The purpose of this study is to respond to the urgent call for the studies of Bungakuron (Theory of Literature, 1907), a massive theoretical project by Natsume Sōseki (1867-1916). I address the crucial question: how to approach Bungauron. Many scholars have attempted to delineate and elaborate this theoretical work through the treatment of it as a static entity. I argue that the interrelation between his fictional writings is the key to explore Sōseki’s theoretical project since it and his fiction cross-fertilize each other, which marks the duality of Bungakuron. In one way, Bungakuron informs and brackets his writings which establishes Sōseki’s fiction as experimental attempts and practices of the theory. In another way, Sōseki’s fiction in turn serves as a vehicle to transform this theory of literature into an analyzable and approachable being. That Bungakuron is dynamic enforces that the approach to it lies in its interaction with fiction. Through the conjunction of the three spheres — the author, Bungakuron and fiction — I seek to reexplore Sōseki’s literary landscape, as well as to enlarge the understanding of him as a complex and multitalented writer.
|Advisor:||Gabriel, James Philip|
|Commitee:||Schlachet, Joshua, Srinivasan, Ragani|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|Department:||East Asian Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Bungakuron, Fiction, Interrelation, Japanese literature, Novels, Soseki, Natsume|
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