• Interrelation between Natsume Sōseki’s Bungakuron (Theory of Literature and Other Critical Writings) and His Fiction

      Gabriel, James Philip; Lu, Qiuyue; Srinivasan, Ragani; Schlachet, Joshua (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      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.
    • Murakami Haruki: A Serious Literature Writer Under the Cover of Pop Culture

      Gabriel, James Philip; Li, Chengyuan; Gabriel, James Philip; Pinnington, Noel J.; Smith, Nathaniel (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      As a famous contemporary writer, Murakami Haruki has a wide-reaching influence throughout the world, especially in East Asia. In my thesis, I intend to analyze his novels and short stories from 1979 to 2014. In doing so, I will reveal why Murakami Haruki is so popular in Asia, particularly China. This analysis will demonstrate that East Asian public culture has been undergoing changes during the past 20 years. I will analyze four of Murakami’s works: Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Norwegian Wood (1987), to The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995), and finishing with Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Year Of Pilgrimage (2013). Though the evolution of his works, Murakami makes it clear that Japanese society has been under transformation since World War II. After the end of the war, this society changed from a capitalist to cosmopolitan one. I will also discuss how his novels are associated with China, as well as his works’ adaptation in China and among Chinese readers. Since becoming famous, Murakami’s work has been highly criticized. These criticisms has come primarily from Komori Yōichi, Fujii Shozo, Kuroko Kazuo and Kato Norihiro. By discussing these critics, I want to reveal the true meaning for Murakami to be a writer and why I consider him as a serious literature writer under the cover of pop culture.