjoyed by customers in Tokyo’s Christon café, Japanese popular culture appropriates Christianity in both humorous and unsettling ways. By treating the Western religion as an exotic cultural practice, Japanese demonstrate the reversibility of cultural stereotypes and force reconsideration of global cultural flows and East-West relations.

Of particular interest is the repeated reappearance in modern fiction of the so-called “Christian century” of Japan (1549–1638), the period between the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries and the last Christian revolt before the final ban on the foreign religion. Literary authors as different as Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Endō Shūsaku, Yamada Fūtarō, and Takemoto Novala, as well as film directors, manga and anime authors, and videogame producers have all expressed their fascination with the lives and works of Catholic missionaries and Japanese converts and produced imaginative reinterpretations of the period. In Holy Ghosts, Rebecca Suter examines the popularity of the Christian century in modern Japanese fiction and reflects on the role of cross-cultural representations. Since the opening of the ports in the Meiji period, Japan’s relationship with Euro-American culture has oscillated between a drive towards Westernization and an antithetical urge to “return to Asia.” Exploring the twentieth-century’s fascination with the Christian century enables Suter to reflect on modern Japan’s complex combination of Orientalism, self-Orientalism, and Occidentalism.

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Holy Prayers in a Horse's Ear

A Japanese American Memoir

Kathleen Tamagawa, Edited by Greg Robinson and Elena Tajima Creef

Originally published in 1932, Kathleen Tamagawa’s pioneering Asian American memoir is a sensitive and thoughtful look at the personal and social complexities of growing up racially mixed during the early twentieth century. Born in 1893 to an Irish American mother and a Japanese father and raised in Chicago and Japan, Tamagawa reflects on the difficulty she experienced fitting into either parent’s native culture.

            She describes how, in America, her every personal quirk and quality was seen as quintessentially Japanese and how she was met unpredictably with admiration or fear—perceived as a “Japanese doll” or “the yellow menace.” When her family later moved to Japan, she was viewed there as a “Yankee,” and remained an outsider in that country as well. As an adult she came back to the United States as an American diplomat’s wife, but had trouble feeling at home in any place.

            This edition, which also includes Tamagawa’s recently rediscovered short story, “A Fit in Japan,” and a critical introduction, will challenge readers to reconsider how complex ethnic identities are negotiated and how feelings of alienation limit human identification in any society. 

 

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Hong Kong Night

by Chan Chi Tak, Fan Sin Piu, Cheng Ching Hang, Ng Mei Kwan, Lau Wai Shing, Liu Wai Tong, Chris Song, Chow Hon Fai, Jacky Yuen, Zeit Fong

This pocket-sized paperback is one of the twenty-two titles published for 2015 Hong Kong International Poetry Nights. The theme of IPHHK2015 is “Poetry and Conflict”. 21 international poets from 18 different places are invited to participate in recitations, symposia and sharing sessions of the Poetry Nights. A recitation focusing on 10 local Hong Kong poets, “Hong Kong Cantonese Poetry Night” is included. This collection seeks to make accessible the best of contemporary international poetry with outstanding translations.

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How to Read the Chinese Novel

David L. Rolston

Fiction criticism has a long and influential history in pre-modern China, where critics would read and reread certain novels with a concentration and fervor far exceeding that which most Western critics give to individual works. This volume, a source book for the study of traditional Chinese fiction criticism from the late sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries, presents translations of writings taken from the commentary editions of six of the most important novels of pre-modern China. These translations consist mainly of tu-fa, or "how-to-read" essays, which demonstrate sensitivity and depth of analysis both in the treatment of general problems concerning the reading of any work of fiction and in more focused discussions of particular compositional details in individual novels.

The translations were produced by pioneers in the study of this form of fiction criticism in the West: Shuen-fu Lin, Andrew H. Plaks, David T. Roy, John C. Y. Wang, and Anthony C. Yu. Four introductory essays by Andrew H. Plaks and the editor address the historical background for this type of criticism, its early development, its formal features, recurrent terminology, and major interpretive strategies. A goal of this volume is to aid in the rediscovery of this traditional Chinese poetics of fiction and help eliminate some of the distortions encountered in the past by the imposition of Western theories of fiction on Chinese novels.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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I Can Almost See The Clouds of Dust

Selected Poetry of Yu Xiang

Translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Yu Xiang comfortably inhabits the negative space between viewer and subject, artist and artwork, the lover and her beloved in this acrobatic, ekphrastic, meditatively-compelling collection. Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s crisp translation invites American readers to experience Yu Xiang’s poetic mastery half a world away from its formative origins in the Shandong province, bringing into focus the voice of one of China’s most celebrated and memorable female voices. “I have a lonely yet / stable life,” Yu admits at one point in the book. “This is my house. If / you happen to walk in, it’s certainly not / for my rambling notes.” Yu Xiang disarms her reader with exacting imagery and pathos in order to tell the aching, unavoidable truth of womanhood in these striking poems. —Dorianne Laux

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The Image Hunter

by Chen Li

This pocket-sized paperback is one of the twenty-two titles published for 2015 Hong Kong International Poetry Nights. The theme of IPHHK2015 is “Poetry and Conflict”. 21 international poets from 18 different places are invited to participate in recitations, symposia and sharing sessions of the Poetry Nights. A recitation focusing on 10 local Hong Kong poets, “Hong Kong Cantonese Poetry Night” is included. This collection seeks to make accessible the best of contemporary international poetry with outstanding translations.

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Imagining Exile in Heian Japan

Banishment in Law, Literature, and Cult

Jonathan Stockdale

For over three hundred years during the Heian period (794–1185), execution was customarily abolished in favor of banishment. During the same period, exile emerged widely as a concern within literature and legend, in poetry and diaries, and in the cultic imagination, as expressed in oracles and revelations. While exile was thus one sanction available to the state, it was also something more: a powerful trope through which members of court society imagined the banishment of gods and heavenly beings, of legendary and literary characters, and of historical figures, some transformed into spirits.

This compelling and well-researched volume is the first in English to explore the rich resonance of exile in the cultural life of the Japanese court. Rejecting the notion that such narratives merely reflect a timeless literary archetype, Jonathan Stockdale shows instead that in every case exile emerged from particular historical circumstances—moments in which elites in the capital sought to reveal and to re-imagine their world and the circulation of power within it. By exploring the relationship of banishment to the structures of inclusion and exclusion upon which Heian court society rested, Stockdale moves beyond the historiographical discussion of “center and margin” to offer instead a theory of exile itself.

Stockdale’s arguments are situated in astute and careful readings of Heian sources. His analysis of a literary narrative, the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, for example, shows how Kaguyahime’s exile from the “Capital of the Moon” to earth implicitly portrays the world of the Heian court as a polluted periphery. His exploration of one of the most well-known historical instances of banishment, that of Sugawara Michizane, illustrates how the political sanction of exile could be met with a religious rejoinder through which an exiled noble is reinstated in divine form, first as a vengeful spirit and then as a deity worshipped at the highest levels of court society.

Imagining Exile in Heian Japan is a model of interdisciplinary scholarship that will appeal to anyone interested in the interwoven connections of early and classical Japan.

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Imagining Kashmir

Emplotment and Colonialism

Patrick Colm Hogan

During the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent, Kashmir—a Muslim-majority area ruled by a Hindu maharaja—became a hotly disputed territory. Divided between India and Pakistan, the region has been the focus of international wars and the theater of political and military struggles for self-determination. The result has been great human suffering within the state, with political implications extending globally.

Imagining Kashmir examines cinematic and literary imaginings of the Kashmir region’s conflicts and diverse citizenship, analyzing a wide range of narratives from writers and directors such as Salman Rushdie, Bharat Wakhlu, Mani Ratnam, and Mirza Waheed in conjunction with research in psychology, cognitive science, and social neuroscience. In this innovative study, Patrick Colm Hogan’s historical and cultural analysis of Kashmir advances theories of narrative, colonialism, and their corresponding ideologies in relation to the cognitive and affective operations of identity.

Hogan considers how narrative organizes people’s understanding of, and emotions about, real political situations and the ways in which such situations in turn influence cultural narratives, not only in Kashmir but around the world.

 
 


 

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