The Marginal World of 99261081e Kenzaburō: A Study in Themes and Techniques

The Marginal World of 99261081e Kenzaburō: A Study in Themes and Techniques

The Marginal World of 99261081e Kenzaburō: A Study in Themes and Techniques

The Marginal World of 99261081e Kenzaburō: A Study in Themes and Techniques

Synopsis

Presents 16 case studies of ethnic conflict in the post-Soviet world. The book places ethnic conflict in the context of imperial collapse, democratisation and state building.

Excerpt

"His peculiar synthesis of innocent eye and sophisticated brain," the late Victor Turner, the world-renowned cultural anthropologist, said of Ōe Kenzaburo, "has a prophetic thrust which few novelists today, including Saul Bellow and Gabriel García Márquez, can rival in posing uniquely modern problems and demolishing uniquely modern idols." To place the narratives of this creative mind in the mainstream of world literature is my primary concern in this study. Ōe clearly stands at the juncture of modern Japanese and Western literary traditions. It is refreshing to see how he is totally at ease with a variety of Western intellectual and literary disciplines without sacrificing his Japanese identity.

A treasure-trove for literary critics, Ōe's narratives cultivate various foreign and indigenous devices that entice both the reader and the critic to look at literature from an entirely new angle. For me, the formalist/structuralist approach is most exciting and rewarding in dealing with Ōe's marginal world. At the same time, I find it essential to analyze his work in terms of the relationship of one narrative to another. My particular focus is to unravel the characteristics of his art and the power of narrative discourse. I hope that this introductory study will stimulate further discussion and translation of his provocative and creative achievements.

Unless designated otherwise, all quotations of Ōe's narratives are my translations. When another English translation is available, the first number in a bracket after each quotation indicates the number in the . . .

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