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The Violated Body as Landscape: rupture and mutilation in the narratives of Kim Sa-ryang and Yi Yang-ji

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Hartley, B (2005) The Violated Body as Landscape: rupture and mutilation in the narratives of Kim Sa-ryang and Yi Yang-ji. In: "Landscapes Imagined and Remembered." Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, Vol. 6, Summer 2005, University of Washington, Seattle.

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Abstract

In Japanese narrative, the trope of landscape has been variously invoked by writing subjects in both utopian and dystopian modes, and thus a notion of landscape as backdrop to violence provides few unique insights. However, when writers marginalized by an authoritative center, such as colonial subjects or their children, use Japanese for literary production, a disquieting dissonance reverberates throughout the topos of their texts, forcing the reader to interrogate conventional notions of landscape as either external backdrop or reflection of the interiority of a unitary subjective representation. Notwithstanding the diversity of their individual experiences, the history of earlier Korean background writers, for example, can compel these authors to interpret landscape through an intertextual filter of authorized brutality and oppression. Like the identities of the writing subjects, the landscapes that scaffold the texts are often sites of fracture and dismemberment in which the commission and reception of violence, and the associated scoring of bodies, carries an almost existential imperative. In extreme cases, the violated body can become the landscape itself, indistinguishable from other abject sites, such as stagnant water or crumbling living quarters.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies
Page Range: pp. 203-215
ISSN: 1531-5533
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2008 23:24
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:53
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/7993
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