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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26225

Title: Double Fictions and Double Visions of Japanese Modernity
Authors: Posadas, Baryon Tensor
Advisor: Sakaki, Atsuko
Department: East Asian Studies
Keywords: Japan
Doppelganger
Literature
Cinema
Modernity
Repetition
Issue Date: 17-Feb-2011
Abstract: At roughly the same historical conjuncture when it began to be articulated as a concept marking a return of the repressed within the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank, the doppelganger motif became the subject of a veritable explosion of literary attention in 1920s Japan. Several authors – including Akutagawa Ryûnosuke, Edogawa Rampo, Tanizaki Jun’ichirô, and others – repeatedly deployed the doppelganger motif in their fictions against the backdrop of rapid urbanization, imperial expansion, and the restructuring of all aspects of everyday life by a burgeoning commodity culture. Interestingly, as if enacting the very compulsion to repeat embodied by the doppelganger on a historical register as well, a repetition of this proliferation of doppelganger images is apparent in the contemporary conjuncture, in the works of authors like Abe Kôbô, Murakami Haruki, or Shimada Masahiko, as well as in the films of Tsukamoto Shinya or Kurosawa Kiyoshi. To date, much of the previous scholarship on the figure of the doppelganger tends to be preoccupied with the attempt to locate its origins, whether in mythic or psychical terms. In contrast to this concern with fixing the figure to an imagined essence, in my dissertation, I instead place emphasis on the doppelganger’s enactment of repetition itself through an examination at the figure through the prism of the problem of genre, in terms of how it has come to be discursively constituted as a genre itself, as well as its embodiment of the very logic of genre in its play on the positions of identity and difference. By historicizing its formation as a genre, it becomes possible to productively situate not only the proliferation of images of the doppelganger in 1920s Japan but also its repetitions, resignifications, and critical articulations in the present within the the shifting constellation of relations among various discourses and practices that organize colonial and global modernity – language and visuality, the space of empire and the construction of ethno-racial identities, libidinal and material economies – that structure (yet are nevertheless exceeded by) its constitution as a concept.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26225
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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