Japanese Literature in Translation
This course acquaints students with the major genres of Japanese literature through a focus on the short story. We will read travel literature from the Meiji period, as well as classic well-known stories by such famous authors as Mishima Yukio, Murakami Haruki, and Yoshimoto Banana. We will think about narrative techniques in the short story form and how Western literary modes such as Modernism influenced Japanese writers. We will read how authors have reacted to the Fukushima disasters of 2011 in their fiction, including re-writing old stories to reflect new attitudes towards nuclear power. We will finish with a consideration of the ‘short short’ form, including the #twnovel, written in 140 characters on Twitter. Honors students will be given the opportunity to pursue their own research project.
Main textbook: The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, March was Made of Yarn.