IS_220_March_26_Soseki_Kokoro - IS 220 10 11 12 March 17...

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IS 220 March 26, 2007 10 March 17 Encounter with the West Varley 235-270 March 19 Nakae Ch min, selections (ERes) ō March 21 Higuchi Ichiy , ō Troubled Waters (ERes) 11 March 24 Modern Japan Varley 271-303 March 26 Natsume S seki, ō Kokoro March 28 Natsume S seki, ō Kokoro Response paper #2 12 March 31 World War II Morton, Modern Japanese Culture , Sel. (ERes) Natsume Sōseki 1867-1916 Youngest of 8, unwanted, adopted by foster parents Told he was returning to grandparents, who were really parents…. Brilliant at Chinese poetry. Studied English literature at middle school and at Tokyo University (early 20s) Believed it was needed to master world learning before “modern, individualistic thought” could take root in Japan. Interested in Walt Whitman’s “revolutionary” qualities Saw goal of literature as individual, moral development, not nationalism Mastered English literature, but insisted on keeping his own, Japanese viewpoint. Also felt he could never master it as a foreigner. Ill-TB, stomach ulcers 1895 became English teacher in Matsuyama, Shikoku. Married Nakane Kyoko 1896 – her “hysteria” and depression, his paranoia. England 2 years 1900-02 Inadequate stipend. Lived in London, obtained private instruction from Shakespear e scholar. Came to dislike England, English. Commercialism, money. Laughed at for interest in snow-viewing, moon, moss. Felt racially isolated. Nervous breakdown. Contrast with Mori Ogai.
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Lecturer at Tokyo University – replaced Hearn, unpopular. 1905 Wagahai wa neko de arua I am a cat – satiric look at the life of a teacher of English. A cat observing Meiji society. Sneeze-sensei, who never does anything, pompous intellectuals, dissolute artists, etc. Botchan, 1906 – The Young Master. Stubborn yet naïve, impetuous man goes to teach at middle school in Shikoku. 1906 – joined staff of Yomiuri Shinbun as literary editor, then by Tokyo Asahi Shinbun . Major rejection of establishment – newspaper writer considered low profession Romantic, embellished style. The Miner 1908 – kind of naturalistic novel. Young man leaves home after broken romance to become a miner. Observes terrible conditions of mine and sees the miners as animal-like. Stream of consciousness showing how he is drawn into exploitative job in passive manner. Eventually is taken out of mine and given a job at the mine’s goods store. 10 Nights’ Dreams 1908 – explores the unconscious, themes of guilt and death Moves to a more serious approach – quiet lives of men unable to feel happy or close to others. Themes of guilt and betrayal. Mon The Gate 1910 Daisuke, a civil servant who betrayed his best friend and stole his sweetheart. The couple is close but have no children and live a cheerless life. To avoid seeing Yasui, Daisuke goes to a Zen monastery to seek enlightenment, but he apparently lacks the sincerity needed and has no results. 1910 near-death experience.
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IS_220_March_26_Soseki_Kokoro - IS 220 10 11 12 March 17...

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