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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
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