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Sirens of the Western Shore: Westernesque Women and Translation in Modern Japanese Literature

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Indra Levy introduces a new archetype in the study of modern Japanese literature: the "Westernesque femme fatale," an alluring figure who is ethnically Japanese but evokes the West in her physical appearance, lifestyle, behavior, and, most important, her use of language. She played conspicuous roles in landmark works of modern Japanese fiction and theater.Levy traces the l Indra Levy introduces a new archetype in the study of modern Japanese literature: the "Westernesque femme fatale," an alluring figure who is ethnically Japanese but evokes the West in her physical appearance, lifestyle, behavior, and, most important, her use of language. She played conspicuous roles in landmark works of modern Japanese fiction and theater.Levy traces the lineage of the Westernesque femme fatale from her first appearance in the vernacularist fiction of the late 1880s to her development in Naturalist fiction of the mid-1900s and, finally, to her spectacular embodiment by the modern Japanese actress in the early 1910s with the advent of Naturalist theater. In all cases the Westernesque femme fatale both attracts and confounds the self-consciously modern male intellectual through a convention-defying use of language. What does this sirenlike figure reveal about the central concerns of modern Japanese literature? Levy proposes that the Westernesque femme fatale be viewed as the hallmark of an intertextual exoticism that prizes the strange beauty of modern Western writing.By illuminating the exoticist impulses that gave rise to this archetype, Levy offers a new understanding of the relationships between vernacular style and translation, original and imitation, and writing and performance within a cross-cultural context. A seamless blend of narrative, performance, translation, and gender studies, this work will have a profound impact on the critical discourse on this formative period of modern Japanese literature.


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Indra Levy introduces a new archetype in the study of modern Japanese literature: the "Westernesque femme fatale," an alluring figure who is ethnically Japanese but evokes the West in her physical appearance, lifestyle, behavior, and, most important, her use of language. She played conspicuous roles in landmark works of modern Japanese fiction and theater.Levy traces the l Indra Levy introduces a new archetype in the study of modern Japanese literature: the "Westernesque femme fatale," an alluring figure who is ethnically Japanese but evokes the West in her physical appearance, lifestyle, behavior, and, most important, her use of language. She played conspicuous roles in landmark works of modern Japanese fiction and theater.Levy traces the lineage of the Westernesque femme fatale from her first appearance in the vernacularist fiction of the late 1880s to her development in Naturalist fiction of the mid-1900s and, finally, to her spectacular embodiment by the modern Japanese actress in the early 1910s with the advent of Naturalist theater. In all cases the Westernesque femme fatale both attracts and confounds the self-consciously modern male intellectual through a convention-defying use of language. What does this sirenlike figure reveal about the central concerns of modern Japanese literature? Levy proposes that the Westernesque femme fatale be viewed as the hallmark of an intertextual exoticism that prizes the strange beauty of modern Western writing.By illuminating the exoticist impulses that gave rise to this archetype, Levy offers a new understanding of the relationships between vernacular style and translation, original and imitation, and writing and performance within a cross-cultural context. A seamless blend of narrative, performance, translation, and gender studies, this work will have a profound impact on the critical discourse on this formative period of modern Japanese literature.

31 review for Sirens of the Western Shore: Westernesque Women and Translation in Modern Japanese Literature

  1. 5 out of 5

    meeners

    indra levy is so awesome! as is the study of translation and gender(ed) performance. an insightful meditation on the slippery intersections of written word and material body, literary representation and social meaning. her treatment of matsui sumako and the translation of the stage is particularly worth noting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Remalifn

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lida

  4. 5 out of 5

    j~

  5. 5 out of 5

    AK

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mecque

  7. 5 out of 5

    julia

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ad

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jas

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melon109

  11. 4 out of 5

    Riham Mohamed Omar

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dana Miranda

  14. 5 out of 5

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  15. 4 out of 5

    Grandeurs

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

  17. 5 out of 5

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  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tocotin

  20. 5 out of 5

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  21. 4 out of 5

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  22. 4 out of 5

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  23. 5 out of 5

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    Alma Q

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karolina

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steph

  27. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vera Mackie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wallace

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rayjan Koehler

  31. 4 out of 5

    Constanza Jorquera

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