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Workshop: Japanese Literature and Historical Narratology


International Workshop
Japanese Literature and Historical Narratology 日本文学と歴史的ナラトロジー

May 3, 2018, Japan Center, LMU Munich
Oettingenstr. 67, Room 027

16:15 – 16:25 Opening Remarks

16:25 – 17:20 Sebastian Balmes (Munich): Linguistic Characteristics of Premodern Japanese Narrative

17:20 – 18:15 Jinno Hidenori (Waseda U, Tokyo): 平安時代の物 語文学とナラトロジー(‘Heian Period Monogatari Literature and Narratology’)


18:30 – 19:10 Simone Müller (Zurich): ‘Chronotopes’ and Temporal ‘Shadowings’ in the Medieval Memoir Utatane (‘Fitful Slumbers’)

19:10 – 19:50 Takeuchi Akiko (Hōsei U, Tokyo / Venice): Fusion of Narration and Characters’ Speeches in Noh: Its Socio-Religious Functions in Deity Plays

19:50 – 20:00 Final Discussion

While narratology plays an important part in analyzing premodern literature in European philologies, narratological research of non-European texts remains scarce. Although narratological approaches can be found in some publications on Japanese literature, so far there have been few attempts to extend the subject of study beyond individual texts and explore ramifications in regard to a general theory of narrative. The papers of this workshop apply narratological categories to different works and genres of premodern Japanese literature, thereby reconsidering the supposedly universal nature of these categories from a cultural as well as from a historical perspective. The aim of the workshop is to make a contribution not only to Japanese studies but also to (historical) narratology.
After Sebastian Balmes explores characteristics of narrative discourse in premodern Japanese literature that depend on the classical Japanese language, Jinno Hidenori reflects on the use of narratological methodology in studies on monogatari tales of the Heian period (794–1185), particularly the Genji monogatari, and presents new analyses that question concepts of classical narratology. Simone Müller examines temporal devices in the medieval memoir Utatane while focusing especially on Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of ‘chronoscope’ and Gary Saul Morson’s concept of ‘sideshadowing’. Finally, Takeuchi Akiko reconsiders the roles of narrator and character against the backdrop of the ‘narrative’ drama of Noh theater, in which narration and characters’ speech are uttered by both actors and choir.
Contact: sebastian.balmes@campus.lmu.de
The workshop takes place in cooperation with the Research Seminar organized by Professor Evelyn Schulz and is funded by “Global Cultures – Connecting Worlds” (GCCW), part of the program IPID4all of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).