HIKAKU BUNGAKU Journal of Comparative Literature
Online ISSN : 2189-6844
Print ISSN : 0440-8039
ISSN-L : 0440-8039
Current issue
Displaying 1-24 of 24 articles from this issue
  • SATO Hikari
    2023 Volume 65 Pages 7-21
    Published: March 31, 2023
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2024

     It is well known that OE Kenzaburo (1935- ) drew inspiration from the poems and paintings of William Blake and that he often provided misleading interpretations of Blake’s texts.

     The narrator (‘I’) in ‘Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age!’ is an enthusiastic reader of Blake and a father of a brain-damaged son. He mentions The Book of Thel in which Blake describes a soul who refuses to be born into the world of Experience and returns to Innocence. The narrator, however, does not mention her flight and quotes the third stanza from ‘To Tirzah’, a poem about the sorrow of birth in Songs of Innocence and of Experience, as though it were part of The Book of Thel.

     Similarly, the narrator introduces the reader to the design of plate 76 in Jerusalem, presenting the text in plate 96 as though it were a dialogue between Jesus and Albion drawn on plate 76. The narrator describes the struggle of an innocent soul (his son) in this world, comparing himself to the aged Jesus and his son to young Albion.

     The narrator reads Blake, not in Blake’s context but in the context of his own personal life and consequently presents Blake as a poet of social protest rather than a religious poet who explored the notion of selfhood and self-annihilation. He re-creates Blake for his profound story of a father, his disabled son, family and society.

    Download PDF (920K)
  • Kunikida Doppo’s Reception of Turgenev in ‘Unmei Ronja’ (The Fatalist)
    ASHIKAWA Takayuki
    2023 Volume 65 Pages 22-36
    Published: March 31, 2023
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2024

     Building upon the work of Ashiya Nobukazu, this article illustrates the influence of Constance Garnett’s English-language translations of two stories by Ivan Turgenev̶ ‘The Old Woman’ (in ‘Poems in Prose’, 1897) and ‘The Dream’ (1897)̶upon Kunikida Doppo’s short story ‘Unmei Ronja’ (The Fatalist, 1903). I argue that ‘The Dream’ inspired the thematization in ‘The Fatalist’ of certain “forces of fate” that surpass the “powers of man” and that are linked to the “mystery” of a character’s “secret birth.” I further demonstrate that ‘The Old Woman’ and ‘The Fatalist’ share the common motif of a personified “fate” that drives man downwards into a “hole.” Indeed, ‘The Fatalist’ presents a plot that could be interpreted as portraying the power of “fate” to lead a person to commit suicide.

     Natsume Soseki read ‘The Fatalist’ upon its republication in Doppo’s collection of short stories, Unmei (Destiny, 1906), and stated that he found something “new” in the story. Around this time, Soseki published chapter eleven of Wagahai wa Neko de Aru (I Am a Cat, 1906), in which the protagonist, a cat, remarks, “Human fate ends in suicide.” The experience of reading ‘The Fatalist’ may have encouraged Soseki to describe suicide as “human fate”̶a point of great literary-historical interest given that Soseki would later speak of the “fatedness” of “K’s” suicide and of “Sensei’s” likely suicide in the novel Kokoro (The Heart, 1914).

    Download PDF (986K)
  • ― Focusing on the Emphasis on Loyalty
    GUO Xiaoying
    2023 Volume 65 Pages 37-50
    Published: March 31, 2023
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2024

     Lafcadio Hearn was a writer and folklorist who came to Japan during the Meiji era. Prior studies have focused on the supernatural tales he wrote after his arrival in Japan in 1890, including the famous Kwaidan (1904). However, his collection of fantastic tales written in America, Chinese Ghost Stories (1887), has not received much attention.

     This paper analyzes one of the stories in Chinese Ghost Stories, “The Tale of the Porcelain-God”, about a porcelain craftsman who sacrifices himself to make a beautiful vase for the emperor. The story about human sacrifice is derived from a Chinese folk legend Hearn found in the records of French missionaries. This paper examines Hearn's rewriting of “The Tale of the Porcelain God”, especially Hearn's changing of the theme̶from the celebration of the spirit of rebellion in the original to the emphasis on loyalty in his rewrite. At the same time, Hearn demonstrates the porcelain craftsman's commitment to artistry by the dialogue between the porcelain craftsman and the Spirit of the Furnace. This act demonstrates loyalty to the art and this paper also examines Hearn's view of art by this changing. I argue that commitment to artistry is a central factor in its realization and the “loyalty” praised by the emperor is only the result. We can glimpse a part of Hearn's ideal of society in seeking conformity between the “individual” and the “group”.

    Download PDF (874K)
  • The Translation, Reception and Cultural Agenda of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in China
    WANG Liying
    2023 Volume 65 Pages 224-206
    Published: March 31, 2023
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2024