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Literature > Asian Literature

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Results 81-90 of 179

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Mad Wives and Island Dreams Cover

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Mad Wives and Island Dreams

Shimao Toshio and the Margins of Japanese Literature

Philip Gabriel

Hailed by the noted critic Karatani Kojin as a more important and lasting writer than Mishima, Shimao Toshio (1917-1986) remains almost unknown in the West. Several of his short stories have appeared in English translation, yet it is only now, with the publication of Philip Gabriel's comprehensive and searching study, that Shimao's work is being introduced to the worldwide audience it deserves. Mad Wives and Island Dreams not only is a thorough assessment of the literary legacy of a highly original and influential writer, but also represents a significant contribution to the consideration of much broader issues relating to the emergence and nature of the postwar Japanese sense of identity. Shimao's fiction covers a wide range of topics: the war and its aftermath, the unconscious, the nuclear family, madness, the position of women, the culture of Japan's southern islands. Shimao's experiences as a survivor of a "kamikaze" unit underscore much of his literature and resulted in a series of compelling short stories unique in modern fiction. Many of these early, critically acclaimed works, including the classic "Everyday Life in a Dream," are based on the narrative logic of the unconscious. Mad Wives and Island Dreams contextualizes these "dream stories" as a literary expression of wartime trauma and argues that Shimao's powerful narration of guilt and victimization challenges standard readings of Japanese war literature. Shimao's most popular works are the byosaimono (literally "stories of a sick wife"), which chronicle the real-life crisis of his wife's madness in the mid-1950s. Among these is the writer's best-known work, the 1977 novel Shi no toge (The sting of death), widely recognized as one of the masterpieces of Japanese literature. The novel further explores Shimao's "literature of the victimizer" and wartime experience while revealing a feminist perspective that explores links between the suppressed aspirations of women and madness. Perhaps, most importantly, just as the novel examines the relationship between the wife, Miho, and her southern island roots, Shi no toge parallels Shimao's growing concern over the culture of marginalized regions and notions of cultural diversity-a concern that would eventually result in the Yaponesia essays. In Mad Wives and Island Dreams, Gabriel succeeds in linking all of the seemingly disparate strands within Shimao's oeuvre--the war stories, the byosaimono, the dream stories, the Yaponesia writings-categories all too often discussed in isolation. He shows convincingly that together they represent a consistent and concerted attempt to depict the existence of "the Other," the significant periphery of a less than homogenous whole. This volume will prove fascinating and important reading for those interested in questions of cultural identity and marginalization as well as Japanese literature and culture.

Madmen and Other Survivors Cover

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Madmen and Other Survivors

Reading Lu Xun's Fiction

Jeremy Tambling

The book makes use of critical and cultural theory to consider these short stories in the context of not only Chinese fiction, but in terms of the art of the short story, and in relation to literary modernism. It attempts to put Lu Xun into as wide a perspective as possible for contemporary reading. To make his work widely accessible, he is treated here in English translation.

The Magellan Fallacy Cover

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The Magellan Fallacy

Globalization and the Emergence of Asian and African Literature in Spanish

Adam Lifshey

The Magellan Fallacy argues that literature in Spanish from Asia and Africa, though virtually unknown, reimagines the supposed centers and peripheries of the modern world in fundamental ways. Through archival research and comparative readings, The Magellan Fallacy rethinks mainstream mappings of diverse cultures while advocating the creation of a new field of scholarship: global literature in Spanish. As the first attempt to analyze Asian and African literature in Spanish together, and doing so while ranging over all continents, The Magellan Fallacy crosses geopolitical and cultural borders without end. The implications of the book, therefore, extend far beyond the lands formerly ruled by the Spanish empire. The Magellan Fallacy shows that all theories of globalization, including those focused on the Americas and Europe, must be able to account for the varied significances of hispanophone Asia and Africa as well.

Ming Erotic Novellas Cover

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Ming Erotic Novellas

Genre, Consumption, and Religiosity in Cultural Practice

Richard G. Wang

Richard Wang's Ming Erotic Novellas is path breaking in its attention to a virtually ignored body of literature that certainly influenced the writing of the Jin Ping Mei, the Sanyan vernacular stories, and most likely Li Yu's fiction. Compared to other titles in the field, this is the first scholarly monograph in any language to contextualize the erotic novellas of late imperial China. Moreover, existing studies in this area have tended to concentrate on a limited number of works of Chinese erotic fiction, or have only brushed up against these works tangentially during more general discussion of Ming and Qing literature. Ming Erotic Novellas adopts a provocative approach to fiction, moving beyond the traditional textual analyses of gender politics and the qing cult, and examining these erotic novellas as a new genre within the contexts of print culture, readership, consumption patterns, as well as religious dimensions. Ming Erotic Novellas focuses on a group of mid to late Ming literary (wenyan) novellas, which are all stories of erotic romance. These novellas include a profusion of poems mixed with prose narratives that are characterized by "simple" literary Chinese, with a tendency toward the vernacular. Their plots are complex, with some running 20,000 characters or more, allowing for nuanced character development, rich dialogue, and psychological description. Circulated widely during the Ming, the novellas had a significant impact on later erotic and "scholar-beauty" (caizi jiaren) novels. This particular group of novellas was of great importance in the development of Chinese fiction, functioning as a transitional link between the classical tale to the vernacular novel. By approaching these works through the lens of a cultural study, Wang is able to explore the social functions of the novellas as well as their significance in the development of Chinese fiction in the Ming cultural context.

Mirror Cover

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Mirror

The Fiction and Essays of Koda Aya

Ann Sherif

Ann Sherif discusses the life and work of Kòda in light of changes in critical horizons, readerly communities, and especially constructions of gender and the family in the latter half of the twentieth century. Excellent translations of some of Kòda's most provocative short works are included.

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Modern Japanese Fiction and Its Traditions

An Introduction

J. Thomas Rimer

Thomas Rimer's book seeks to explain the background, structural principles, and development of pre-modem and modern Japanese fiction in a way that is comprehensive, methodical, and accessible to the general reader.

Originally published in 1987.

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.

The Modern Japanese Prose Poem Cover

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The Modern Japanese Prose Poem

An Anthology of Six Poets

Dennis Keene

Though the prose poem came into existence as a principally French literary genre in the nineteenth century, it occupies a place of considerable importance in twentieth-century Japanese poetry. This selection of poems is the first anthology of this genre and, in effect, the first appearance of this kind of poetry in English.

Originally published in 1980.

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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The Modernity of Sanskrit

Simona Sawhney

Sanskrit texts have usually been discussed either within the frames of anthropology and religious studies or with a veneration that has substituted for analysis. Going beyond such approaches, Simona Sawhney argues that only a literary approach that resists the closure of interpretation can reveal the fragility, ambivalence, and tension that mark the canonical texts. Today we witness, Sawhney contends, the near-total appropriation of Sanskrit literature by Hindu nationalism. The Modernity of Sanskrit challenges this appropriation by exploring the complex work of Rabindranath Tagore, M. K. Gandhi, and Mohan Rakesh. Sawhney proposes that Indian nationalist writings about classic Sanskrit became a charged site for postcolonial reflections on politics and art in India. Sawhney claims that although new readings of Sanskrit literature played a decisive role in the intellectual conception of modernity in India, the space for such readings has steadily shrunk in contemporary times, leading to a stark diminishment of both the political and the literary lives of the texts.

The Mozi Cover

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The Mozi

A Complete Translation

Ian Johnston

The Mozi is one of the small number of key texts surviving from the first flowering of Chinese philosophy during the Warring States period (403–221 BC). In structure, the Mozi comprises five distinct parts. Part I, the Epitomes, contains seven short essays on elements of Mohist doctrine. Part II, the "Core Doctrines," contains twenty-four chapters: twenty-three from the presumed thirty original chapters, arranged as ten triads, which set out the ten central doctrines of Mo Zi's ethical, social and political philosophy, and one of the two presumed chapters articulating Mo Zi's opposition to Confucianism. Part III, on "dialectics," contains six chapters on logic, language, disputation, ethics, science and other matters, attributed to the Later Mohists and written, in part at least, in defence of the original Mohist doctrines. Part IV, the Dialogues, contains five chapters made up of lively conversations, edifying anecdotes and gnomic utterances, a form more characteristic of the philosophical writing of the time. Part V, on the defence of a city, contains eleven chapters detailing the principles and practices of defensive warfare, a subject on which Master Mo was acknowledged as the leading authority of the time. The Mozi is, then, a rich and varied work, and yet it has been sadly neglected, both in China and the West. This is the first English translation of the complete work and the first bilingual version in any European language.

Mulan's Legend and Legacy in China and the United States Cover

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Mulan's Legend and Legacy in China and the United States

Mulan, the warrior maiden who performed heroic deeds in battle while dressed as a male soldier, has had many incarnations from her first appearance as a heroine in an ancient Chinese folk ballad. Mulan’s story was retold for centuries, extolling the filial virtue of the young woman who placed her father's honor and well-being above her own. With the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in the late 1970s, Mulan first became familiar to American audiences who were fascinated with the extraordinary Asian American character. Mulan’s story was recast yet again in the popular 1998 animated Disney film and its sequel.

In Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, Lan Dong traces the development of this popular icon and asks, "Who is the real Mulan?" and "What does authenticity mean for the critic looking at this story?" Dong charts this character’s literary voyage across historical and geographical borders, discussing the narratives and images of Mulan over a long time span—from premodern China to the contemporary United States to Mulan’s counter-migration back to her homeland.

As Dong shows, Mulan has been reinvented repeatedly in both China and the United States so that her character represents different agendas in each retelling—especially after she reached the western hemisphere. The dutiful and loyal daughter, the fierce, pregnant warrior, and the feisty teenaged heroine—each is Mulan representing an idea about female virtue at a particular time and place.

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