Interrelation between Natsume Sōseki’s Bungakuron (Theory of Literature and Other Critical Writings) and His Fiction
AdvisorGabriel, James Philip
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe 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.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
East Asian Studies