Graduiertenkolleg Funktionen des Literarischen in Prozessen der Globalisierung

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Vortrag von Prof. Janet Walker und Prof. Steven Walker (Comparative Literature, Rutgers University)

11.06.2015 18:00 Uhr – 20:00 Uhr

Janet Walker
“Symbolic Spaces in the Drama of the Bureaucrat in Futabatei Shimei’s Ukigumo (The Floating Cloud, 1889)”
“Literature” according to ecocritic Cheryll Glotfelty, “does not float above the material world in some aesthetic ether, but, rather, plays a part in an immensely complex, global system, in which energy, matter, and ideas, interact.” The first Japanese work in the novel form, Futabatei Shimei’s Ukigumo, was written over the years 1886-1889, during the intense period of modernization that characterized the rule of the Meiji emperor (1868-1912) and that brought Japan into the West-dominated global system. The novel is energized by the Meiji ideal of upward mobility, which is emplotted in what I call the drama of the bureaucrat: the attempt of young Western-educated males to attain a position in the newly established bureaucracy, to marry and support a family, and along with these goals to achieve a measure of independence based on their intellectual and moral qualifications. Futabatei situates his characters in Tokyo locations that are time-spaces in the Bhaktinian sense: spaces that fuse the movement of “time, plot, and history” –the drama of the bureaucrat—with significant space. An analysis of the role played by the spaces that Futabatei’s characters traverse and occupy—the premodern plebeian entertainment spot Dangozaka and the modern places Ueno Park, the Yasukuni Shrine, and the second-story room—will allow the reader to come to an understanding of this historical drama.

Steven Walker
Mizoguchi's Ugetsu and Fuentes' Aura: Intertextuality and Political Allegory
While composing his soon-to-be classic novella Aura in 1962, the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes saw Kenji Mizoguchi's already-classic film Ugetsu (1953) in a Paris cinema, and later was to acknowledge it as one of his chief inspirations. While the liberal political allegory in Ugetsu is hard to miss, in Fuentes' Aura there is both a half-hidden allegory and a deeply cryptic Ovidian mythological subtext that supports and strengthens the allegory. A comparison of the two texts reveals the significant contrast between blatant and cryptic allegorical procedures as means of conveying a political message in two texts intertextually related.


Veranstaltungsort & -zeit:

Donnerstag, 11.6.2015
18:00 (s.t.) –20:00 Uhr
Ort: Oettingenstr. 67, Raum 169
(in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, LMU München)

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