Abstract

Abstract:

The representations of bodies and fantastical spaces are two outstanding characteristics of Ogawa Yōko's writing and should be examined in relation to each other. In this article, I define the body and the space in the narrative as "liminal." In Ogawa's works, entering liminal spaces usually implies changes, instant or forthcoming, visible or invisible, regarding the characters' physicality. Parts of the characters' bodies or certain bodily functions vanish. In return, the liminal bodies are rewarded with insubstantial endowments, such as love, companionship, inner peace, or freedom. Examining Hotel Iris (Hoteru Airisu, 1996) as a case study, this article provides a reading of Ogawa based on the representations of liminal bodies and liminal space. Hotel Iris, for its astonishing and painstaking depictions of sadomasochism, remains somewhat exceptional in Ogawa's works. The seemingly carnal feast in the narrative is essentially the protagonist's escape from the physical. Sexual acts, as well as the liminal spatial setting, serve as a form of salvation by freeing the spirit from the body.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2330-5029
Print ISSN
1059-9770
Pages
pp. 153-173
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-09
Open Access
No
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