Figures of Resistance: Language, Poetry, and Narrating in The Tale of the Genji and Other Mid-Heian Texts

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Duke University Press, 18. okt 1991 - 388 pages
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In this revisionist study of texts from the mid-Heian period in Japan, H. Richard Okada offers new readings of three well-known tales: The Tale of the Bamboo-cutter, The Tale of Ise, and The Tale of Genji. Okada contends that the cultural and gendered significance of these works has been distorted by previous commentaries and translations belonging to the larger patriarchal and colonialist discourse of Western civilization. He goes on to suggest that this universalist discourse, which silences the feminine aspects of these texts and subsumes their writing in misapplied Western canonical literary terms, is sanctioned and maintained by the discipline of Japanese literature.
Okada develops a highly original and sophisticated reading strategy that demonstrates how readers might understand texts belonging to a different time and place without being complicit in their assimilation to categories derived from Western literary traditions. The author’s reading stratgey is based on the texts’ own resistance to modes of analysis that employ such Western canonical terms as novel, lyric, and third-person narrative. Emphasis is also given to the distinctive cultural circles, as well as socio-political and genealogical circumstances that surrounded the emergence of the texts.
Indispensable readings for specialists in literature, cultural studies, and Japanese literature and history, Figures of Resistance will also appeal to general readers interested in the problems and complexities of studying another culture.
 

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Contents

Languages of Narrating and BambooCutter Pretexts
27
A Pivotal Narrative The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
53
Constructing a Capital Poetics Kokin Wakashū
85
An Early Figure of Resistance Lady Ise
112
SexualTextual Politics and The Tale of Ise
131
Situating the Feminine Hand
159
Narrating the Private Kiritsubo
183
Feminine Representation and Critique Hahakigi
197
Aesthetics Politics and Genealogy
232
Substitutions and Incidental Narrating Wakamurasaki
250
The Akashi Intertexts
266
Endings Tellings and Retellings
287
Chapters in The Tale of Genji
293
Notes
295
Bibliography
367
Index
377

A Figure of Narrating Tamakazura
214

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Page 10 - The basic error of the translator is that he preserves the state in which his own language happens to be instead of allowing his language to be powerfully affected by the foreign tongue . . . He must expand and deepen his language by means of the foreign language.

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The Tale of Genji
Murasaki Shikibu
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (1991)

Fredric R. Jameson, Marxist theorist and professor of comparative literature at Duke University, was born in Cleveland in 1934. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught at Harvard, the University of California at San Diego, and Yale University before moving to Duke in 1985. He most famous work is Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, which won the Modern Language Association's Lowell Award. Jameson was among the first to associate a specific set of political and economic circumstances with the term postmodernism. His other books include Sartre: The Origin of a Style, The Seeds of Time, and The Cultural Turn.

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