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The mother, the daughter, and the sexed body, in Enchi Fumiko's 'Fuyu momiji'

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Hartley, B (1999) The mother, the daughter, and the sexed body, in Enchi Fumiko's 'Fuyu momiji'. In: Love and Sexuality in Japanese Literature : Proceedings of the Midwest Association for Japanese Literary Studies, Vol. 5, Summer 1999.

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Abstract

According to Luce Irigaray, Western culture depends on the murder of the mother (cited in Whitford, 1991, 75). In Japan, too, the mother is subject to a range of phallocentric mythologies which, while they may not result in her murder, certainly seek to erase any dimension of sexual desire in her representation. Enchi Fumiko is a writer whose work contests this decorous asexuality the patriarchy would inscribe on the mother, this cultural imaginary which refuses to symbolize the maternalfeminine in any manner other than that which suppresses active sexuality. Enchi is also a writer who foregrounds the mother-daughter, or older woman-younger woman, relationship as a site in which feminine sexuality might be inflected through the generations. Crucial elements of her narrative are constructed around the tension which exists between the mother and the daughter. This tension often arises from the older woman's struggle with her own sexuality in light of the sex of the sexual identity and experience she observes in the figure of the daughter.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Midwest Association for Japanese Literary Studies
Page Range: pp. 250-262
ISSN: 1082-3972
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2008 04:06
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:53
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/7991
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