Ambiguous bodies : reading the grotesque in Japanese setsuwa tales / Michelle Osterfeld Li

Date :

Type : Livre / Book

Langue / Language : anglais / English

ISBN : 978-0-8047-5975-5

ISBN : 0-8047-5975-8

EAN : 9780804759755

Grotesque (littérature) -- Japon

Littérature populaire -- Japon

Littérature et folklore -- Japon

Setsuwa

Littérature japonaise -- Avant 1600

Civilisation -- Japon -- Jusqu'à 1600

Classification Dewey : 398.20952

Résumé / Abstract : Ambiguous Bodies draws from theories of the grotesque to examine many of the strange and extraordinary creatures and phenomena in the premodern Japanese tales called setsuwa. Grotesque representations in general typically direct our attention to unfinished and unrefined things; they are marked by an earthly sense of the body and an interest in the physical. Because they have many meanings, they can both sustain and undermine authority. This book aims to make sense of grotesque representations in setsuwa- animated detached body parts, unusual sexual encounters, demons and shapeshifting or otherwise wondrous animals- and in a broader sense, to show what this type of critical focus can reveal about the mentality of Japanese people in the ancient, classical, and early medieval periods. It is the first study to place Japanese tales of this nature, which have received little critical attention in English, within a sophisticated theoretical framework. Li masterfully and rigorously focuses on these fascinating tales in the context of the historical periods in which they were created and compiled