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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
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