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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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Howard Barker's art of theatre

Essays on his plays, poetry and production work

David Rabey

Director-dramatist Howard Barker is a restlessly prolific, compulsively controversial and provocative multi-media artist. Beyond his internationally performed and acclaimed theatrical productions, and his award-winning theatre company The Wrestling School, he is also a poet, a painter whose work has been exhibited internationally, and a philosophical essayist cognisant of the unique power of art to provoke moral speculation, and of the distinctive theatricality of the human being in times of crisis. This collection of essays provides international perspectives on the full range of Barker’s achievements, theatrical and otherwise, and argues for their unique importance and urgency at the forefront of several genres of provocative modern art. It includes an interview with the artist and an essay by Barker himself.

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I Call to Remembrance

Toyo Suyemoto's Years of Internment

Toyo Suyemoto and Edited by Susan B. Richardson

Toyo Suyemoto is known informally by literary scholars and the media as "Japanese America's poet laureate." But Suyemoto has always described herself in much more humble terms. A first-generation Japanese American, she has identified herself as a storyteller, a teacher, a mother whose only child died from illness, and an internment camp survivor. Before Suyemoto passed away in 2003, she wrote a moving and illuminating memoir of her internment camp experiences with her family and infant son at Tanforan Race Track and, later, at the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah, from 1942 to 1945.

A uniquely poetic contribution to the small body of internment memoirs, Suyemoto's account includes information about policies and wartime decisions that are not widely known, and recounts in detail the way in which internees adjusted their notions of selfhood and citizenship, lending insight to the complicated and controversial questions of citizenship, accountability, and resistance of first- and second-generation Japanese Americans.

Suyemoto's poems, many written during internment, are interwoven throughout the text and serve as counterpoints to the contextualizing narrative. Suyemoto's poems, many written during internment, are interwoven throughout the text and serve as counterpoints to the contextualizing narrative. A small collection of poems written in the years following her incarceration further reveal the psychological effects of her experience.

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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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