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The intertextual novel and the interrelational self : Kurahashi Yumiko, a Japanese postmodernist Sakaki, Atsuko 1992

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THE INTERTEXTUAL NOVEL AND THE INTERRELATIONAL SELF:KURAHASHI YUMIKO, A JAPANESE POSTMODERNISTbyATSUKO SAKAKIB.A., The University of Tokyo, 1986M.A., The University of Tokyo, 1988A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Asian Studies)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust 1992© Atsuko Sakaki, 1 992Signature(s) removed to protect privacyIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)___________________________Department of Asian StudiesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate September 4, 1992DE-6 (2/88)Signature(s) removed to protect privacyABSTRACTThis thesis explores narrational, textual and thematic aspects of novels by KurahashiYumiko (1 935- ), applying poststructuralist critical approaches developed by Judith Butler,Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, and Michel Foucault, focusingupon the notion of the performativity in selfhood and textuality. My discussion begins withan overview of the context within which Kurahashi emerges as a writer, her debate withpro-Romantic or -realist Japanese critics regarding her main compositional methodology—pastiche—and the challenges to sexual norms made in her fictional practice. Kurahashi’sviews on selfhood, narratives, text, and authorship, I show, parallel in many ways theconcerns of poststructural 1st critics.The main body of my thesis consists of six chapters, each of which deals with eitheran individual novel, or two related novellas. Blue lourney (1961) is a second-personnarrative written in a collage form, which demonstrates performative femininity. DivineMaiden (1 965) presents the themes of incest and amnesia, inevitably questioning issues ofself and other. The novel’s characters do not possess constative identity but ratherdemonstrate performative selfhood, and are thus not described as individuals but ratherassociated with others, constituting “indices.” The self-reflexive, embedding, and dialogicnarrative foregrounds the acts of writing and reading in which characters engages, and thusdemonstrates the notion of narrative as a verbal act, while delineating paradoxical inversionsof subjectivity between narrator and narratee, and narrator and narrated. The Adventuresof Sumivakist Q (1 969), a third-person narrative with an intrusive and yet elusiveIIextradiegetic narrator, develops “indices” as the method of structuring the text, incessantlymaking and unmaking parallels and contrasts between subjects. The theme of selfhood isagain questioned in the systems of cognitive, sexual, and digestive familiarization withothers in the novel.The fourth chapter of my thesis deals with two novellas, “Virginia” and “The LongPassage of Dreams” (1968) which frame subversions of the novel and the self withcharacters who subscribe to the established norms of language and society. Subversivesexual acts and paradoxes still exist, but only within the rigid framework of a logic whichobjectivizes them. Kurahashi’s “Japanization” of themes and methods begins with the latternovella, which refers to noh plays and uses their double-layered structure of dream andreality. This process becomes more apparent in Symnosium (1 985), which pastiches DivineMaiden through its theme of incest, its inversion of subject and object, and its embeddednarrative, but also refers to the traditional Japanese models and employs the narrativestrategies of monogatari. In so doing, the novel suggests the parallel between traditionalJapanese poetics and poststructuralist criticism, particularly in terms of its stress upon thecontingency of ‘truth’ and ‘selfhood’. Popoi (1 987), the novel which is the topic of ChapterSix, refines the technique of pastiche, exploring a plurality of fragmentations of self and text.Having examined the individual texts, I conclude that a parallel can be drawnbetween Kurahashi’s work and that of Western postmodern artists, while remaining awareof the precarious nature of such labelling due to the different cultural context.IIITABLE OF CONTENTSPageABSTRACT iiTABLE OF CONTENTS ivLIST OF FIGURES viACKNOWLEDGEMENT viiINTRODUCTION: Denaturalising Nature, Dissolving the Self, Deconstructing theNovel 1CHAPTER 1: The Birth of a Female Novelist: Blue Iournev 34The Narrative Structure of Blue lourney 47Images 64Thematic Concerns: Imaginative Relations of the Self to Others 77Conclusion 83CHAPTER 2: A Narcissistic Narrative: Divine Maiden 85Thematic Concerns: Incest as a Self-Reflexive Act, and Amnesia as a SelfExtinctive Act 98Characterization, Performance, and Inversion of Identity 108Paradox: In/Around the Novel on the Novel 124CHAPTER 3: Demonstration of Disorder, Consciousness of Chaos: The Adventuresof Sumiyakist Q 130Narration 142Indices: Metaphorical Associations of Characters 150Familiarization of Others, Defamiliarization of Self: Digestive, Reproductive,Cognitive Systems Which Relate the Subject to the World 168Conclusion 181CHAPTER 4: Bracketing the Anti-World: “Virginia” and “The Long Passage ofDreams” 182“Virginia” 187“The Long Passage of Dreams” 1 93Conclusion 256ivTable of Contents, ContinuedPageCHAPTER 5: Application of the Anti-Novel in a Classical Japanese Mode:Symposium 219Narrative Strategies 226Thematic Aspects 236Textual Devices 243Conclusion 256CHAPTER 6: The Self as a Collage: Popoi 257CONCLUSION: A Floating Bridge Between Indigenous Japanese Poetics andPostmodernism 293WORKS CONSULTED 301vLIST OF FIGURESPageFigure 1 289Figure 2 290Figure 3 291Figure 4 292viACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to express my thanks to those to whom I owe much in completing thePh.D. programme. Perhaps I may compare myself to a sapling which will eventually growinto a mature tree, just as “I” in Kurahashi’s “Virginia” does.My primary thanks goes to Dr Kinya Tsuruta, my supervisor, for his endeavours toconstruct a care-free environment in which I might devote myself to research, for hissuggestions based upon his experience as a scholar and a human being, and for hishumorous encouragement which was particularly needed in times of difficulty. On theground he prepared for me, I have set down my roots. I would also like to acknowledgeDr Lorraine Weir’s guidance, always succinct and to the point. I can perhaps compare herto the sunshine. She also trimmed my digressive branches, as well as shed light on theaspect of my thoughts which was lagging in proper growth. Dr Joshua Mostow, in turn, hasbeen like rain, pouring a wide range of knowledge onto me, which caused me to radicallyrevise some of the assumptions I made in writing. Without his advice, my discussion wouldcertainly have been thinner. I greatly appreciate the three supervisory committee members’dedication of time and scholarship. A large number of their suggestions regarding theexpansion of my topic within the context of modern Japanese fiction, feminist writing andpostmodernism remain yet to be explored in my future research.I would like to express special thanks to Mr Philip Holden, who has proofread all thechapters, showing interest and making reliable judgements in a friendly manner. Also, Iappreciate the help of Mr Sheldon Bergner who volunteered typing for little profit on hispart when my deadline was approaching.VIII owe much to partial readers of my thesis: Dr Robert Kramer whose vivaciousinterlocution, especially regarding my critical reconsideration of structuralist poetics, I greatlyenjoyed; Dr Patricia Merivale whose enthusiastic reading of, and many a suggestion upon,the earlier version of Chapter 6 launched me onto the project; Ms Kim Adams, a devotedproofreader of Chapter 6, who inspired me with the possibility of bridging the textual andthematic aspects of Kurahashi’s works.My genuine gratitude is also expressed for the support of UBC’s libraries, especiallyin the Asian Library, Interlibrary Loan and the Fine Arts Library. I would like toacknowledge the financial support I have been given in the form of the Killam PredoctoralFellowship, the University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship, and the Governmentof Canada Awards for Foreign Nationals, which have enabled me to concentrate on myresearch.I have been emotionally supported by many friends who, while others have comeand gone, have remained vital resources for me: Ms Eleanor Blain, Mr Takeru Suzuki, MsYunsun Nam, and Ms Miyako Nakamura, to name but a few. Finally, I would like toexpress my thanks and guilty conscience to my parents, who let their daughter pursue thesubject of her choice against their wishes.VI I I1INTRODUCTION:Denaturalising Nature, Dissolving the Self, Deconstructing the NovelWhile Kurahashi Yumiko (1935— ) has attracted a number of readers in Japan andother countries, and has received various literary awards, only a few serious and substantialcritical studies of her texts have been undertaken. Since 1 960, she has published more thanten novels, dozens of short stories, five translations, and four volumes of critical essays. Herawards include the Meiji daigaku gakucho shO [Meiji University President’s Prize] in 1960,JoryU bungaku shO [Women’s Literature Prizey] in 1961, Tamura Toshiko shô [TamuraToshiko Memorial Prize] in 1963, and Izumi Kyôka shô [lzumi KyOka Memorial Prize] in1 987. Her fiction to 1 971 has been collected in The Complete Works of Kurahashi Yumiko(1 975-1 976), and her work has been included in nine anthologies of contemporary Japaneseliterature marketed by major Japanese publishers. However, only one book of criticismconcerning Kurahashi’s works has been published in Japan; in addition, two theses aboutKurahashi have been produced in the United States, and two Japanese academic periodicalshave devoted special issues to the author’s fiction.In order to discover the reasons for such critical neglect in Japan, and also to providesome information regarding Kurahashi, who remains relatively unknown in North America,a preliminary overview of the context in which she has emerged as a fiction writer isneeded.Kurahashi was born the eldest daughter of a dentist and his wife in KOchi, Shikoku,one of the four major islands in the Japanese archipelago, in 1 935—on the same island andin the same year as Oe KenzaburO, one of the contemporary Japanese novelists best known2to Western audiences. Kurahashi’s family background seems to be analogous to a settingof many of her fictional works; in Kurai tabi [Blue lournevi (1 961), SeishOjo [Divine Maiden](1 965) and “Nagai yumejiu [The Long Passage of Dreams] (1 968), the heroines’ fathers aredentists. After failing university entrance examinations, Kurahashi spent a year in Kyoto,studying Japanese literature at Kyoto Women’s College and exploring the temples andgardens of the ancient capital. Her experiences during her stay in Kyoto resemble those ofYou in Blue lourney, who has lived in Kyoto, and later revisits the city.Though Kurahashi wished to become a doctor, her application to medical school inthe following year was unsuccessful. According to her father’s wish, she entered a dentalcollege in Tokyo, and obtained a dental hygienist’s certificate. Despite her father’s wish forher to return to KOchi as his assistant, she stayed in Tokyo, and was secretly admitted to theDepartment of French at Meiji University in 1 956. Ignoring the student movements of the1 960s, she devoted herself to reading modern French and German literature: Jean PaulSartre, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Valery, Michel Blanchot. The factthat she wrote a graduation essay on Being and Nothingness by Sartre suggests her interestin French existentialist philosophy.Unlike many Japanese writers, Kurahashi did not belong to any writers’ group beforecreating her first example of fiction, a short story Zatsujin bokumetsu shOkan” [The Weekfor Extermination of Mongrels] in 1 959. The story was awarded the second prize in theMeiji daigaku gakuchô shô [Meiji University President’s Prize] competition (No one wasgiven the first prize that year). However, she was advised by the prize’s assessmentcommittee not to publish the story because of its containing too much satire. In the3subsequent year, however, her story “Parutai” [Parte,], concerning a female student whojoins a communist-like party at her lover’s request, and remains scornfully distant from thefanatical dedication others show to the party’s doctrine, received the first prize in thePresident’s Prize competition, and was printed in the Meiji daigaku shimbun [MeijiUniversity Newspaper]. Hirano Ken, an influential critic in Japan, and also a member of theassessment committee of the President’s Prize, critiqued “Partel,” and compared it with thefirst work of Oe KenzaburO, whose talent Hirano had also ‘discovered,’ in a review inMainichi shimbun, one of the major and nationally read newspapers in Japan. Hirano’senthusiastic comments attracted journalistic attention to “Partei” and the short story wasreprinted in Bungakkai, a major literary periodical. It was reprinted again in another popularmagazine, Bungei shunjO, and made a candidate for Akutagawa shô [The Akutagawa Prize],the most prestigious award for young fiction writers in Japan. Though “Partei” did not winthe competition, Kurahashi was again nominated for the prize for her short story “Natsu noowari” [[he End of Summer] (1960) in the following year. “The End of Summer” did notwin the competition either, but the exposure made Kurahashi’s name famous. She wasasked to publish her stories in major literary magazines, and awarded the JoryO bungaku shO[Women’s Literature Prize] in 1 961.While enthusiastically supported by some critics and the mass media, Kurahashi’searlier works were also vehemently criticized by other well-known literary critics whovalorized Romantic and realistic views of literature. A sustained and animated debate aboutthe value of her work continued in the bundan, or the literary circle of Japan. Examples ofthis are “Parutai’ ronsO” [Debate upon “Partei”J between Hirano Ken and Niwa Fumio, a4writer of autobiographical novels; and “Riarizumu hihan” [Criticism on Realism], a debatebetween Okuno Takeo, another famous Japanese literary critic who has been one of themost enthusiastic readers of Kurahashi, and Nakamura Mitsuo, a professor of French at MeijiUniversity and also an influential critic regarding Kurahashi’s two stories “Hebi” [Snake](1 960), an existentialist story in the style of Kafka and Abe KObO, and “Mikkoku” [Betrayal](1960), written in the style of Jean Genet. There has been a lengthy debate betweenKurahashi herself and EtOJun, an influential literary critic, in which Oe KenzaburO has stoodby EtO. This debate has developed into the so-called “Kurai tabi ronsO” [Dispute upon BlueJourney], regarding Kurahashi’s novel, and has involved other critics such as Okuno, ShiraiKenzaburO, a translator and critic of European literature, and Shirai KOji who has translatedSartre’s La Nausée into Japanese.These debates have been largely concerned with the propriety of Kurahashi’s ideasregarding novel themes, the writer’s role, and the methodologies involved in writing novels.Kurahashi’s opponents contend that she employs idealistic or artificial words which lackcorrespondence to concrete objects in the real world, to inner reality and to her own life.Second, they contend that her fictional topics are amoral, apolitical, and lacking inseriousness. Finally, they suggest that Kurahashi is a plagiarist and has not developed herown independent fictional content or form. These objections illustrate the value systemsof many modern Japanese critics: they stress mimetic representation (shajitsusei) which isdemonstrated in autobiographical novels (shishOsetsu), morality (dOtokusei), and originality(dokusOsei). Given that Kurahashi’s fiction is motivated by other ideas, it is thus consideredweak, and unworthy of serious textual analysis.5Kurahashi has vigorously defended herself against these charges. In my opinion, herwriting itself challenges the very criteria by which she is judged, rather than attempting, butfailing to, fulfill them. Her views on fiction have also been expressed in a number of essaysmost of which are collected in four volumes. Kurahashi has published critical replies to heropponents, refuted condemnations in newspapers and periodicals, and added expositorypostscripts to her works when they were republished in The Complete Works of KurahashiYumiko (1975-1976).As we may see from the above discussion, any summary of Kurahashi’s literary careerinevitably results in an exploration of the intellectual and artistic debate surrounding herworks. It is now perhaps time to look at this debate more closely, through an analysis ofKurahashi’s essays on fiction. One important caveat in this analysis is that most ofKurahashi’s critical essays seem to have been written in order to refute Japanese critics’condemnations; she rarely comments upon her narrative strategies, for instance, to whichlittle critical attention has been devoted, but more frequently comments upon views uponliterature, her compositional methods, and her thematic concerns, which have been ofinterest to critics. Kurahashi’s silence upon the narrational aspects of her fiction should thusbe considered a strategic one; as this thesis will show, the narrative methodologies ofKurahashis are, in fact, explicitly linked to thematic and compositional concerns.Kurahashi’s view of thematics is in direct contradiction to that of her critics. She isopposed to Romantic poetics which appreciates the author’s self-projection into his/herworks, and to 1 9th-century realism which values mimetic representations of ‘reality’ in theactual world. In an essay called “Shôsetsu no meiro to hiteisei” [The Labyrinth and6Negativity of Fiction] (1966), Kurahashi maintains that she does not wish to write novels to“report facts,” including her own “experiences or life” (68). (Translations of Kurahashi’sessays are all mine.) The fact that Kurahashi’s works do not deal thematically with her ownlife, then, is nota failure of her project, but an expected consequence of her philosophy thatwords do not correspond to objects in the actual world.In the same essay and elsewhere, Kurahashi declares that she does not use words as“tools for communication,” but writes novels and stories with poetic words which are rather“an objective in themselves” (“The Negativity and Labyrinth of Fiction” 79). In other words,she believes in the autonomy of words in prose as well as in poetry. Thus, NakamuraMitsuo’s criticism that Kurahashi transgresses the discipline of prose, which is intended toexplain things, and that she writes “poems of ideas” instead is irrelevant. Kurahashi finds“the distinction” between “words of <<poetry>>” and “words of <<prose>>”“problematic” (Ibid. 79). As Kurahashi repeatedly maintains, the content, or the “what towrite” of the novel is not her primary concern, but is subject to the “style,” or “how towrite.” In her view, the novel is “an art in which ‘what to write’ always depends on ‘howto write,’ or the ‘style” (Ibid. 76), just as poetry is such an art.Some critics have condemned Kurahashi’s works as ‘fakes,’ and criticized her for herlack of originality. They frown at her habit of explicitly naming, or drawing obviousparallels with, other texts, assuming that Kurahashi’s work is too intellectually barren towarrant serious research. In response to such condemnation, Kurahashi has made frequentand extensive statements about her art of pastiche, as opposed to forgery. She maintainsthat copying precursors is “the royal road of novel writing” (“Kurai tabi no sakusha kara7anata ni” [From the Author of Blue lourney to You] (1 962)). She also claims, in a mannerwhich is reminiscent of T.S. Eliot’s statement, “Great poets steal,” that “the respect [a writerpays to another writer] is shown only in the way [the precursor’s ideasi are stolen”: “thepride of a writer lies in cleverly stealing, the honor of a writer, in being stolen from” (“Mikoto hIrO” [The Sybil and the Hero] (1 965) 243).In light of these considerations, I would suggest that the negative view of Kurahashias a plagiarist needs to be radically reconsidered. Kurahashi is a parodist, and as such doesnot intend to develop her own ‘original style’ but concerns herself instead with the elaborateuse of rhetoric, and the imaginative manipulation of established compositional forms.Kurahashi compares the whole process of copying to “alchemy,” emphasizing thecomplexity of this activity, unlike the simple acts of “pouring material into a mold” and“manufacturing on the spot” (“From the Author of Blue lourney to You”). The activity ofcopying is further explicated in an essay called “Watashi no shOsetsu sahO” [My Manner ofWriting Novels] (1 965):I am a thin, pipe-shaped instrument which emits the sounds ofwords. As a composer and performer at once, I must controlwords completely. It is by this art that writing novels achievesthe nature of a secret charm, so I absorb myself in trainingeveryday. In short, I read poems and novels, just as animprovisational performer practices scores composed by others.Then suddenly the shape of a certain novel becomes visible, amelody audible. Here, I examine and plan the style the novelshould have. (267)This is a metaphor involving music; Kurahashi alludes to the art of painting in “From theAuthor of Blue lourney” to make the same point:8A painter does not draw an apple because s/he wants to eat it,but because s/he obtains a vision of the invisible world throughthe apple and is driven to creation. In addition, the royal roadto this world is nothing but a series of styles discovered bypreceding masters.Such a method, comparable to “alchemy,” “a secret charm,” or “the royal road,” should notbe labelled pejorativelyas “plagiarism.” Indeed, Kurahashi calls it “pastiche [given in Frenchby Kurahashi]” of “forerunners’ ‘styles” in her essay, “HihyO no kanashisa: EtO Jun san ni”[[he Misery of Criticism: To Mr EtO Jun] (1961). Unlike ‘plagiarism,’ which presupposesand values ‘originality,’ “pastiche” indicates the conscious display of echoes of anterior textsin a particular text—that is, a demonstration of intertextuality.To defend her art of pastiche, Kurahashi mentions many writers from European andEast Asian traditions who also use the method. Thus, she writes of Lawrence Durrell:“Surely, as Durrell himself admits, his style consists of stolen objects from many writers;thus, his style is beautiful” (“Rorensu Dareru to watashi” [Lawrence Durrell and Me] (1 964)229). Similarly, she comments on Matsuo BashO: “In The Narrow Road down to the North,(...)the reality of a travel document is unhesitatingly distorted for the sake of poetic reality;in short, The Narrow Road is not a mere travel account but a faint trace of BashO’simagination inspired by others’ styles” (“Hiraizumi de kanjiru ‘eien’ to ‘haikyo”[‘Immortality’ and ‘Ruins’ Perceived at Hiraizumi] (1963) 142). It is easy to compareKurahashi with other writers of the same inclination, such as Fujiwara no Teika, whoestablished the method of honkadori, or allusive variation in waka, Zeami, who wove poeticallusions into noh texts in medieval Japan, Mon Ogai, Akutagawa RyOnosuke, and TanizakiJun’ichirO, all of whom used motifs from ancient literature in narratives with modern9settings. Pastiche is also a major feature of postmodernist art, and one may find manypractitioners of the method in Europe and America as well as in East Asia.Having examined Kurahashi’s views on fiction and the pastiche methodology, I wishnow to return to the thematic issues discussed in her essays. First, I will examine herimportant theory of “han-sekai” [Anti-World] which she wishes to construct in her novels.Next, I will explicate the analogies she draws between the “Anti-World” and the sociallysubordinate position of females, between the act of novel-writing and the act of secretionfrom female bodies, between the nothingness behind fiction and the void of the wombinside female bodies, and finally, between the performativity of fiction and the masqueradeof femininity itself.In “The Labyrinth and Negativity of Fiction,” Kurahashi defines fiction as a form ofthe “Anti-World,” “the world that is not this [actual] world,” “the labyrinth of < <imaginaryspace> >“ which is given by Kurahashi “an initial <<hypothesis>>” or “axiom, to usea term from mathematics.” Characters in the Anti-World are “variables” rather than“< <human beings> >“ and are thus “represented by signs such as K, L, S, M.” The “AntiWorld” is governed by “a logic of <<dreams>>” or “< <nightmares> >.“ “Leaps andtwists which are inherent to dreams transform this world into a grotesque <<form>>”(77). Thus, the relationship between the “Anti-World” and the ‘real’ world is clarified. Theformer is not a representation of the latter, and yet it is a deformed version of the latter, andthus subject to it.10Kurahashi’s “Anti-World” is thus analogous to the female position in a patriarchalsociety. In “Watashi no ‘dai-san no sei” [My ‘Third Sex’] (1 960), she maintains, usingmathematical terms again:This world has the sign of sex. Just as we forget that thenumbers we deal with in our daily life have a positive [plus]sign, so we forget the sexual sign, the male sign, which existsin this world. Women are shut in the world of the negative[minus] sign, or the Anti-world in the [actual] world, so tospeak. In short, this [actual] world belongs to men. In it,women are regarded as nothing but those who have the othersex of female, as opposed to male. As Beauvoir points out,women belong to the category of <<the Other>>. (31)Kurahashi does not try, however, to usurp the male power in the ‘real’ world. Toward theend of the same essay, she claims:...but rather, the position of women, projecting out in to thereverse side of this world, provides them with a splendidviewpoint from which to objectivize the men’s world. (39)Rather, she attempts to take advantage of the subordinate position females are given, andobjectivize the order, norm, natural law, or “doxa” to borrow Roland Barthes’ terminology,which has been presupposed and taken for granted by a patriarchal world, and to suggestthe fictional, suppositional nature of the ‘real’ world. This analogy between the novel asan “Anti-World,” and the subordinate social position of women is a recurrent theme inKurahashi’s work: the world of the novel is a metaphor for woman; woman is a metaphorfor the novel.11Kurahashi draws another analogy between the act of novel writing and femalesecretion. In the following excerpt from an essay, °YOjo de aru koto [Being a Witch](1 965), she alludes to the anatomical observation that in a woman there is an empty space—the womb—while simultaneously cleverly fictionalizing this anatomy:An old woman who has had a hysterectomy appears inKomachi hensO, the latest work of Ms. Enchi Fumiko. In fact,it seems to me this monstrous woman indicates the true natureof a woman who writes novels. Such a woman who writesnovels does not have her womb by nature, so to speak, butinstead, an empty darkness which secrets words. (252)Further, in “Dokuyaku to shite no bungaku” [Literature as Poison] (1967), Kurahashimaintains that “it is not an ‘activity’ but a secretion for women to write” (90). The metaphorof secretion describes the nature of Kurahashi’s fiction. In contrast to stories and novelswhich present the actions of the characters, clarifying the “five Ws,” or “when, where, who,what, why,” her ideal fiction creates “a building in air” in which “at an unknown time, ina non-existent place, someone who is nobody, without any reason, tries to do somethingbut eventually does not do anything” (“The Labyrinth and Negativity of Fiction” 68). Inshort, nothing happens in Kurahashi’s ideal fiction, just as in feminine life.Kurahashi’s fiction does not impose any manifesto onto the ‘real’ world; it rathersuggests the nothingness which it contains, just as women have a womb inside them,instead of a penis sticking out. Thus, her fictions are comparable to female physiology, asis expressed in this excerpt from “Being a Witch”:What on earth can modern novelists give their readers? Evenif I offer too general an answer of “an imaginative world,” the12passage to lead readers into this world is a “labyrinth” likebitterness itself, and what lies beyond it is not a brilliant“kingdom” but only “death” and “nothingness.” (“The Labyrinthand Negativity of the Novel” 81)Such nothingness within fiction relates not only to the anatomical presence of the womb butalso to an acknowledgement of personal inner emptiness, made by Kurahashi in anotheressay “Aru hakaiteki na musou” [A Destructive Dream] (1 963):I am tired of [pretending to love somebody], when inside myselfextends an empty darkness which is probably large enough toaccommodate the galactic system. However, I do not intend tofill it up with love, religion, or marital life. (132)Kurahashi is conscious of the emptiness of her ‘self’ as well as that of her fiction, It is thusno wonder that she does not write autobiographical novels, since she does not consider thatshe has any constative self to be expressed. Kurahashi maintains in “Nichiroku” [Diary](1 965) that she does “not have ‘a real face’ to be revealed by peeling off the skin” (327).Such emptiness enables both fiction and the ‘self’ to be performative; they canperform any role they are assigned. Thus, Kurahashi’s fiction becomes pastiche, her ‘self’displaying a variety of attributes. In “From the Author of Blue lourney to You,” Kurahashimaintains:My novels are like an onion with one layer of pastiche afteranother, If you peel them infinitely, you will find nothinginside them.13This sarcastic reference to the ‘un-original’ nature of her fiction parallels her ideas of thefemale ‘self,’ a ‘self’ which is not constative but performative. These ideas are expressedin “My ‘Third Sex”:The women accept being women, and write as women, just asGenet accepted his status as a thief. [Genet] was petrified as acomplete “other,” or objet, and tried to succeed in reachievinghis freedom both by making the choice “I am going to be athief. I have decided to become the “I” which crimes havemade me into” and by his creation of literature. (38)Instead of rejecting the roles assigned by the ‘real’ world, and fighting for the subjective, andconstitutive self which men have, Kurahashi decides to play the role of woman, and tocreate the “other” world of fiction.To sum up, reality, selves with stable identities, natural law, truth and originality donot exist in Kurahashi’s view. Instead, the world consists of a series of perceived images,pre-existing attributes which are ascribed to subjects in a multi-layered manner, culturallyestablished norms, and intertextualities. Since there is no ‘pure,’ ‘true,’ or stable reality, self,nature, truth, or origin, it is impossible to achieve the kind of representation praised by thecritics above. Rather, the novel j fiction, and demonstrates the fictionality of allanthropocentric views of the world within discourse. Every verbal notion is culturallyencoded, and thus evaluated within ideology. The issue in Kurahashi’s works is no longera search for the authentic representation of truth, but a conscious manipulation of discursiveperceptions.Kurahashi’s views of the world and literature are visible not only in her manifestosregarding compositional methodology but also in her fictional practice. Her themes involve14the ‘unrealistic’ world which she calls “the Anti-World, ‘unidentifiable’ subjects who performdiverse roles depending on their contexts, ‘abnormal’ relationships such as transgressionsof sexual norms, and an interest in ‘unnatural’ phenomena which cannot be accounted forby modern Western science. Persons, places, and situations in Kurahashi’s work are not‘unique’ but reminiscent of other things and selves—in other words, they are not them’selves’but rather traces of others.Kurahashi explores transgressions of norms most extensively in her writing regardingsexual relationships which involve questions of medical and juridical legitimacy. Shepresents subversions of the sexual norm considered to be ‘natural’ and ‘legitimate’ in themodern West and Japan: that two living human beings should have a heterosexual,monogamous and exogamous sexual relationship. Kurahashi challenges the norm of binarydivisions of gender by the motif of masturbation, demarcation between life and death bynecrophilia, anthropocentricity by the theme of bestiality, heterosexuality by homo- and bisexuality, exogamy by incest, and monogamy by polyandry.The motif of masturbation recurs in Kurahashi’s works such as Blue Iournev (1961),questioning the demarcation between the self and other which is a presupposition of‘natural’ sexual relationships. In the act of masturbation, the self and other are merely rolesto be performed by the same subject. Seen from the opposite perspective, masturbationdissolves the substantial identity of the self, by making him/her play a divided role. Thus,masturbation demonstrates the plurality and performativity of the subject.Sexual intercourse is not restricted to living creatures in Kurahashi’s world. In Yumeno kayoiji [The Passage of Dreamsi (1 990), a collection of short stories most of which15feature the same heroine, Keiko, Kurahashi explores the motif of physical intercourseenjoyed by living human beings and spirits of the dead, a motif with which she hasexperimented in many short stories such as “YOrei yashiki” [The Mansion of Ghosts] (1 986).Keiko, as well as other women in the collection, is capable of seeing and having intercoursewith people who come from Hades to this world through the passage of dreams. The deadsexual partners of Keiko include historical Japanese poets such as Fujiwara no Teika, SaigyO,Nishiwaki JunzaburO, whom Kurahashi admires for their intertextual poetics and practices.In Kurahashi’s novel Popoi (1 987), a decapitated man’s head is kept alive by futuristicartificial life support technology, and, within his own consciousness, he falls in love withthe female narrator, Mai. His brain even ‘ejaculates’ when he see Mai’s naked body. Themotif of beheading appears in Kurahashi’s earlier short story, “Rinne” [Reincarnation] (1 962),in which the female narrator, who is simultaneously the illegitimate daughter and mistressof Stalin, is beheaded, and her brain inserted into a boy’s head. Her consciousness stilllongs for her male lover in her former life, whom s/he can see constantly. Such examplessuggest the arbitrariness of the medical distinction between life and death.Another way of subverting sexual norms in Kurahashi’s works is robotic sex. InKurahashi’s science fiction story “GOsei bijo” [Robotic Beauties] (1961), the longtimehusband of the heroine Michiko turns out to be a robot which is operated by electricity.At the beginning of the story, Michiko buys a “robotic beauty” as a housemaid, followingthe fashion of the day, and names ‘her’ Eriko, believing that ‘she’ is not human. Theincreasing intimacy between her husband and Eriko makes Michiko jealous to a point atwhich she ‘kills’ Eriko, only to find that the “robotic beauty” is, in fact, a human being sold16at the department store. On the other hand, the husband, who is shocked by Eriko’s death,and commits ‘suicide’ by becoming overcharged with electricity, is proved to be a robot.In the disguise of a nonsensical story, “Robotic Beauties” suggests uncertainty regarding thedefinition of ‘humanity.’If the border between life and death can be transgressed, so can the distinctionbetween human and inhuman. Thus, the theme of bestiality occurs in “YOjo no yOni” [Likea Witch] (1 964), which is a parody of “Mitsu no aware” [The Heartrending Fate of Honey]by Muroo Saisei. In Muroo’s novella, a male writer has an intimate relationship with afemale goldfish, while in Kurahashi’s, a female novelist caresses her male dog into ecstasy.Bestiality is more extensively explored as the main theme in “Koibito dOshi” [Two Couplesof Lovers] (1 963) which is narrated by a female black cat, Mika. Mika’s keeper, K (a man),is engaged to L (a woman) who keeps a male white cat, Yanni. Although Mika and Yanniare interested in each other, both of them are also involved with their keepers. Yanni isovercome with joy when L squeezes him between her breasts. Mika has oral sex with Kand makes him ejaculate by fellatio. One might wonder, as Kurahashi does in her “Noteson My Works,” whether the eponymous relationships in “Two Couples of Lovers” are, infact, those of the human and animal couples, or whether they are not the two relationshipsbetween K and Mika and L and Yanni. It is clear that in this novella Kurahashi blurs theboundary between human and nonhuman.The norm of heterosexuality is subverted by the homosexual couple of P and Q in“Mikkoku” [Betrayal] (1 960), and the lesbian inclinations in the relationship between a wellknown, aging novelist L and a young, rising writer M in “Warui natsu” [Bad Summer] (1 966)17the setting of which is based upon Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice.” Other elements ofhomosexuality in Kurahashi’s work centre around the jazz café called “The Monk” inSeishOio [Divine Maiden] (1 965) which male homosexual and lesbian couples frequent, andthe owner of which, Miki, has a lesbian relationship with M. The bisexual widow in her40s, Keiko, in KOkan [Pleasure Exchange] (1 989), sleeps with Machiko, her late husband’smistress, while having an affair with male Prime Minister Irie; another bisexual woman,Yukiko, in Shunposhion [Symposiumi (1984), is separated from her husband, and makesadvances to both the man (Akira) and woman (Satoko) of a pair of heterosexual lovers.The most recurrent motif in Kurahashi’s works—incest—challenges the legitimacy ofexogamy. The incestuous siblings L and K in “Sasori tachi” [Scorpions] (1 963), “Himawarino ie” [A House of Sunflowers] (1 968), and “Kamigami ga ita koro no hanashi” [A Tale fromthe Age When Gods Existed] (1971) commit themselves to the murder of their mother. Theplots of these stories are drawn from the well-known story of Electra and Orestes whoengage in incest, and kill their mother Clytemnestra as a punishment for her infidelity to herhusband Agamemnon. The theme of sibling incest appears in Yume no ukihashi IJhFloating Bridge of Dreamsi (1970), in which the allegedly half-siblings Keiko and KOichidecide not to marry each other due to their parents’ objection, and rather try to consummatetheir relationship by swapping sexual partners after marrying others. Though their incestuousrelationship remains unconsummated in the novel, it is consummated in the sequel, Shirono naka no shiro [The Castle within the Castle] (1980). The issue of incest is most radicallyforegrounded in Divine Maiden, which presents two incestuous couples—the heroine Mikiand her father Papa, and the narrator K and his elder sister L. The novel explores their ‘anti-18natural’ incest which is contrasted to the physical conjunction between close relatives whichtakes place ‘naturally’ due to their physical closeness and affinity. The main point ofKurahashi’s presentation of incest is, however, to examine the question of self and other.Incest, to K, is a form of self-reflexivity in which one loves one’s second self, and thusundermines the foundations of an exogamy which presupposes the ‘otherness’ orextraneousness of a companion.The juridical legitimacy of monogamy is transgressed against by love triangles,partner swapping, nymphomania, polygamy and polyandry. These, unlike some of therelationships named above, do not involve emotional turbulence, or jealousy. The sistersin “Natsu no owari” [The End of Summer] (1 960) share a male lover, K, without conflict, andconspire to murder him. The Floating Bridge of Dreams presents the long-term swappingof sexual partners between two married couples, Keisuke and Fumiko, and YOji andMitsuko. Fumiko has eloped with YOji right after her wedding with Keisuke, and has beentaken back by Keisuke. Keiko, the legal daughter of Keisuke and Fumiko, and supposedlythe biological daughter of YOji, starts another round of swapping when she and her lover,KOichi, YOji’s son, marry others. Virginia in “Virginia” is defined as a typical“nymphomaniac,” who sleeps with most of her male classmates at the university. The malenarrator of Divine Maiden, K, also engages in random love affairs, in one of which he hassex with a “nymphomaniac.” P, the male protagonist of The Round Trip to Amanon, haspolygamous relationships as the only male who is allowed to have freedom in the countryAmanon. In Popoi, Kei, the female narrator’s Mai’s cousin and long-term lover, supposedlyhas affairs with innumerable women and is thus compared to the Shining Prince in The Tale19of Genii. Besides having a relationship with him, Mai also has many other male sexualpartners, despite her engagement to a man called Mr. Saeki. Blue lourney presents a similarreciprocal polyandry in that the heroine, You, and her fiancé, He, make a contract in whichboth of them are forbidden to have sex with each other and yet are entitled to sleep withany other man or woman. Thus, Kurahashi’s fiction subverts the discipline of monogamy.Such subversive sexual acts do not merely break taboos and norms, but alsochallenge stable, constative and substantial notions of selfhood; the self can be defined onlyin its relationship to others, and thus ‘abnormal’ relations presuppose ‘abnormal’ selves. Toborrow the words of the narrator of “Vâzinia” [Virginia] (1 969), echoing a statement inAndré Breton’s Nadja, “Who one is depends upon who one is related to.” The identity ofself is thus by definition relational in Kurahashi’s works, not constative.Selfhood is identified through the binary oppositions implied in the sexualrelationships I have examined: man or woman, human or nonhuman (flora, fauna), aliveor dead, natural or artificial. Kurahashi’s subversive selves, however, often do not fall oneither side of the oppositions; rather they trespass the borderlines between opposingcategories. The three recurrent motifs of hermaphrodites, surgery, and metamorphoses arethe most evident examples of Kurahashi’s blurring of the dichotomies.“UchOjin” [Extra-territorial Being] (1964) contains the most radical sexualtransgressions of the norm, through its themes of bisexuality and incest. Bisexuality isembodied in the figure of a hermaphrodite extra-territorial being whose vagina makes itpossible for the male adolescent narrator, K, to have sex with him/her, and with whosepenis, K observes, K’s elder sister L enjoys sexual intercourse. One night, K and L even20have sex with the extra-territorial being simultaneously, sandwiching him/her between them.On another occasion, K performs both homosexual and heterosexual sexual acts in turn withthe extra-territorial being, being troubled by his/her penis when he treats him/her as awoman. K here uses him/her as a substitute for L, with whom he wishes to have anincestuous affair. L is married to a practical man, S, through an arranged marriage, andcomes back to K on the very night of the wedding. K anticipates his wish for incest willnow come true, but L tells him that they should go to another world inside the extra-territorial being so as to consummate their relationship. The story ends with K watching Lthrow herself into the vast nothingness spread inside the hermaphrodite, and fall headlonglike a comet into the universe.The hermaphrodite in “Extra-territorial Being” is super’natural’ in that s/he comes fromnowhere on earth. In “Ningyo no namida” [Tears of a Mermaid] (1 982), a pastiche of HansChristian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid,” an androgynous being is manufactured: toward theend of the parody, the sea witch, at the mermaid’s request, cuts both the mermaid and theprince who loves her in half, and grafts the mermaid’s lower body onto the prince’s upperbody. The prince remains single all his life, petting (masturbating?) his female, grafted lowerbody. This seemingly absurd story presents an ‘artificial’ hermaphrodite, and thus questionsthe unitary and consistent nature of selfhood.Sumivakisuto KyO no bOken [The Adventures of Sumiyakist Qi (1969) presents themotif of surgery, which recurs in many other stories, such as “Reincarnation” and Popoi.Doktor, whom the protagonist Sumiyakist Q encounters, operates upon each instructor atthe reformatory in which he works, even when there is no medical necessity. The most21popular of his operations is castration which, again, is an attempt to cross the conventionalborder of gender. One of the instructors, Bukka, who has already been subject to plasticsurgery, indulges in a nightmarish desire to have all his limbs amputated, himselfemasculated, and all his memories erased. P, the polygamous hero of The Round Trip toAmanon who uses his sexual experience and medical knowledge to initiate virgins inAmanon, is eventually castrated by his favourite girl, Himeko, and sympathizes witheunuchs in the female-governed country. Such surgery attempts to ‘denaturize’ ‘nature,’ andby so doing, question the distinction between ‘nature’ (God-made) and ‘art’ (man-made), thesolid subject-object relationship between the Creator and his creatures, and the authority ofthe Creator-God. Kurahashi claims consistently that man made God, not the other wayround, and thus challenges Judeo-Christian monotheism.The third motif, of metamorphosis, suggests pre-Christian (Greco-Roman) and non-Christian (Chinese and Japanese) animism. The transformation of human beings into plantsoften takes place in Kurahashi’s fiction, with “Aporon no kubi” IThe Head of Apollo] (1986)as its most prominent example. In this short story, the female narrator discovers the severedhead of a beautiful boy, and grows it hydroponically, succeeding in making it bloom andbear fruits. The text refers to Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s four 1 7th century panel paintings, flSeasons, in which a human head is drawn with a bunch of flowers in bloom, fruits, and soforth, showing the seasonal changes of plants. The transformation of human beings intoanimals occurs in “Kemono no yume” [Dreams of Beasts] (1 986), whose narrator-protagonist,while dreaming, keeps discovering the people around him to be animals; eventually hisdreams are proved to be ‘reality’ and he finds himself to be a beast. Such super’natural’22phenomena cannot be accounted for by modern Western science, but were considered quite‘natural’ in premodern Europe as well as in Asia.It may by now be becoming apparent that Kurahashi’s concerns are similar to thoseof poststructuralist literary theory. Indeed, Kurahashi’s novels unite two presently popularfields of critical inquiry, and may be illuminated by reference to poststructuralist criticaltexts. In her exploration of femininity as performance, as a masquerade, Kurahashi’s workseems similar to recent developments in gender studies, exemplified by Judith Butler’sGender Trouble. In her celebration of the death of the author, her insistence upon theperformative nature of textuality and her dethroning of the logos, Kurahashi is similar totheorists such as the later Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, and Michel Foucault. These twofields are linked in Kurahashi’s identification of performative femininity with performativewriting: the masquerade of gender is just as important as the masquerade of writing.The notion of performativity, which is vigorously displayed in Kurahashi’s fiction, hasbeen examined in the three fields of linguistics, feminist criticism, and narrative studies.Performativity as a linguistic notion is explored by J.L. Austin’s Speech Act Theory.Constativity, the antonym of performativity, pertains to utterances used “to state thatsomething is or is not the case,” whereas performativity denotes utterances that “perform anact by means of language” (Prince 70). In contrast to the Saussurean linguistic model, whichpresupposes the stability of a signifying system and the precedence of the addressor over themessage itself, Speech Act Theory gives precedence to the act of speech. The agent andcontent of the message are merely two of many variables in the act’s context, but aresubordinate to the speech act itself. The concept of performativity, then, destabilises23concrete notions of agency or content. Austin’s concept of performativity seems close toKurahashi’s own perception of language, agency and content. The heroine of Kurahashi’s“Kekkon” [Marriage] (1 965), L, argues with her husband who is eager to discover the ‘real’L: “Do you think that I, apart from my words, different from my words, exist somewhere,just like an object itself?” (55). Agency or content does not precede expressions; rather,expressions constitute the fictional artefact of the agent and content.In recent theoretical inquiry into sexuality the notion of performativity has been usedby a feminist theorist, Judith Butler, to indicate the theatrical nature of gender itself. Unlikemany earlier feminist analyses, which make a distinction between biological sex andculturally-encoded gender, Butler feels that all aspects of sexuality bear the mark of gender:[Gjender proves to be performative—that is, constituting theidentity it is purported to be. In this sense, gender is always adoing, though not a doing by a subject who might be said topreexist the deed. The challenge for rethinking gendercategories outside of the metaphysics of substance will have toconsider the relevance of Nietzsche’s claim in On theGenealogy of Morals that “there is no ‘being’ behind doing,effecting, becoming; ‘the doer’ is merely a fiction added to thedeed—the deed is everything.”39 [sic] In an application thatNietzsche himself would not have anticipated or condoned, wemight state as a corollary: There is no gender identity behindthe expressions of gender; that identity is performativelyconstituted by the very “expressions” that are said to be itsresults. (Butler 25)Butler here draws on Austin’s tenet that there is no preexisting agent prior to expression.The negation of the preexisting, “abiding substance” (Butler 24) of gender identityechoes the interpretation of femininity made by You in Blue lourney. After menarche,which she interprets as “a castration” executed by the world, You makes the decision to24“perform the role of a woman” now that nature has declared her to be a woman (Bluelournev 116, 122). Thus she tries to ‘denaturalize’ an anatomically constructed feminineidentity through performance. Getting to know He, who, like her, indulges inperformativity, You disclosed that she is “not a woman, merely pretending to be one.” InHe’s words, You “happens to be performing the role of a woman, but is or is not a womanfrom moment to moment” (Ibid. 132-133). You transcends the substantial, ‘naturalized’gender identity which is culturally ascribed to the anatomical female, and constitutes avariety of identities by specific expressions upon specific occasions. Thus You confusesconvention-bound people with her unidentifiability. In Butler’s terms, which, in theiroriginal context, describe drag performance, You “plays upon the distinction between theanatomy of the performer and the gender that is being performed” (Butler 137). In otherwords, there is no “gender core” which exists prediscursively, sustainedly, substantially.Thus, Kurahashi’s subjects in her fiction, especially in Divine Maiden—Writer, Miki, L,Writer’s lost lover He—embody internal nothingness. Subjects are ‘identified’ only asabsences. Writer smiles in a variety of ways without inner necessity, suggesting that thereis no her’self’ apart from temporary, contingent expressions such as smiles.The notion of performativity in linguistics is applied to narrative studies by BarbaraHerrnstein Smith in her essay, “Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories” (1 980). She intendsto propose a new approach to narratives based upon Speech Act Theory, as opposed tostructuralist narratology, exemplified by Gerard Genette and Seymour Chatman, whichdraws its model from Saussurean linguistics. Smith defines the Saussurean view of language,which has been the major model of language in Western intellectual history, as “a25conception of discourse as consisting of sets of discrete signs which, in some way,correspond to (depict, encode, denote, refer to, and so forth) sets of discrete and specificideas, objects, or events.” In contrast to the traditional perception of language, she states,that “[am alternative conception of language views utterances” “as verbal responses—that is,as which, like any acts, are performed in response to various sets of conditions.” Then,she contrasts two views of narratives based respectively upon the two linguistic models:In accord with this alternative view of language, individualnarratives would be described not as sets of surface—discourse-.signifiers that represent (actualize, manifest, map, or express)sets of underlying-story-signifieds but as the verbal acts ofparticular narrators performed in response to—and thus shapedand constrained by—sets of multiple interacting conditions. Forany narrative, these conditions would consist of (1) suchcircumstantial variables as the particular context and materialsetting (cultural and social, as well as strictly “physical”) inwhich the tale is told, the particular listeners or readersaddressed, and the nature of the narrator’s relationship to them,and (2) such psychological variables as the narrator’s motivesfor telling the tale and all the particular interests, desires,expectations, memories, knowledge, and prior experiences(including his knowledge of various events, of course, but alsoof other narratives and of various conventions and traditions ofstorytelling) that elicited his telling it on that occasion, to thataudience, and that shaped the particular way he told it. (Smith225-226)Smith’s view of narratives is useful in noting the features of Kurahashi’s narratives. Hers arenot monologic narratives with an omniscient narrator who assumes the authority to representtruth, reality, and nature. Rather, Kurahashi contextualizes narrative authority andresponsibility, by multiplying narrators, incorporating addressees of the narrative into thenarrative, and making the narrative conscious of itself.26However, in using Smith’s model I still wish to make use of terminology developedby structuralist narratologists such as Tzvetan Todorov and Gerard Genette. Narratologyprovides a precise way of discussing the complex narrational strategies that are a markedfeature of Kurahashi’s work. My use of these terms, however, should not be taken as awholesale endorsement of all elements of the narratological project. Rather, I intend to usethese terms to show how Kurahashi problematizes the notion of narrative structure as ahypothetical verbal artefact. By embedding a narrative within another narrative, she diffusesthe power of narration. By incorporating the reader into the text, she demonstrates thatwhat is presented as the text is something that is not only written but also already read—notmere representation but rather the perception of perception. The dissonance between whatis called “story time” and “discourse time” in narratology denaturalizes the naturalized lineartemporality, as well as the very presupposition of complete correspondence between theworld and language.The theme of the performative self and the notion of performative narrative areinseparable from Kurahashi’s two major compositional methodologies: indices and pastiche.By discussing emphatically the two methods, my critical approach may become closer tothat of Roland Barthes’ in Barthes here develops structuralist terminology to breakdown Balzac’s “Sarrasine” into discrete units, to examine its construction. His intention indoing so, however, is post-structuralist in that he denies the existence of innate, unchangingstructures within texts:[Wie must renounce structuring this text in large masses, as wasdone by classical rhetoric and by secondary-school explication:no construction of the text: everything signifies ceaselessly and27several times, but without being delegated to a great finalensemble, to an ultimate structure. (12)What he appreciates instead of structure is “plurality” or “multivalence” of the text. Whilepositing the text which is “unimpoverished by any constraint of representation” as the idealplural text, “a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of signifieds” (5), Barthes proposes to apply“connotation” as a tool to “modestly plural” texts. Connotation is defined as “a featurewhich has the power to relate itself to anterior, ulterior, or exterior mentions, to other sitesof the text (or of another text)” (8). Therefore, connotation within the particular text maybe what Barthes calls ‘1ndices” in “Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives”(1 97), in which “a narrative unit [is] linked to other units in the same sequence or action interms other than chronological or causal (say, thematic)” (Prince 43).Indices, or metaphorical associations, rather than descriptions, are employed topresent subjects in Kurahashi’s fiction. “What is the point of describing Miki’s face, body,and clothes?” the narrator of Divine Maiden comments, negating the significance ofdescription, which presupposes the existence of substance to be described. Subjects arerather perceived to be similar to other subjects within and outside the text, whether suchsimilarities are explicitly mentioned by subjects in the text, or implicitly constituted as suchby the reader. Being merely traces of others, subjects are not independent, unique selvesbut are subject to others.Kurahashi’s network of word associations is not restricted to any particular work, butinstead extends beyond it. Her texts are full of references and allusions to other texts, andwords thus function associatively within the scope of a larger discourse. We may recall28Kristeva’s comments that “any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations,” and that“writing” is invariably “a reading of the anterior literary corpus,” applying Mikhail Bakhtin(“Word, Dialogue, and Novel” 66,69). Foucault’s “What is an Author?” similarly stresses theprecedence of act over agent, as Austin, Butler and Smith do in a different context.Claiming that “the author is not an indefinite source of significations which fill a work; theauthor does not precede the works” (159), Foucault maintains:Referring only to itself, but without being restricted to theconfines of its interiority, writing is identified with its ownunfolded exteriority. This means that it is an interplay of signsarranged less according to its signified content than accordingto the very nature of the signifier. Writing unfolds like a game[jeu] that invariably goes beyond its own rules and transgressesits limits. (142)Kristeva and Foucault seem to propose that intertextuality is universally found in any text.Kurahashi’s texts demonstrate intertextuality by giving indications of and references to othertexts. They merely perform the attributes of other texts. Her texts are thus not constativebut performative, claiming to be fictions of fictions, not representations of truth.Thus, Kurahashi’s fiction denaturalizes nature, dissolves the self, and deconstructs thenovel, thematically and methodologically. Traditional notions of nature, self, and the novelare thus subverted. Hence, one might call Kurahashi Yumiko a Japanese postmodernist,although I wish to save an extended discussion of the postmodern aspects of her fiction untilthe conclusion.In the following six chapters, I wish to discuss five novels and two novellas byKurahashi which demonstrate interaction among such thematic, textual, narrational issues29most conspicuously. The divisions of analysis into thematic, textual, and narrational sectionsshould not be taken as an acknowledgement of the separability of these interpenetratingcategories; it is rather a strategic analytic choice.In Chapter 1, I will discuss Kurai tabi [Blue Journey] (1961), the first novel Kurahashipublished. The heroine, You, seeks for her lost lover, He, and at the end of this journey,she makes up her mind to write a novel about the novel He attempts in vain to write. FirstI will review the dispute regarding whether the work is a forgery or a pastiche, then discussits narrational, textual, thematic characteristics. The second-person narrative, the fact thatthe novel’s textual integrity is generated not by causal, temporal contiguity but bymetaphorical associations, its collage form and thematic concerns regarding the performativeself, as well as its featuring a female novelist and a novel yet to be written, all suggest thatit is an ‘anti-novel’.SeishOjo [Divine Maiden] (1965), which I will discuss in the second chapter,incorporates Blue Journeyand other precedingworks by Kurahashi by explicitly mentioningtheir names as the fictional works of one of the novel’s characters. The story involves twoincestuous couples, the primary narrator “I” and his sister L, the secondary narrator Miki andher father Papa. “I” is requested to read Miki’s notebooks to help her recover from theamnesia from which she is suffering. “I” at first intends to understand and catch Miki, buttoward the end of the novel he finds that he has been caught by Miki.The themes of incest and amnesia question the notion of a stable, sustained,substantive self. The theme of nothingness inside female bodies recurs and is associatedwith performativity. The metaphorical associations, or “indices,” which are experimented30with in Blue lourney, are used widely in Divine Maiden. Characters are explicitly andimplicitly associated by common personal traits, and thus suggest their nature as traces ofothers, rather than unique individuals. Miki’s narrative is embedded within the primarynarrative of “l,’ and the act of reading undertaken by “I” is incorporated within his act ofwriting. They also discuss their acts of writing and reading. Both Miki and “I” are biasedby their specific intentions, limitations of knowledge, backgrounds, and other contextualfactors, and are thus not neutral narrator/narratee. Divine Maiden thus destabilizes thenotions of the narrative as a structure which hides the author’s message to be decoded, andsuggests that the narrative j a verbal act of a narrator who is bound within a specificcontext.Gradually, “I” finds that he has been, in fact, read and written about rather thanreading and writing about Miki, as he has believed. Similarly, metafictional paradoxes occurin terms of the woman called Writer, who shows some similarities to Kurahashi herself. “I,”the object of Kurahashi’s creation, thus writes about Kurahashi’s double. Moreover, 1”discovers that Writer, an object of his observation and writing, is writing a novel apparentlyabout him. Thus Divine Maiden demonstrates its metafictional characteristics by presentingmany paradoxes in an intricate way. By so doing, the novel challenges the notion of theauthor’s position of authority as the origin of the novel, and of an omniscient narrator’sposition of authority as the origin of the narrative.All the novels and novellas to be discussed in the later chapters are, in a variety ofways, pastiches of Divine Maiden. Sumivakisuto KvO no bOken [The Adventures ofSumiyakist Qi (1 969), the topic of Chapter 3, questions the narrator as the authority and31origin of the narration, using a third-person narrative with an intrusive and unreliablenarrator. Metafictional characteristics are also found in the novel. Bukka, a literary man,writes about characters in the novel, and one of his fictional productions appears to beKurahashi’s novel. Bukka’s unimportant position in society and his disappearance in themiddle of the story subverts the narrator’s precedence over the narrative. The methodologyof “indices” is extensively employed in the novel, too, demonstrating the differentepistemological stances characters represent. Moreover, the associations between cognitive,sexual, and digestive relationships of the ‘self’ with others, which appears in Divine Maiden,is vividly foregrounded, challenging anatomical divisions of bodily organs. Thus iJAdventures of Sumiyakist Q denaturizes those things that have been considered naturalconstituents of narrative, self, and anatomy.In Chapter 4 I will discuss two novellas, “Vâzinia” [Virginia] and “Nagal yumeji” [TheLong Passage of Dreams] (1 968), which ‘bracket’ the characteristics of the ‘anti-novel,’which have been experimented with in the three previous narratives, by introducingIogocentric characters to observe them. Although the narrators (“I” in the former, andomniscient in the latter) still sympathize with those who subvert sexual norms, those whosubscribe to these norms are now described with respect. The themes of father-daughterincest and writer-reader paradox recur in “The Long Passage of Dreams.” In terms ofcompositional methodology, “The Long Passage of Dreams” is a pastiche, mentioning its‘sources’ explicitly. The novella extensively uses verbal expressions and structure from nohplays, which are also pastiches of preceding poetic texts, and thus multiplies its qualities asa pastiche.32Shunposhion [Symposium] (1985), to be discussed in Chapter 5, also employs theindigenous Japanese poetic techniques of monogatari and waka. In terms of its narration,it is a third-person narrative, but the narrator is not omniscient but bound within the contextof characters’ lives, just like the narrators in monogatari. Embedded narrative occurs here,but not much in association with modern European novelists as with the salon of the courtin the Heian era. In terms of pastiche, the novel explicitly refers to waka and Chinese poemswhich engage in intertextual play. Thus Symposium becomes a multi-layered pastiche. Thethemes of incest and the paradoxical pursuit of love and knowledge recur in the novel, butthis time, they are explicitly associated with similar themes in classical Japanese texts, suchas The Tale of Genii. I would conjecture that even the method of indices, employed asextensively as in Divine Maiden, may parallel the self-dissolving presentation of charactersin classical Japanese narratives. Thus, while sharing narrational, textual, and thematiccharacteristics with Divine Maiden, Symposium exhibits ‘Japanese’ themes and poetics.Kurahashi’s art of pastiche reaches its highest expression in Popoi (1 987), the topicof Chapter 6. Concerning a severed head which is kept alive by artificial life support, thenovel radically questions notions of self, life, and the integrity of the individual, just asDivine Maiden explores such issues by presenting an amnesiac girl Miki. Further, thenovel’s multiplication of the pastiche’s complexity demonstrates that any text is, in fact,intertextual. Notions of the self as having substantive identity and the text as havingintegrity as an individual artefact are thus subverted in Popoi.Thus, Kurahashi’s novels subvert norms of self, compositional methodologies andnarrative strategies which are taken for granted in nineteenth-century and much twentieth-33century fiction. The fact that her novels have been the objects of so much criticism in Japanshows that these concepts of presence, agency and stable selfhood are still very much alive,and provide an important component of twentieth century doxological thought in Japan.Much high modernist art, while fragmenting tradition, nevertheless retains a reverence forthe individual creative subject. My thesis is that Kurahashi’s work is truly post-modern inits ‘de-doxifying’ nature, in the manner in which it attempts to undo the commonsensicalnotions which underpin Western and twentieth century Japanese notions of presence.34CHAPTER 1: The Birth of a Female Novelist: Blue lournevKurai tabi [Blue lourneyl (1961) is the first novel Kurahashi, who had exclusivelywritten short stories, attempted to write. The novel is unusual in that it was first publishedas a complete work; its author did not follow the modern Japanese convention of firstpublishing the novel as a serial in a magazine.1 She continued this principle of publishingcompleted novels until 1970, when she published Yume no ukihashi [The Floating Bridgeof Dreamsi chapter by chapter in a periodical.2 Kurahashi’s attention to publication detailssuggests her keen concern with the structural perfection of her novels, in sharp contrast tomany Japanese prose writers, who tend to end their writings without any clear denouement.Indeed, Kurahashi is highly conscious of the structural framework of her novels, and,apparently, to judge from her comments on the work, has tried to provide them with adefinite, although unconventional, structure.Blue lou rney challenges, rather than asserts, rigid conceptions of structure based upona plot necessitated by causality, although it appears to be aware of, and to respond, to this1For details of this convention, see, for example, Makoto Ueda, Owari no bigaku (Tokyo:Meiji shoin, 1990) 9-10.2ln her “Atogaki” [Postscript] added to the second edition of Blue tourney, Kurahashimaintains:Under the circumstances in Japanese literary circles, it is rather unusual thatthe fiction is lengthy, and thus it warrants special attention that it [the lengthyfiction] is published as a monograph without having been first published ina periodical for a number of months. (1969; Tokyo: Shinchô bunko, 1971:240)35model. The text of Blue Journey, a collage of fragments arranged without a conventionalchronology, is integrated by loose metaphorical associations rather than causality. In thisregard, the novel can be classified as an anti-novel.3 Before we move to any discussion ofthe form and structure of Blue lourney, however, we must examine its critical reception inJapan. In examining the critical responses to Kurahashi’s anti-novel, I wish to emphasizethat while I do not feel that authorial intention is the correct or ultimate authority forinterpretation of the text,4 I do, in fact, agree with Kurahashi’s reading of Blue lourney mostof the time.In her postscript to her first edition of Blue Journey, which is called “Sakusha karaanata ni’ [From the Author to You], Kurahashi confesses that she “uses many things whichinvolve” herself in this novel(238).5 Indeed, if we compare the story with an essay called“Ai to kekkon ni kansuru muttsu no tegami” [Six Letters concerning Love and Marriage](1 962), which consists of six letters Kurahashi has written to her former boyfriends, we findmany analogies between the story of You and He in Blue Journey, and that of KurahashiYumiko and her lover called “K.” Like You, Kurahashi lived in Kyoto for a year to study atKyoto Women’s College, tried not to accept her lover’s love, suddenly disappeared from his3The “anti-novel” is “a work which is deliberately constructed in a negative fashion,relying for its effects on deleting traditional elements, on violating traditional norms, and onplaying against the expectations established in the reader by the novelistic methods andconventions of the past” (“Novel,” A Glossary of Literary Terms 122).4See Wimsatt and Beardsley, “The Intentional Fallacy.”5Kurai tabi, 1961; Tokyo: ShinchO bunko, 1971. All the following page references arebased on this edition. All the translations are mine.36reach, returned to Kyoto and was met by him at Kyoto Station, and then spent the first nighttogether with him. She continued going out with him for five years and then parted withhim, realizing their relationship had deteriorated, because they had prohibited themselvesfrom having sexual intercourse. In short, there is an autobiographical aspect to this novel.However, in “From the Author to You”, Kurahashi says “it [Blue lourneyl is not a so-called autobiographical novel,” and this is, “not only because deformation is added to” her“experiences,” but also because “I’ is replaced by ‘You” (238). Any supposedlyautobiographical novel will be narrated by an ‘I,’ though, of course, we cannot identify thenarrator-protagonist ‘I’ with the author. The use of ‘You’ as protagonist of a novel is rare:Blue Journey is one of the rare cases in which the second-person is applied to theprotagonist, who is usually referred to as “I” or “s/he” in conventional novels. It is jModification (1957) written by a French experimental writer, Michel Butor, whichexemplifies, if it does not inaugurate, the technique of, second-person narrative.6The conspicuous resemblance to Butor’s novel sparked a sustained debate onwhether Blue Journey is a forgery of Butor’s novel or not. EtO Jun, one of the most activecritics in Japan today, claimed in Tokyo shimbun that Blue Journey was a copy of Butor’snovel (“Kaigai bungaku to sono mozOhin” [Foreign Literatures and Their Forgeries] (1961),which had been translated into Japanese by Shimizu TOru in 1 959. EtO pointed out somesimilarities between La Modifications and Blue Journey. First, both of them use the secondperson narrative: the protagonist is referred to as “You” (vous and anata). Second, the6For the genesis of second-person narrative, see Bruce Morrissette, “Narrative ‘You’ inContemporary Literature,” Comparative Literature Studies 2: 1-24.37protagonist makes a trip: from Paris to Rome in the French novel and from Tokyo to Kyotoin Kurahashi’s. Third, the protagonist indulges in criticism regarding architecture: on theLouvre in Butor’s novel, and on Daitokuji in Kurahashi’s. Finally, after a trip in bothphysical space and in consciousness, the protagonists of both novels decide to write a novel.Given these similarities, it is evident that Blue journey echoes La Modification.However, no critic had argued this resemblance until EtO raised the issue. Before EtO’sintervention, Kurahashi’s novel was positively reviewed in many publications as a uniqueand innovative work. After it was labelled as “a copy,” ‘9ts reputation was confirmed in abad way” (“Sakuhin nOto” [Notes on My Works] (1 975) 240). In short, the entire discussionabout the work’s merits was framed in terms of its originality.Indeed, Kurahashi’s refutation in Tokyo shimbun in 1 962 involves this very point.In the article, “Kurai tabi no sakusha kara anata e” [From the Author of Blue journey to You],she admits that she copied Butor’s work. In opposition to EtO and other critics who criticizecopying, however, she overtly maintains that copying precursors is “the royal road” in thearts, and counteracts any condemnation just because she copied Butor. In short, Kurahashi’sview on creation of art is totally different from those of her critics. In “Notes on My Works”she explicitly expects the reader to “understand its similarities to Butor’s [novel], andcomment on Blue Iournev” (240-241). There is a discrepancy in the reception of parody,whether negatively as a plagiarism, or positively as a form of art, between the comments ofKurahashi and those of her critics.Since I have already discussed the propriety of the writer’s copying in theintroduction, I wish now to consider instead how readers, critics including Kurahashi, have38viewed the traces of Butor’s novel in Blue lourney. The aspects which either Kurahashi orcritics have been concerned with include: the collage form, the railway trip setting, second-person narrative, the flood of proper nouns, the protagonist’s discussion of architecture, andthe protagonist’s discussion of the idea of writing a novel.In “Notes on My Works” Kurahashi recalls that after writing many short stories, shewas urged to write a novel both by others and by her own creative impulse (238). Whatdifferentiates the novel from the story, in her view, is its temporal (or diegetical) dimension.In “From the Author of Blue Iournev to You,” Kurahashi confesses that she struggled toachieve “time” or a temporal dimension in her first novel, but that she “could not succeedin sustaining the time of the novel in the form of a long mural.” Eventually she decidedupon the technique of “accumulation of fragments,” or collage, which Butor uses in jModification. Kurahashi recollects in “Notes on My Works”: “it is this manner of arrangingin order fragments of consciousness, rather than the second-person form, that I borrowedfrom Butor” (Vol. 3 240). This comment points to the fact that little critical attention hasbeen given to Kurahashi’s similarity to Butor in her use of collage, despite the vehementdebate on ‘stealing from Butor.’Kurahashi’s deep concern with the temporal development which the novel, asopposed to the short story, requires is demonstrated in her comments in publishedcorrespondence to Nakamura Shin’ichirO, a representative Japanese novelist, which waswritten the year after Blue lournev was completed. In this correspondence, Kurahashimaintains that “récits [short stories] have no time within themselves” and that “récits aresupported by the pillars of the death of time.” Unlike short stories, novels such as39Nakamura’s have “time,” and if one yields to the “time,” “one will be led to an imaginaryspace which is excavated into the inner world like a labyrinth.” But Kurahashi does notconsider Blue lourney to be a novel: “I have never written a novel” (“Roman wa kanO ka”[Is a Roman Possible?] (1962)). Kurahashi clearly feels that she failed to achieve thetemporal dimension necessary to a novel in Blue lournev by the application of “mosaic” orcollage: “I think this cannot be called ‘a novel (roman),’ due to the quality of the time in it”(“From the Author of Blue lournev to You”).It is not clear from her comments for what reason Kurahashi thinks Blue Journey lacksthe temporal dimension. However, I would say that although the arrangement of thefragments may seem to be arbitrary, a certain discipline governs it. Indeed, Kurahashicomments in retrospect, in “The Postscript” (1 969) to the second edition of Blue Journey:At any rate, if this ‘novel,’ which is made up in a form ofaccumulation of miscellaneous fragments, more or lessconstitutes a novel, it is the consequence of my efforts made togive an order to its constituent parts (you may interpret “anorder” as “an arrangement” in the original sense of the word“ordo”), and to realize the form of this novel (there is no wayof designating what form it is, except by writing it). Of course,it is nonsense if you do not make such efforts when you writethe novel. But, in retrospect, this first long fiction for me wasnothing more than these efforts. (240-241)This excerpt suggests that Kurahashi intended to arrange the fragments in a particular order.This is not, however, a temporal order, which Kurahashi admits she failed to achieve, or acausal relationship. Instead, a series of associative linkages are at work integrating the text.I will attempt to explicate this in the first section of this chapter.40The temporal development in Blue lourney is suggested by the way in whichKurahashi ‘borrows’ the setting of the railway trip from Butor, and reduces its emphasis inher novel. It is true that the railway trip enables the protagonist to indulge in a second trip,into his/her memories, in both novels. However, there is a discrepancy in the treatmentsof this setting between Butor and Kurahashi. The setting forms only one part of Bluelourney, which consists of three parts, while in La Modification the narrating instance takesplace only on the train. I would suggest that by framing the railway trip with parts I and Ill,Kurahashi attempts to articulate the narrative into a beginning, a middle and an end. I willexplicate such articulation when discussing the narrative structure later.While critics neglected Kurahashi’s ‘borrowing’ of the form of collage, many of themcriticized her copying of the second-person narrative which Butor employs extensively inLa Modification. In her postscript to the first edition of Blue lourney, Kurahashi explains thisdevice as follows:This [replacement of “I” for “You”] can be called a system toremote-control you. Instead of being forced to be told by theauthor, you will be invited into the novel, and will participatein it. There, you will think of many things, and act,remembering your past. (238)Note that “you” has a double meaning: it indicates the narratee of this narrative as well asthe protagonist in the narrative. While in the first-person narrative, “I” can signify both thenarrator and the protagonist, the narratee and the protagonist are identical in the secondperson narrative.41What, then, are the effects of the second-person narrative? Shimizu TOru makessimilar comments to Kurahashi’s in his postscript to the Japanese translation of JModification IKokoro gawaril:The basis of Butor’s methodology is his understanding that thenovel is not completed when it is written by the author as abook, but is accomplished only by being read by the reader,and that it j the novel which is being formed gradually in thereader’s inner space when s/he reads. (248)The second-person narrative such as La Modification and Blue Iournev is thus whatUmberto lEco would call “an open work” (63), and what would be described as a “writerlytext” in Roland Barthes’ terms (SjZ 4)8Regarding this, we should pay attention to a fact which has been neglected in thediscussion of Blue Journey: the narrative in Kurahashi’s novel as well as Butor’s is in thepresent tense when it refers to what happens concurrently with the narrating act. This fact,challenging the principle that the “narrative privileges” the past tense (Prince 96),underscores the fact that the text is now being created, instead of having existed and merely“being forced to be told” by the narrator.Thus, in terms of methodology, the text of Blue lourney is not a stable, alreadyaccomplished entity, but a flexible image which is always being created and being7By the narrowest definition Umberto Eco makes in his “The Poetics of the Open Work,”“open’ works” “are characterized by the invitation to make the work together with theauthor.”8The “writerly” text is “what can be written (rewritten)” by “the reader” who is “nolonger a consumer, but a producer of the text.”42recreated. In fact, this characteristic of the narrative strategy coincides with both theimagery and thematic concerns in Blue Journey; the preference for vague, flexible imagesand the appraisal of the passive, flexible and performative self. In other words, the narrativestructure, imagery and thematic concern of this novel parallel each other.However, Blue lourney has been condemned for what some critics call the lack ofthe necessity to use the innovative strategy of the second-person narrative. Some criticsclaim that Kurahashi applies the second-person narrative out of “no inner necessity.” Forexample, Shirai KenzaburO, a representative European literature translator in Japan, says thatKurahashi’s “existential search of the self is superficial” (“Kaigai bungaku shOkai nomondaiten” [Problems in Introducing Foreign Literature] (1961)). Shimizu TOru, thetranslator of La Modification, suggests that Kurahashi “should have copied Butor less” toavoid the condemnation of plagiarism, “or more” to learn the “content,” as well as the“form,” of the French writer. Shimizu’s latter suggestion is relevant to my currentdiscussion, and he exemplifies it as follows: “La Modification is a narrative of the discoveryof the lost self,” and “the second-person is found in the author’s attempt to perceive theself.” In short, Shimizu claims, this narrative strategy is “closely related to the content, orButor’s inner necessity” (“Kurai tabi ronsO no mondaiten” [Problems in the Debate on Bluelourneyl (1962)).Such comments can, in fact, be divided into two questions: 1) whether or not theauthor of any novel should require “inner necessity” to select a form of the novel, and: 2)whether form and content are “closely related” in Blue lournev. As for the first question,ItO Sei, a well known critic and translator of English literature in Japan, and Haniya Yutaka,43a Japanese novelist often compared to Dostoevski, agree that Kurahashi, or any novelist forthat matter, need not be conscious of an inner necessity (“Zadankai bundan 1961-nen”[Discussion on the Literary Circle in 1961]). With respect to the second, I disagree withShirai and Shimizu, in that they imply that Kurahashi neglects the aspect of content. l3utor’scontent is the search for the self, and Kurahashi, indeed, discusses the self extensively in hernarrative. However, the perception of the self in her text is different from that of the critics,or that of Butor in their views. In Kurahashi’s novel the self is not perceived as anautonomous entity but as a void which reflects others. Therefore, the loss of the self cannotpose a problem in Blue lourney. Rather, the emptiness of the self has a positive value,because it makes one’s consciousness passive, flexible and thus performative. Kurahashiinvariably associates these notions of passivity, flexibility and performativity with herperception of femininity in Blue lourney. In other words, her understanding of the self isvisualized in terms of images of female physiology, and content and form are thus reflectiveof each other. Okuno Takeo, another representative literary critic in Japan, pointed out that“the novel itself becomes a woman” (“EtO Jun shi no Kurahashi Yumiko ron e” [In responseto Mr EtO Jun’s Critique on Kurahashi Yumikoj). I would conjecture that the difference, oreven opposition, between the contents of the two novels confused some critics into thinkingthat Blue lourney has no content and that Kurahashi’s novel lacks serious thematic concern.I will refute this proposition by considering the imagery in the second section, and thetheme in the third section of this chapter.The preponderance of proper nouns is a common feature of the two works, thoughit is unclear if Kurahashi took it from Butor. It is evident from “Notes on My Works” that44she deliberately used proper nouns “to the extremity” “against the former rule” not to usethem (239). Indeed, she maintains in “ShOsetsu no meiro to hiteisei” [The Labyrinth andNegativity of Fiction] (1967) that she usually “avoids using proper nouns” (68). In BlueJourney, however, she decided to mention the proper nouns of places, objects, “just likeavant-garde art which purports to be an assembly of discarded objects” (“Notes on MyWorks” 239). Blue lourney is her first attempt to use them, and some of her later novelshave been written in this way. EtO Jun criticizes Blue Iournev as “the result of a mistakenbelief that reference to real names alone creates the anti-novel or new novel” (“Kaigaibungaku to sono mozOhin saisetsu” [Foreign Literatures and Their Forgeries Revisited].However, I would suggest that what Kurahashi says about Butor in her essay “ByutOru toatarashii shOsetsu” [Butor and New Novels] (1 964) —“[enumeration of] objects itself is theperception of objects” is applicable to her own text: it suggests that the enumeration ofobjects must be carried out by a consciousness.These objects include buildings and gardens, such as Daitokuji, Nanzenji, RyOanji,which the protagonist You and her lost lover He discuss in Blue lourney. Their discussionsare criticized by EtO and by Shirai KOji, the translator of Jean-Paul Sartre’s La Nausée. Theysay Kurahashi’s commitment to architecture is superficial, while “Butor’s devotion toBaroque art” and his “love for Rome” is deep, and generated La Modification. EtO claimsthat “the whole man experience” is lacking in Kurahashi’s work, and Shirai suggests thatKurahashi has only a penchant for style, without her own unique “view of the world.”Kurahashi jokingly refuted EtO by stating that what he called “the discussion on art” in her45work is a series of “excerpts cut out of sightseeing guides” (“From the Author of fflJourney to You”) and for this, Shirai calls her “lacking in sincerity.”In fact, the discussions of architecture function as something more than merepastiche. They offer a parallel to discussions of the novel in Blue lourney, and thus play anot unimportant role in the narrative:“What a well-thought largeness, I mean, smallness!”“Why didn’t he make it [Daisen’in’s garden] larger?”“It would not have worked; it would be like enlarging ashort story into a novel.”“A good reason. This idea is applicable to paintings,too.”“In the case of the novel, its quantity, number of pagesand the like are important factors which determine its style.The reason to write at greater length, and more detail is notbecause the event took a long time but because the [novel’s]world is large.”(Blue lourney 190-1 91)A novel such as Blue Journey, then, is a metafiction, “a novel to be offered to the reader[which] is simultaneously the thoughts on writing the novel” as Kurahashi commentsregarding Butor’s L’emploi du Temps in her essay “Butor and New Novels” (36). The samestatement is applicable to Blue Journey. Shimizu TOru says that the protagonist “vous” inButor’s novel decides to write a novel necessitated by his failure to discover his “self,”implying again that Kurahashi lacks the inner necessity which might motivate the choice ofa metafictional construction. However, I would say that here, too, her theme and form areinseparably connected: the protagonist You loses her lover who is in some ways her secondself, and the distancing from this second self in the narrative enables her to create a novel.46The sad story about the couple’s separation, indeed, is analogous to the creation of themetafictional novel. I will describe this process in detail in the third section of this chapter.Having examined these similarities of Blue Iournev to Butor’s novel, I will explorethe narrative structure, imagery, and themes in Blue lourney and finally clarify that they arenot arbitrarily selected, but in fact inseparably related to each other. First, however, I wishto give a summary of the novel’s plot. Although the “discourse time” is only three days, the“story time” extends over fourteen years (with gaps) from the time at which the heroine wastwelve years old until the “narrating instance,” at which she is twenty-six.9 The heroine’srecollection of her past at different temporal stages is continually intercut with her presentstory. The heroine, who is consistently referred to as “anata” (You), is completely at a lossregarding her long-term lover and fiancee, “kare” (He), who has been absent from her formore than a week.1° Both of them are graduate students in French literature at QUniversity in Tokyo. They have forbidden themselves to have sexual intercourse with eachother, while maintaining a rule allowing each other to sleep with other men or women. Onthe first day of the discourse time, the heroine visits “relics” of their love in Kamakura,where K Senior High School, which they both attended as adolescents, is located, andcomes back to Tokyo where they have lived separately but have seen each other very frequently.9The “discourse time” indicates “[t]he time taken by the representation of the narrated;the time of the narrating; erzählzeit” (Prince, 21), while the “story time” signifies “[tiheperiod of time in which the narrated occurs; erzählte zeit” (Ibid. 92).10n this chapter, I will call the leading characters ‘You’ and ‘He’; though they areoriginally uncapitalized personal pronouns, they function as the names of the characters inthe text.47On the next day, You makes a railway trip to Kyoto. She used to live there at theage of nineteen, while studying at L Women’s College after she failed the first entranceexamination at Q University which He entered, and where she tried to forget him despitehis frequent letters of love. In Kyoto she finally fled, came back, was met at Kyoto Stationby He and then spent her first night together with him. After half a year, she was acceptedby Q University, and moved to Tokyo. Since then, she has frequently returned to Kyoto tovisit temples with He. In short, Kyoto is replete with memories of their love.On the train You comes across Saeki, her aunt’s ex-husband and a lecturer in Frenchliterature whose class she has previously taken. She accepts his request to stay in the samehotel, and after revisiting the temples she has gone to with He, she makes love with Saeki.The morning after, she leaves the hotel, undecided whether to accept Saeki’s proposal tospend a further night together. The only decision she seems to have made is to write anovel about He.This, then, is the story of Blue Journey. We now turn to an examination of structure,of how Kurahashi interweaves different temporal levels to form a narrative.The Narrative Structure of Blue lourneyIn this section, I will discuss the way that the text becomes integrated by what RolandBarthes would call “indices,” which implies “metaphorical relata” instead of chronologicalor causal relationships between units of the narrative.Before exploring these strategies, I will clarify what Gerard Genette would call the“tense,” or temporal relations between narrative and story, in this novel. As I pointed outin the introductory part of this chapter, the present tense and past tense coexist in Blue48lourney (here, I used “tense” in a purely grammatical sense). The present tense is employedto refer to occurrences and thoughts which take place simultaneously with the narrating act,while the past tense is used to mention things prior to the series of narrating instances.Therefore, it is easy to distinguish events that happen within the range of the discourse timefrom those that happened prior to the commencement of narrating, despite its atemporaldevelopment with perpetual “analepses,” or flash-backs into different temporal moments ofthe past.11According to the progress of the discourse time, the text of Blue lourney is dividedinto three parts: 1,11,111. Embedded within this discourse time are numerous fragments whichrefer to events that have happened before the narrating act commences, and are presentedwithout any obvious temporal or causal order; I wish, for convenience, to divide it into thefive phases outlined below, for the sake of clarity of discussion.The first phase is before You met her lover, He, the time when she became awareof her being feminine. The text of this phase is a series of fragments in Part II. Though inthis phase reference is made to You’s recollections, we are later told that You narrates thememories of this phase to He when they are in the second phase, which follows. In otherwords, this phase constitutes an “embedded narrative”12 without a complete frame toAnalepsis signifies “an evocation of one or more events that occurred before the‘present’ moment (or moment when the chronological recounting of a sequence of eventsis interrupted to make room for the analepsis)” (“analepsis,” Prince 5). See also GerardGenette, Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method.12Embedded narrative refers to a “narrative within a narrative” (“embedded narrative,”Prince 25).49show that it is narrated within the primary narrative (since when the reader first reads thisphase, s/he is not informed of the circumstances of its narration). The analepsis into phaseone, the earliest part of You’s past, takes place in the middle of the novel.The second phase presents You at the age of seventeen, when she transfers to KSenior High School in Kamakura, and where she meets He and finds him to be the ideallover. In the view of You, He appears to be the only person who can manage to be her“accomplice” in pretending to be in love and to “believe each other’s love”. You recognizesHe as her “co-player” in a mask drama in which both play the roles of lovers. Further, Heshares this cognition with You: He senses an identical inclination in You. Because this stageoccurs in Kamakura, it is mostly referred to in Part I in which You revisits the city.Indeed, the choice of this place is rather significant. If Kurahashi had wanted toincrease the “autobiographicality” of this novel, she would have chosen KOchi, her hometown. In addition to her desire to distance the novel from her own experience, I wouldsuggest two reasons for the selection of Kamakura as the setting. First, Kamakura isinterchangeable with KOch I, both because it begins with K, the most important alphabeticalletter in Kurahashi, which often represents male protagonists, and also because Kamakurafaces the Pacific Ocean as KOchi does, and thus provides the sea shore locale which is animportant motif in Part I. Secondly, Kamakura is a centre of Japanese medieval culture, andthus functions as a counterpart of Kyoto, the ancient capital. Therefore, Kamakura andKyoto have a parallel function in the text.Following the initial friendship of You and He, the third phase describes when theyseparate for a year while He studies at Q University in Tokyo and You at L Women’s50College in Kyoto. The fact that she fled while in Kyoto is mentioned once in Part I, becauseshe left Kyoto for Kamakura, and stayed there for a while without contacting He or herroommate in Kyoto. Part II describes the unexpected meeting with He at Kyoto Station, andother incidents while she lived in Kyoto, except for her unexpectedly visiting He in Tokyoby train from Kyoto, which is narrated in Part I. The unexpected meeting is also mentionedin Part II, and so is the subsequent consummation of You’s love with He in Kyoto.The fourth phase commences when You moves to Tokyo, and ends after half a year.The utmost physical intimacy between You and He in which they participate in the “ritual,”“game,” and “performance” of love and sex, marks this phase. The references to phase fourare made in a series of fragments in Part II.The last portion, phase five, begins at the time at which You and He make a“contract” not to have intercourse with each other, to allow each other to have affairs withothers, and to report these affairs to each other. In the meantime, they become engaged,without planning to get married, in order to “defraud” society. References to this phase aremade throughout the novel.Having sketched the relation between discourse time and story time, I will nowaddress the methods by which this novel achieves an order. As I suggested in theintroductory part of this chapter, Blue lourney has, despite the seeming arbitrariness of thecollage form, a clear framing structure. The narrative structure is made even more apparentby the many pairs of parallel images, which appear in Part I and Ill.One of the most significant of these parallels is the setting of each of Parts I and Ill:Kamakura and Kyoto. They are similar in that both are historical cities in Japan. The51following dialogue between You and Saeki in Part Ill shows that both cities are coded assophisticated:“What do you like about Kyoto?”“I like the fact that the town isn’t vulgar. Human beingshave to live in such places. Your home is in Kamakura, isn’t it?Kamakura isn’t too bad, either.” (214)The parallel between the two cities is thus implied in the characters’ statements.Further, words and phrases employed to illuminate the cities, as well as the way Youperceives them, present them as parallel. Compare these two illustrations of the stationplazas:On your right lies Seibu Department Store. On your left,FUgetsudO where you and he used to eat Bavaroises and éclairs,and souvenir shops typical of a sightseeing city....Kamakura Station plaza, which looks entirely familiar to you.However, Kamakura shows an indifferent face to you now, inthis dusty chill of February, as if it received a purposelesstraveller, a questionable stranger with hollow eyes. (5)The Main Exit of Kyoto Station, a gentle flow of blackcrowds, the glazed waiting room, the sightseeing departmentstore located on the second floor facing the exit, all of themlook familiar to you. [...] No one receives you, no one islooking at you, you make your way through people as ifinvisible. [...] Now you are a mere traveller who is trying tointrude in Kyoto in such a way as not to be noticed. (1 76)13Three factors are in common here: The careful enumeration of objects perceived in theseplaces, their familiarity, and the current mental distance You has from them.13Since a series of dots recurs in the text of Blue Journey, implying cessation in You’sconsciousness, I copy them in the original, applying brackets when I omit a section in themiddle of citations.52The illustration of Kamakura above is followed by You’s contemplation of the reasonsshe visits the city; this contemplation again finds its parallel in her visit to Kyoto:Why did you come to Kamakura in mid-winter? [...] Youcannot explain the reason to anyone, nor can you disclose youraim....[[...] Kamakura,... Kamakura which is a town of the past and aruined capital for you, ...the sea and the sun which youexperienced with him, you came here in search of the relics ofyour love. But can you find the man who absconded, if hethrew himself into the end of everything? ...lf that is the case,it will only be an absence, a nothingness which smells ofozone, and another disappointment which you will find here.(5-7)In Part II, on the train, You also asks herself her reasons for her trip to Kyoto:Kyoto,...why are you going to Kyoto, for what? Yourepeat the persistent interrogation. But you cannot find anyreason that will survive logical investigation. If the search forhim is your aim, this trip will be meaningless and empty fromthe outset. If the journey is for the purpose of visiting the relicsof the love between you and him, it will merely torture you.[...]IKyoto. The ancient capital engraved with temples andfine gardens. In it are also embedded the remains of lovebetween you and him. (92)The common features here are: the lack of hope of finding He at the end of the journey, andthe trip You nevertheless makes, to places which are “the relics of love” (ai no iseki). Also,when she arrives in Kyoto, she calls it “your ruined capital” (haito) (1 75) using the samelabel which is employed for Kamakura in the first excerpt.One small motif recurs in Kamakura and Kyoto. You is a jazz fan, and thus manyjazz pieces are mentioned. The first mentioned piece is, in fact, the last one she listens to.53On the seashore of Kamakura, You taps out “the rhythm of <<Amen>> by Donald Bird,”praying in vain for the reappearance of He (19). In Kyoto, at a jazz-playing coffee housecalled “SangoshO” [Coral Reef], whose name is reminiscent of the sea, You recommendsSaeki to listen to the piece:“What is this?”“Its Side B of <<Fuego>> by Donald Bird.Listen,...isn’t it interesting? It’s in the typical funk style, and thelast one, <<Amen>>, is especially unique.” (199)To sum up, Kamakura and Kyoto have similar meaning to You and this is shown bythe almost identical ways of presenting the two cities. By placing the two cities at thebeginning and end of the novel, Kurahashi gives it a definite framework.A further parallel is made between He and Saeki who respectively dominates PartsI and III. You’s initial encounter with He is presented in a similar manner to her perceptionof Saeki’s interest in her. When You meets He on the Seashore in Kamakura, their hands“slide” on an anchored boat, each’s hand proceeding to each other’s hand:When the first, light touch at the tips of the fingers occurred,your fingers slid along the planks of each other’s, graduallygetting entangled. With this unexpected caress of fingers, youreyes lost their life.... You resisted for a long while, with youreyes open, but when the whole of your hand was grasped byhis, you closed your eyes, and threw your head and the massof your hair backward, as if you had fainted. (18)When You comes across Saeki in the cafeteria on the train, Saeki’s eyes “slide from yourhair, along your back, [and] stay on your hand for a long while” (112). His attention is not54a passing one. In the above-mentioned jazz cafe in Kyoto, he suddenly grasps You’s hand,removes the glove, and licks her fingers:You tread on Saeki’s foot with the sharp heel of your shoe, withpressure. But you fail, for you have merely stimulated hisdesire. Treading on Saeki’s foot ever more strongly in order toregister your own defeat and hallucination, rather than to resisthim, you close your eyes and throw your head backward. (201)You’s hand attracts both He and Saeki, and her responses to their caresses are identical.Similarly, the clothes You wears at these moments are identical: she is dressed in °askirt of Inca pattern of vermilion and yellow” (1 9) when she meets He for the first time,while she buys “a pyjama of lemon colour and golden yellow stripes” (195) to sleep withSaeki.Further, the ways He would, and Saeki does, approach and touch You without beingnoticed are presented similarly. When He fled and did not show up on time for theappointment with You, she is waiting for him, anticipating that he will “approach frombehind without footsteps, touch your hair lightly, like the casual touch of a dove’s wings,and thus announce his arrival” (39). In a similar manner, Saeki takes her by surprise whenYou is indulging herself in recollecting that she was met by He seven years ago at the sameKyoto Station: “Someone’s hand, a light hand like a bird’s wing, touches your shoulder.(...)it is not he” (1 77).The most important parallel in a thematic sense is that in You’s imagination, both Heand Saeki have cut themselves off from “the tie of love” (110), and are absorbed in“numerous love affairs” (106). Although You does not openly associate the two men in this55regard, they do provide examples of similar selves without any established relation to othersor to the world.Saeki functions as a precursor of He. You originally perceived He as an ideal “coplayer” of the “mask-play,” but, after he disappears she admits:You have carefully avoided the idea that he concealsunderneath his skin an entirely invisible, dark existence—whatever you may call it—... If you had hidden yourself insidehis skin when he was walking in the Street, you would haveseen that his face, turned inward, is that of a dismal devil. (37)Saeki’s face is presented in an almost identical way in You’s imagination when she isheading for the hotel to spend a night with him:The face of Saeki, waiting for you, the face of a man becomingalone, the face of a man who is forty years old, famous criticand lecturer at universities; probably, when he is alone, Saekidares to show his utmost dismal face, exposing his dark,wrinkly inside as it really is. (1 94)This image of Saeki is an echo of that of He quoted previously. In short, You’s relationswith He in Part I, and with Saeki in Part III, parallel each other in their images and themes,and thus frame the novel.As the study of most prominent “framing” suggests, the text of Blue Journey is full ofimages that are associated with each other. They create “indices,” and suggest a textualconsistency not based on contiguity. Often, an associative link is made where a causal oneis lacking. Similar, if not identical, images are repeated without a logical pattern, and give56the text a rhythm and consistency. Here, I will examine two chains of images: those ofhands, and ochre-yellow colour; these images also reflect thematic concerns.As I pointed out in the comparison between He and Saeki, the touching of hands inBlue Journey initiates sexual relationships. Further, You’s observing eyes often focus onpeople’s hands and fingers. It seems to me that images of hands symbolize their owner’ssexuality, masculine or feminine, as well as their professions, and that You often comparessuch hands with He’s hands. For example, “the beautiful, cream-coloured fingers” of He’sfather which are “associative of the wise man of Brahmanism,” lead You to define him as“one of those cultural people who occasionally send critical articles on music to provincialnewspapers.” You sees in him an “aged version” of He (46-47).You also observes the fingers of two youths who are attracted to her. The first ladis reminiscent of He on the first encounter, in that he is described as “clean and well-bred,”and that he is compared to “a fish” caught by You as He was. This youth entangles his“long olive-coloured fingers” with each other, which, in bed, caresses You’s body like“antennae of a sea anemone” (42-43). The second lad offers a cigarette to You and shenotices his “unexpectedly clean fingertips, like He’s but a little darker” (73). You thinks ofhim as “a boy who satisfies your taste,” and imagines that perhaps she “may share a bedwith him” (80-81).As these examples subtly imply, hands are often symbols of male sexuality. Thehands of two jazz musicians, which You visualizes apparently out of any context,demonstrate this. You is trying to sleep on the train:57Suddenly, hands appear in front of your eyes. Cocoa-coloured hands, hands more marvellous than a bunch of fivehundred yen bananas, fingers with rosy-coloured nails,erotic,...they are thrust out to you, pierce your eyes and intrudeinto your head. They look familiar to you, the hands,...thefingers are on the keyboard of a brass wind instrument...yes,they are the hands of John Coltrane, the dark brown handswhich you saw on the jacket of <<Giant Steps> >.... (95)The following excerpt also presents an image of hands which abruptly occurs to You’s mind:A brown, closed hand, sexual-organ-like hand whichresembles a grotesque bunch of Vienna sausages...its hugethumb supports a stick, the majestic, stamen-like stick, curvedover, arrogantly, sensitively...it was the end of last month whenyou saw this jacket at <<Ron>> at Nakano, the jacket of<<Philly Joe’s Beat>>, he said, this is worth buying; youagreed. (163)Indeed, the hands are metaphors for the phallus. Iconographically, this is implied by thesimiles of “a bunch of bananas” and “sausages” which dangle. Their postures and motions,such as “thrust out,” “pierce,” and “curved over,” suggest the erection of the male organ.This association is displayed in phrases such as “sexual-organ-like” and “stamen-like” in thelatter excerpt.In fact, hands are used as a substitute for the phallus, as the following excerptimplies. You sleeps with a sadist, and according to the contract with He, she makes areport on the affair. However, You tells He a lie: though she says to He that she did notsleep with the sadist, she, in reality, did: “You raised a cry of pain, pierced the centre ofyour body not with the sadist’s phallus but with his rake-like hand” (149).58All these images of hands are what Genette call “advance mentions”14 of Saeki’shands. While You is taking a bath in Kyoto Hotel, Saeki is watching her naked body, andshe is observing his hands:Why are such intelligent and sensitive hands danglingfrom that ugly body? Those marvellous hands, the professionalfingers which are a little harder and dirtier than He’s purefingers, the hands more sensitive and powerful than the slimhands of He’s father, much more attractive hands, artificialhands mentally formed for a special purpose, so to speak...Saekistill stands beyond the heat, looking at you, dangling his hands,thinking which part of you he should reach his hands tocaress.... (211)As I mentioned, You’s hand attracts Saeki just as his hands attract her eyes.However, the way her hand is presented is entirely different from these presentations ofmale hands: instead of projecting, You’s female hand suggests the internal hollowness andreceptivity of female physiology:As if to delve into the deep-seated, ever-winding empire of sexinside you, Saeki’s big hands bundle your fingers and graspyour wrist firmly, you cannot escape this ostentatiouslypossessive grasp....As your fingers struggle, your glove of thethin, tender goat leather is gently stripped off. You are madenaked, more nakedly obscene than you have ever known. Youare filled with blood, and stiffen your body like an infant girl.(...) Five fingers which are half open out of astonishment, thesewhite, fine, five fingers with the pale white opal on the ringfinger, sparkle like a thin fish. Saeki’s hand turns them over.(...) Saeki kisses your palm with rude amorousness like aFrenchman, and his tongue moves slowly, persistently trying tosuck a hollow in your palm. (200-201).14Advance mention is a “narrative element the significance of which becomes clear only(well) after it is first mentioned” (“advance mention,” Prince 4). For details, see Genette.59It is evident here that the female hand is a metaphor of the female genitals: it has “ahollow,” it implies “the empire of sex” which grows inside the female body, it is somethingto be possessed, stripped, filled with blood, kissed and licked. This reference to a femalehand contrasts strongly with the masculine sexuality expressed in the images of male hands.The series of images of hands have no connection with each other, nor have they anynecessary function in the novel’s plot. Nevertheless, they are indispensable in terms ofweaving a thread of images; we might say they play a counter-point in the symphony thatis the novel.Another counter-point is that of ochre-yellow colour, which, with its associations ofdryness and deserts, makes a contrast with the motif of moss colour. The text refers tocolours of objects frequently; hands are “cream-coloured,” or “olive-coloured,” or “cocoa-coloured,” or “dark-brown.” These descriptions of colours not only give a visualrepresentation of the objects but also give a certain tone to the description. The colour ofochre-yellow, which constantly appears in the text, has an important function in the text.Let us start with the beginning of Part Ill. You arrives at Kyoto Station, “with a lightochre-yellow traveller’s bag in her hand” (1 76). When Saeki takes her by surprise, Youobserves that “he also has an ochre-yellow traveller’s bag” (1 77). The word “also” makesthe narratee notice the repeated colour, following You’s perception. The fact that You andSaeki have bags of the same colour apparently suggest similar desires, which lead them tospend the night together.They first agree to stay in the same room in the hotel. However, while Saeki iscaressing You’s body, You is taken over by memories of He and by guilty consciousness that60she is “betraying” He. Saeki accepts her request that he stop, and they lie in separate beds.Then You thinks about Saeki:You do not understand what the man thinks, who lies in thisclosed, ochre-yellow room, like Christ taken off the cross. Theman is more uncanny than the dead, you do not even knowwho he is any more....lf the man has the name of Saeki, it islike a number plate on the body, you cannot explain anythingfrom the name. This man merely exists, on the bed, with histhin, long form. (222)This paragraph is linked to two other fragments in the text. First, You is “crucified” like a“martyr” when she consummates intercourse with Saeki (23), which, like the passage above,implies similar inclinations in Saeki and You. Second, the image of the crucified Christ hasoccurred earlier in Part Ill. You arrives at the hotel by herself, earlier than Saeki who visitsother places first, and finds in the drawer of the bedside table a copy of the New Testamentin English. “The only thing you are interested in [in the New Testament] is the crucifixionof Christ.” This statement is preceded by recurrent mentions of the word “desert.” Youprefers the Old Testament, which she perceives as “a magnificent epic” and “the scorchinglyabsurd play of God and people in the desert.” You regrets that elements of the epic“disappear in the New Testament, just as an intermittent river vanishes and reappears in thedesert” (182). These recurrent associative references to the desert match the colour of theroom: ochre-yellow.Related to the desert theme is a series of rejections of relations with society, or selfidentification in the social sense, in Part II; a later version of these appears in the excerptabove in the meaninglessness of Saeki’s name. When You comes across Saeki on the train,61she speculates about his past: he stayed in Europe, and on returning to Japan, divorced heraunt:Saeki became a wanderer in the sphere of European civilization,an étrangé who did not belong anywhere; while he visitedParis, Algiers, Berlin, Rome, relieved from the tie of love, hemay have continued dry affairs with certain tediousness. (110)The word “dry,” which is repeated in the subsequent description of Saeki’s “pedanticwriting” (110), is associated with the image of the desert. Saeki wears “a coat of desertcolour” (198), and You’s speculation about Saeki’s past is similar to her conjecturesregarding what he is doing now, a few pages prior to the previous excerpt:You think...that perhaps he escaped you, the marriagewith you, and even escaped the word <<love>> whichbecame an undecodable dead word, and may be holding anunknown woman slovenly in his arms at a hotel in a local city.Imagining this scene does not make you feel jealous, butfascinates you to a degree. If you write a novel, you will writesuch a novel, with the story of a hero who crosses the desert ofnumerous love affairs and rediscovers love for you. (106)This excerpt regarding He has elements in common with the one involving Saeki: an escapefrom love and marriage, affairs with many women, and dryness. The two citations framea paragraph in which You imagines choosing the same life as Saeki has chosen and that Hemay be choosing:You think of losing contact with your family, friends, seminarsand the university, and of getting lost as a vagabond in the slumin the harbour city which fronts onto the sea....You will live asa female vagabond without a resident card or identificationcard. Then, people will forget you, and your name will62disappear from the census register. In a moment, you will diefrom the world to which you have belonged. Also, you will cutoff your own past, cut off time like an umbilical cord from theplacenta, you will throw away all your memories including him[He] and love, you will begin to live as another you. (107-108)This paragraph is important in two senses. First, it raises an important issue of therelation of the self to others, to society, and to the past. In the third section of this chapter,I will discuss this desire on You’s part for rejection of self-identification as a social being.Secondly, the image of the desert haunts You, too, though it does not occur in theparagraph, and thus suggests the similar nature of her existence to that of He and Saeki. Shehas confessed to He that when she menstruates:[I feel] as if “the desert appears in my heart. The desert lionsand camels love, the desert whose width I can’t imagine. (...)The whole world is cursing me because I am a woman. (134)She also anticipates that the journey to Kyoto will be “more full of disappointment anddanger than a journey in the desert in search of a mirage” (88).In these examples, the image of the desert carries negative associations. However,after her “journey in the desert,” You realizes that she has “freedom more wide and emptythan the desert” (224) Here, the associations of the desert come closer to those of the onewhich illuminates the mental conditions of Saeki and He.The third association of “ochre-yellow” appears in Part I, in which another “closedochre-yellow” space is described: it is the house of Yuriko, He’s cousin, fellow student athigh school, and You’s rival for his love. You visits Kamakura, and views Yuriko’s housefrom a distance: “The house with gradually sloped roofs, the windows of which facing the63sea are covered with ochre-yellow curtains, that is Yuriko’s houseu (27). Some pages priorto this sentence, You looks at the curtain and contemplates:From here, you can see that the ochre-yellow curtainsare drawn, in that room of Yuriko’s house. Previously, thecurtains were of a different colour. You cannot rememberwhich colour it was,...greyish rose? No, there may have beenmoss-coloured curtains with Egyptian patterns, atthattime. (23-24)This room is important in the personal history of You and He’s love, in that it is in this roomthat they kissed each other for the first time. The excerpt above tells us of the change of thecurtain, and thus about the flow of time.Further, the persistent contemplation of the curtains’ colour introduces another colourmotif: moss colour. When You first meets He, he wears “a sweater of moss colouru (15).You recalls that she “often walked down to the sea with him along an alley which lookslike” “a narrow sandy alley between bamboo fences and old wooden board fences whosecolour has changed into moss colourH (46).You and He have frequented temples in Kyoto, one of which is SaihO-ji, which is alsocalled “Koke-dera,” the temple of moss, because of its famous moss garden. Though Youdoes not describe the garden in the text, she recollects a Japanese cafeteria beside thetemple, called “Koke no chaya,” the cafeteria of moss. There, “he ate up what you left over”(1 70). Note that You later interprets sharing the food with Saeki as “the exchange ofintimacy before sharing a bed” (205). Indeed, it seems that after leaving “the cafeteria ofmoss,” You and He have intercourse “using all the techniques of love which formed thehistory of [their] love” (204). Similarly, about eleven months later, You spends a night with64Saeki after sharing food with him. She wakes up next morning to find herself left alone.But she discovers a sheet of ruled manuscript paper with “lines of moss colour” (234) thathe has left behind.The ochre-yellow colour and moss colour make a contrast, implying respectively thedesert and moist soil, and thus barrenness and fruitfulness. The metaphor of moss colourlater in the novel signifies that You seems to have succeeded in distancing and objectifyingthe existence of He. The affair with Saeki enables her to be reborn after the blue journey.Thus, order j achieved in the narrative structure of Blue lourney. However, the waythe text achieves this is different from structuring the plot in a series of actions joined bycausal relationships; Blue Journey is not a conventional novel, but an anti-novel. Instead,the text supplies a variety of linked yet fragmentary images, which make metaphoricalassociations and thus produce a loose but important consistency in the narrative.ImagesSequences of metaphors, then, give Blue Iournev some narrative structure. Yet, thesemetaphors and images, as well as providing a structural coherence, also have an importantrelationship to the theme of the anti-novel. In Blue lourney, in a sense, theme is form; anydistinction between the two is necessarily arbitrary. Yet a closer examination of imageclusters in Kurahashi’s novel will, I feel, clarify the intimate relationship between theme andform. In this section, I will explore images which demonstrate the four following attributes:performativity, flexibility, passivity and fragmentation. These qualities are often givennegative connotations, and are viewed as representing insincerity, indecisiveness, lack ofpositivity, and lack of wholeness, yet I feel that these characteristics, in fact, have a positive65value in this novel, and that they are associated with a ‘gendered’ notion of femininity thatI will discuss in the next section.By performativity, I mean the capacity through which one can perform any givenrole. The text of Blue lourney, we have seen, consists of a series of chains of images.Causal relationship is missing not only between chains but also between images within thesame chains. These chains are like broken lines, their gaps filled only by metaphoricalassociations. Indeed, the text is replete with metaphors, or similes, through which objects,human beings, places, feelings, thoughts, and other items are re-presented as something else.Objects of You’s hatred are compared to ugly things: thus, a screaming baby’s faceis described as “look[ing] uglier than the sexual organ of a domestic animal” (23). You’smother is compared to “an owl,” showing “mummified sentiment” (52). A director of a bustransportation company who is shouting in front of Shibuya Station is compared to “PekingMan” (71). The boys who visually rape You are “small devils” with legs like those of“insects” (1 1 7). A large group of high school students who disturbed the serenity of atemple in Kyoto eleven months before the narrating commences are compared to “ostrichlike birds” (169).Other people, who are on the same intellectual and physical level as You, are oftencompared to works of art. Yuriko is visualized as a version of “a naked woman drawn bylngres” (32), and also as “Madonna by Raphael” and as “kisshO tennyo [heavenly lady ofgood luck] in Buddhist paintings” (34). The voluptuous beauty of Yuriko deducible fromthese metaphors, makes a sharp contrast with You’s apparent physical appearance, whichis like the slim, youthful and girlish figure of the “Maitreya-bodhisattva at ChOgO-ji” (226).66You is also compared to the Classical Roman marble statue of a “reclining goddess,” in hereroticism (223). Seven Years ago, You and He saw it at the Bridgestone Museum in Tokyo,where they have also examined a bronze statue called “Three Gods of Beauty” (57) whichis compared to He’s naked body in the sunshine. Here, You and He are clearly contrasted.And when the two “statues” face each other in sheer nudity, they exchange “a twistedembrace like The Kiss by Rodin” (211).In fact, the nature of the relationship between You and He refers to other literaryworks well. In Part I, it is said to have been modelled on “Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses”(41), while in Part Ill, You confesses that the lovers have a motto, “Like Sartre and Beauvoir”(216). In short, the lovers perceive themselves as copies of other people, whether fictionalor historical.Moreover, You tends to practice any art by following precursors’ styles: when she isnineteen, she writes a love letter from Kyoto to He, implying her determination to commitsuicide in “a style reminiscent of Rimbaud’s Une Saison en enfer” (55). Trying in vain tocarry out this resolve, she comes home to Kamakura and “trie[s] to play the piano, imitatingthe style of Bud Powell” (54): she notes Franz Kafka’s injunction to “write literary works asa form of prayer” (1 06).1515lndeed, You’s commitment to art is analogous to Kurahashi’s, which, as we have seen,has been condemned as plagiarism. In this regard, the text is certainly self-reflexive.There is one contradictory paragraph that shows that You is in search of her ownstyle, instead of copying other writers:<<Establish my style>>This memo is written down in your notebook. It was last month thathe discovered this phrase, while perusing the notebook. With a mysterious(continued...)67I would suggest that this accumulation of copies demonstrates a commitment to ‘anti-originality,’ as opposed to originality. You puts this precisely, when referring to her ownface in the mirror:For example, they say strangely unique charms exist. But you,this lump of substances, have none of such a mysterious,provocative quality. Your face has no uniqueness. It evenresembles a mask, in that all the parts are in solid balance.(...)This is a body with fake flesh, the mask which, like a noh mask,changes its multiple expressions, to perform the role of awoman. (131)In a similar manner, the “diary” You has been writing since she was twelve years old is not“the record of your life” (171) but “stylistic practice in writing lies” (127) —“an accumulation15(...continued)smile, he said very delightedly, “Doestoevski’s style, Kafka’s style, Cezanne’sstyle, Parker’s style,... I would like you to show your style soon.” “I waskidding when I wrote it,” [you said.] ... You were completely embarrassed.(224-225)Another confusing comment appears in Kurahashi’s postscript to the first edition, “From theAuthor to You”:I have hoped to write a roman without quantitative restraint. I neededfreedom of this sort to discover my own style. (238)Such an aspiration for one’s own style is tautological in this context, in that neither You orKurahashi does intend to establish her own style, but instead tries to copy others’ style—orrather, in more precise terminology, rhetoric. The two excerpts are likely to confuse us intothinking that You and Kurahashi seek for originality which is, in fact, the last thing theyaspire to.68of pastiches” (171). Indeed, You’s “diary” is, in its performativity, a mise en abyme of thetext of Blue lourney.16Because of the emphasis on performativity, it is only when You dedicates herself toperforming an assigned role that she feels relieved. When fatally wounded at heart, shewanders on the seashore in Kamakura, and she realizes the role given to her:In short, you were thrown away. You had better creepinto the word “thrown away,” then, you can warm your skinwith the heat of dishonour, which you even find comfortable....You smile, the sneaky smile of you who pretend to assume theconventional role of “a betrayed woman”....Then, you feel as ifyour anxiety has been properly pushed away by this disguise.(38)The thought that she is playing a role consoles her by distancing herself from her actualmisery.In a similar manner, You requests the song “Lonely Woman” at a jazz place in Tokyo,and says in response to other customers’ complaints, “Keep your mouth shut, I am a ‘lonelywoman” (74). Leaving the place, she tells the lad with “unexpectedly clean fingertips” (74)that she will leave for “an aimless trip.” This lad responds by saying “You sound like a‘lonely woman” (80). Apparently this association she has made for herself pleases her, forshe judges him to be “a boy who satisfies her taste” (80).Entering into performativity, You accepts and performs without hesitation the role of“Mrs Saeki” when she checks in to the hotel (180) and when she makes a phone call to16You’s diary as an imaginary product is reminiscent of The Diary of Anaïs Nm, whichI deal with in the next chapter.69Saeki from the jazz place (197). When he carries her to bed, she tries to perform the rolesof “practising amante,” and “maItresse as awkward as a virgin” (21 7). On the next morning,You looks into the mirror “for characteristics of <<a mistress> >‘ (234). She overcomesany anticipated explosion of emotion by distancing herself from her ‘self.’In fact, You defines the nature of her own existence as “unidentifiable.” On the train,she wears a pair of glasses “to shut out the world,” more specifically her neighbour, and“become[s] an unidentifiable woman who is difficult to approach” (89). In the cafe, Yousenses the investigating eyes of gentlemen at the same table, who are “stealingly watching”“this unidentifiable girl, who does not look like either a student or a working woman, eitherMademoiselle or Madame, who is young but not virginal” (1 52).If You is unidentifiable, so is the relation between her and He. They have mademany trips together on the same railway, on which “you two may have appeared to be ayoung married couple, or intimate brother and sister” (91). After He’s flight, You thinks ofreporting it to the police, but gives up the idea; the policemen who “lack imagination” willceaselessly attempt to investigate the nature of their relationship, which is beyondexplanation (10-11).Their relationship is defined by the “social fact that they have been engaged foryears.” However, You calls their engagement “a legal fiction to defraud society,” and thereare recurrent definitions of their relations as those of “accomplices” (36). Also, they haveseen themselves as “co-players” in the “mask play” of love, and thus express the metonymiesof the play and performance art. The implications of crime and performance suggest what70Kurahashi would call “anti-world”-ness—the forgery of “reality,” the reverse side of the“actual world.”17Since the day on which You was visually raped, she “has mastered the art ofpretending to be you, wearing a mask,” and “has lost substance” (120). When You tells Hethat in fact she is not a woman, but “merely pretends to be one,” He admits it, and adds:“you cannot be caught; it is as if you were always dancing” (132-133). Indeed, this‘impossibility of being caught’ is what You has tried to, and managed to, achieve. Lookinginto the mirror on the train, You notices that her face “looks like a mask” whose “abstractand void beauty” “will not easily be caressed by others’ eyes.” “Others’ eyes,” shecomments, “will not be able to trap you” (131).The elusiveness of You makes a contrast with other women in the world of the novelwho are caught, caressed and possessed by men. Toward the end of the summer when Youexperiences her first period, she wanders on the seashore in search of lovers, having“sensed” “that men own their wives and lovers majestically” (124). On the way back fromKamakura to Tokyo, You observes a young man who “touches his woman’s bum with handsmoving as if caressing a domestic dog,” and by doing so “displays the gesture of owning hismistress” (67). In contrast to these women, You is not to be grasped or owned, since shehas no substance.In fact, He appears to You not to have any substance either, until his flight. Whenthey see “the sun like a copper disc through luxuriant leaves,” and associate the scene17Kurahashi defines the “anti-world” as “the world which is not this world” and maintainsthat for her “the fiction is a magic which forms the anti-world by <<words> >, and byusing all non-literary factors freely” (“The Labyrinth and Negativity of the Fiction” 72).71simultaneously with “Max Ernst’s <<Forest> >,“ she looks at him, struck by the“intercourse of mentalities”:In the green shaded light, his body had disappeared, as in a Xray photograph....Then, you sensed his existence like a dark,flickering shaft of light, fleshless existence, homogenous withyours. (1 43-1 44)However, You suspects after he disappears that he has the face of “a devil,” or an of “an evilspirit” beneath such an appearance (37). In a similar manner, You admits resignedly thatshe does not have a fleshless existence, though she wishes to have one:You do not believe in the flesh, it is preferable not to have sucha thing, if possible.... Your flesh, the setting of your [fluid]freedom, your space, the coordinate axis by which relation isestablished with the world, has thus been a curse for you.(130)You open your eyes. You are in the train. This is thespace you occupy. As far as you are a lump of materialweighing 47 kilograms, you must occupy the space and stick toyour place. It will not help however far away you run. Tohowever remote a place you may run, you cannot elude yourown body as a skill-less pursuer, nor can you fly from yourspace to a light, void place. And your sorrow follows you onyour escape in the form of your flesh. (1 60-1 61)Stilt, the existence of You’s solid substance is only occasionally mentioned. Herprimary characteristic is flexibility, physical and mental. When she sleeps with He, You“lost” her “form, and became a lump of protoplasm” (142). Mental flexibility frequentlyrecurs. You does not know why she is going to Kamakura, or to Kyoto. Uncertain of her72destination, she is “carried to Yokohama” “like a protozoa of undecided form,” when theconductor comes to “touch your pseudopodium,” by which “your form was decided” (6).Leaving a restaurant called “The Door” where she has taken late lunch in Kamakura,You finds a taxi with its “door left open” and gets in it “without a clear intention” to do so(48). Coming back from Kamakura, she takes the Inokashira Line instead of the ChOO Line,because she likes it “for a reason which you do not really know” (67). You tells herself toget up early enough for the journey to Kyoto, not only in order to perform her purpose, butalso “not to waste the express ticket you have got” (85). In short, You does not makedecisions according to clear reason or intention.This inclination is displayed in Kyoto by Kurahashi’s impressive use of metaphors.Having arrived at Kyoto Station, Saeki requests You to stay in the same room at the KyotoHotel. He leaves her to make a telephone call, while You thinks that she “can run awaynow” if she prefers:Your possibilities are infinitely divided, with innumerablefragments surrounding you, like the ring around the Saturnsparkling in iridescence. But you are merely standing absentminded. You do not feel like grasping any fragment out ofnumerous possibilities. It is more enjoyable to leave it tochance than to choose knowingly. (1 79)As we know, You eventually spends a night together with Saeki. Next morning, she plansto go to Nara, “however, the decision is like gelatine which has not yet been solidified,” she“may change the decision after a trivial disturbance” (235). We do not know of what shewill do on this day, since she will “throw dice at Kyoto Station” (236).73It is evident that this flexibility is positively valued from the bright tone of this finalreference to it:You smile, in the smile are sparkling all the possibilities youhave, with your white teeth: the possibility of going to Nara,and the possibility of having another affair with Saeki. (236)The only decision she seems to have made is to write the novel on He. However,she does not know when she will start it, expecting that “the drying up of your money willdecide it for you” (237).You’s passivity is demonstrated when she begins to make love with Saeki:There is nothing you should do anymore. You are materialwith your eyes closed and softened, material of a human shape,it is yielded to Saeki’s hands, and enters the manufacturingprocess. It is beyond your choice how you are manufactured,you do not have any responsibility,...(229)In fact, her flexibility and passivity are analogous to those of the text itself. Being asecond-person narrative, the text is always being created by the reader, who is assigned therole of the protagonist, You. The text is never a solid entity, but flexible material whichaccepts, the reader’s “manufacturing.” In short, the flexible and passive images associatedwith You also reflect the nature of the text.Another feature of the text—the collage form—is also shown self-reflexively innumerous references to fragmentation: when You visits the sea at Kamakura, she catchesa glimpse of “a fragment of the unexpectedly narrow and low sea,” and then observes“scattered bamboo and wooden fragments,” “dark green codium, flawed wakame seaweed,74torn sargasso, red seaweed like a split tongue” (8-9). When You decides not to visit You’s,He’s, or Yuriko’s house, she wonders if “the fragment of his existence” “might or might notbe there” (65). Even after she comes home to KichijOji, Tokyo, without dropping in hisapartment in HongO, she has “a dying hope, a hope like a lizard which keeps strugglingwhen it is cut down” (82). The dish she made “as a charm to evoke him” is pot-au-feu, inwhich materials “cut in square shapes” are submerged (82). When she wakes up, Youexpects, she will find herself in the middle of “fragments of painful dreams” (85). In thetrain, she tries to discard “fragments of” her “life” and finds “a fragment of paper” on whichshe has written a message for He (89-90), and later in Kyoto finds “a fragment of paper” onwhich Saeki has left a message for her while she is trying to find the characteristics of “amistress” “among fragments of the affair remaining in your face” (234-235).I would suggest that these persistent references to fragments function as a synecdocheof the text itself, which is a collage of fragments. This is implied when You comes up withthe idea of writing a novel about He:You must arrange in order all the notebooks, fragments; inshort, order his “literary remains.”...on the plane you willarrange the accumulation of numerous data, and try to extracta certain meaning....in other words to constitute the whole ofHe by patching together He’s fragments, to complete writingHe’s <<novel which has not been written>>! (232-233)It seems that by referring to the text of another novel, the text of Blue lourney alludes toitself and thus becomes conscious of its own fragmentation here. By fragmentation, I meanthe fact that the text consists of fragments of paragraphs, and is metaphorically illuminatedby images of fragments.75Along with the word ufragment(s),hI verbs which indicate disconnection ordiscontinuity, such as “kireru” (be cut), “sakeru” (be split), utatsuI (cut), recur in the text. Inmy view, they not only allude to the fragmentation of the text, but also refer to the story inwhich You and He break up, and to the thematic concern with a self which, in Kurahashi’sperception, is inseparable from one’s tie with one’s past, and one’s ties with others.As I mentioned, You and He have agreed that they can have affairs with other menor women, on the condition that they sleep “with the same person only once” (1 39). Inother words, they are not attached to each other, and appreciate the temporary nature of therelationships with others. Thus, You parts from her temporary lover in the following way:You again promptly excise the childish lover who is already amere worm like appendix, and throw it into the labyrinth of thecity. (44)When He fails to show up on time for the appointment with You, and she discovers hisabsence, she perceives:The string of the relation between you and him was suddenlycut in two.... You were left in the midst of the labyrinth whoseexit you do not know with a section of the string sheered witha sharp blade in your palm. (41)Note that the words “labyrinth” and “excise” make the above analogous to the previousquotation. However, You’s role is inverted, from the subject who excises the object andleaves him in the labyrinth, to the object to be excised and left in the labyrinth. Thismetaphor of the labyrinth recurs when You indulges herself in a “pathological” fancy that“a mysterious telephone may ring on the line of love wired extensively in the depth of the76labyrinth” into her “ears” (98). The trip to Kyoto itself is implicitly viewed as a wonderingin the labyrinth; Saeki’s face is once compared to that of “Minotaur” (210), who is semi-human monster in Greek myth, concealed in a maze and offered flesh of virgins every year.Indeed, You decides to “offer” her “own flesh” to him (225).The separation from He has a completely different meaning to You, because He hasbeen her “twin brother” (143) in an intellectual sense, an “accomplice,” and a “co-player.”He is the only person who shares performativity, resistance to identification, flexibility andpassivity with You. Therefore, when he disappears she feels that the most important tie inher life has been cut. She suffers from perpetual nausea, and thinks that “this nausea is thesign of corruption of the path with the placenta of the world, the process of becominginhuman and a lump of despair, and the sense of death” for her (70-71). Now that He“betrayed” (1 50) You, she feels like cutting off every connection with others:You will live as a female vagabond without a resident card oridentification card. In the meantime, people will forget you,and your name will disappear from the register. Then you diefrom the world to which you have belonged. Also, you will cutoff your past, the time like an umbilical cord from the placenta,you will throw away all your memories including He and love,you will begin to live as another you. (107-108)Later in the hotel room in Kyoto, You dreams of “shearing apart relationships with others,the innumerable ties, the final one being that with Saeki” (221)—or of committing suicide.However, she reaches an opposite way of viewing the situation toward the end ofthe novel. She thinks that by “betraying” her and “throwing himself into death,” He“relieved” her “from this situation of being accomplices, from the contract of love.” You77finds herself “relieved of the pressure of his mind which has bound your mind in arelationship like that of sexual intercourse.” She finds herself possessing “freedom morespacious and void than the desert,” the freedom “to love someone,” and “to write a novel”(224-225).This contemplation on the self and its relation to others, the world and the past, leadsus to the final aspect of the novel’s thematic concerns: imagination which functions as asubstitute for active relationship with others either in a sexual sense (masturbation in theplace of intercourse), or verbal sense (novel-writing instead of talking). Before that, let mesummarize the discussion on imagery in Blue lournev. By comparing objects, persons,writings, feelings, thoughts to others, the text demonstrates its own performative existenceas pastiche, rather than essential existence with reference to “reality.” By using metaphorsof flexible objects, and recurringly showing the passivity of the protagonist, the textdemonstrates its own flexibility and passivity which arises from the form of the second-person novel. Further, by calling upon recurrent images of fragmentation, the text representsits own existence as a collage of fragments. Finally, discontinuity in human relationshipssuggests the self is only called into discourse by its relationships with others; it has noessential existence.Thematic Concerns: Imaginative Relations of the Self to OthersWe have now examined both the metaphorical sequences in Blue lourney, and haveinvestigated some of these images in detail, always bearing their relationship to the themeof the anti-novel in mind. In one sense, it does seem peculiar to discuss the theme of ananti-novel, a genre which appears to dedicate itself to the annihilation of the conventional78distinction between form and content, style and theme. It is my conviction that theobsession with form in Blue lourney can be called thematic; Kurahashi’s text is concernedwith the self and other. We might think of the relation of self and other in Blue Journey asbeing spread out on two axes, one of ‘reality,’ and one of ‘nature.’ On both axes are twopossible points: on that of ‘reality,’ there is the possibility of either actual or imaginativerelations, on that of ‘nature,’ there is the possibility of a relationship being either sexual orverbal. Blue lourney plots four possible coordinates that result from a combination of thereal and natural: sexual intercourse as active sexual relationship, masturbation as imaginativesexual relationship, discussion as actual verbal relationship, and writing novels asimaginative verbal relationship. Both masturbation and writing novels are perceived as“substitutes for,” or “defrauding of,” actual relationships, because they are operations ofimagination, not actions in the “actual” world. He interprets the act of masturbation asfollows:“I perform M [masturbation] by rubbing my imagination. Insteadof relating to others, I rub my Aladdin’s lamp in order to relateto others in my dream.” (135-136)Here, the sexual organ is represented as “imagination” and “Aladdin’s lamp” both of whichenable their user to transcend reality. This transcendence or suspension of reality is also thefunction of the novel.The words “substitute,” “defrauding,” or being fake, are not negatively perceived inKurahashi’s work. On the contrary, being fake, and thus performative, is valued positivelyas establishing a rapport with what Kurahashi would call the “anti-world,” while79manifestations of being ‘real,’ ‘serious,’ ‘honest’ deserve contempt, due to their rigiddedication to worldly ideologies, be they moralistic, political or religious. You is disgustedwith “believers” in “a newly established religion” (101) and in a political movement (161).You’s inclination toward performance is accounted for by her becoming feminine.She has been visually raped, and subsequently experienced menarche in the summer whenshe was twelve years old. In her view, she was previously in “harmony with the world”(116). However, when she was told by the boys to strip on the seashore, and her femininebody was abused by them, she became aware of being feminine. You perceived thisincident as “the sentence” the world has given her to make her into a woman (11 6). Thenext day, she had her first period, which she considered a carrying out of the sentence. Shecould not do anything about this fate: the words which describe her condition, such as“collapse,” “incapable of controlling,” “powerless” (121) suggest that she cannot help beingpassive against “rape by the world” (11 6).To overcome the shock of this “castration,” You made up her mind to “sacralize yourexistence which was made feminine.” She succeeded in viewing her vagina, or “theconcave-existence which opens up [her] uncanny inside” in the mirror, and became awarethat “this is feminine.” Then, she concluded:Probably, [to adapt] the principle that to lose is to win wouldbe the sharpest strategy. So you said as a charm, I am awoman, I will become a woman.... In other words, I have toperform the role of a woman, you thought. That’s all right,there is no other way for revenge or revelation.... You smiled.(122)80It is evident here that she has chosen to be performative in order to revenge herself uponthe world and relieve herself from the execution of the sentence. When approached bymany boys later in her life, she visualizes an image of “innumerable male organs plantedall over the wall of the world, growing erect and aiming at” her. She also comes toperceive the “fundamental” “relation between [her] and the world” is that “between themolester and [her] as his object” (125).Her interpretation of male masturbation underscores this relation:Unlike you, man has that convex, substantial pillar offlesh, that magic wand which invokes imagination. In theman’s case, <<M>> [masturbation] inflames his ego into apowerful phallus, and the whole world is formed, with thesaliva of the imagination, into the object to which the stickpoints, as the other, as a woman. The man grasps his ego, andlaunches out on the conquest of the other. He marches. (1 37)This passage recalls the series of male hands which have sexual implications. Itdemonstrates the autonomous existence of the man’s self (“ego” = “phallus”), its ability toproject itself, and its clear relationship with the world as object to be conquered. On theother hand, the woman’s self, that is, vagina, is invisible from the outside (You tried hardto look at it in the mirror), because it is not projected into the world but excavated into herbody. The woman may not even be aware of its existence until the menarche. Even aftershe becomes conscious of her vagina, it merely exists, containing something withoutdemonstrating any active properties.You draws two conclusions. First, she defines men as obscene, intellectually inferior,and subservient to the world. He is the only man who is “capable of performing the81comedy artfully and gracefully, while knowing it is a comedy” (128). By “comedy,” I wouldconjecture, life in general, and more specifically love and sex are implied. Secondly, shechooses not to live in the world, but to “observe” the world, not to live “the real life,” butto live the “created life,” “the life whose content is the loss of life.” “You made a hole byeating up with the greediness of a cockroach the life which was packed around” her (128-129). Images of hollowness and excavation are here analogous to female physiology. Inconsequence, she “began to create a fake life” (129) by writing “a diary” which is a“pastiche,” and “numerous fragments of a novel, poetic practice, and stylistic practice” (1 71).Here, an analogy is drawn between the performativity, or imagination, of being female andthat of being a novelist.In this context, woman seems to be more suited to observing the world instead ofliving in it, living a life of the imagination rather than the ‘real’ life, accumulating others’writings to copy them instead of projecting her self into her own writings. However, Youcan not dedicate herself to the completion of a novel until He leaves; the situation of beingaccomplices with him has kept her from novel-writing, which needs to be carried out insolitude.The liaison between You and He deteriorates in both sexual and verbal senses.Sexually, their love making has stopped, because they are so cooperative with each otherin performing their assigned roles that they cannot be absorbed in the act of lovemaking andinstead end up in “mutual masturbation.” They have had passing affairs with other men orwomen “to maintain the health and balance” of theirs (1 39). However, they have becometired of the sado-masochistic game in which they consciously perform the roles of betrayer82and betrayed; they thus engage in “mutual masturbation” on a larger scale. Verbally, theirwords come to “resemble each other extremely and closely” “like the faces of twins,” theresult of their avoiding competition, or the explosion of “jealousy” which an artist might feelfor another artist (1 73). Instead of conflict, they have chosen harmony. In short, sexual andverbal “intercourses” between You and He are no longer relations between self and other,but, instead, self-reflexive performances.Such self-reflexive confinement inhibited You and He from any commitment to novelwriting, though, in fact, both of them are practising writing fiction. Despite their promiseof complete openness to each other, the act is kept secret. Neither of them has let the otherread her or his diaries, which are imaginative products. When You asks He why he doesnot write novels, he “smile[s] and open[sJ his arms as if to hide the embarrassment of thetaboo being mentioned” (76). I would share You’s conjecture that he has been writing. Ina similar manner, You is embarrassed when He reads her memo “< <Establish mystyle> >“in her notebook, and asks her to show her style soon (224-225). Although theymay wish to, neither of them can commit themselves to establishing this verbal-imaginativerelation to the world, because each of them is tied to her/his second self with whom s/heis verbally homogenous. Only after You is “released from the pressure of his mind” she is“able to begin to write novels” (224).The collapse of the relation with He, or “the twin brother” with whom You has beenhomogenous in sexual and verbal inclinations, thus gives birth to the female novelist.83ConclusionBlue Journey, then, is an anti-novel which nonetheless possesses a definite, althoughunconventional structure. The narrative displays fragmentation—in its collage form andthrough images of breakage and rupture—, flexibility and passivity—in its second-personnarrative, its non-causal structure, and in its protagonist’s indecisiveness—, andperformativity, in its use of non-constitutive metaphors and analogies with performing art.All these features of the narrative are not merely structural but also thematic: they relate toareas such as the perception of the self, and the meaning of writing a novel. The self is nomore a whole, solid, active, and consistent entity, but is rather a collage of others’ images,and is flexible, passive, and performative. So too is the novel, which is opposed to theactual world.I feel that Kurahashi’s use of these structural features to explore notions of the selfis also an exploration of ‘femininity.’ I do not mean by this that the metaphoricalassociation of the text with the female body, with its evacuated centre, is an essentialrepresentation of what it is to be a woman. Rather, I feel that in Blue lourney Kurahashi isperforming woman’s selfhood, writing a consciously-constructed text that, like itsprotagonist, takes on the role of a woman and indulges in performance. Thus much of thecriticism of the novel seems misguided; form and content are in a sense harmonious,because both work to ‘style’ gender; there is no surface which must be penetrated to revealdepth, as male critics would perhaps wish.It is thus not consistent with Kurahashi’s intention to pretend that she sought for an“order” in this text, if she meant by “order” a certain consistent and solid rule, such as84‘beginning-middle-end”; this should be clear from her own idea of the novel, which shesees primarily as an anti-roman. However, the absence of causality, and the constructionof a text as principles of association, seems to me to give the text another “order,’ or theorder of chaos, whether we call the result a novel or an anti-novel.The questions posed here, if not resolved, recur in Kurahashi’s later novels. Thenarratee’s existence in the text, which is metaphysical and marginal here, is strengthenedin the next novel, Divine Maiden. The nature of the relationship between the self andothers are explored in “Virginia.0 Male projection into the ‘real’ world and femaleexcavation of the imaginary world are allegorized in The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q andThe Round Trip to Amanon. Indeed, with Blue lourney, Kurahashi begins a series ofexperiments that will persist in her literary career.85CHAPTER 2: A Narcissistic Narrative: Divine MaidenIf Blue lourney is a novel about preparing for the writing of a novel, Kurahashi’ssecond novel, SeishOio [Divine Maideni (1 965), is one about the two acts of writing andreading a novel. In Blue lourney, the reader is taken into the text as the protagonist You,the narrative is rendered in the present tense, and the text is always being created by thereader-protagonist. Divine Maiden incorporates the writer and reader, as well as the actsof writing and reading, into the novel. The whole text of Divine Maiden, except for thetitle, turns out to be a “novel” written by the narrator-agent “I,” and a great deal of the storyconcerns his attempts to interpret notebooks which Miki, the female protagonist of DivineMaiden, writes, fabricating her life. She gives them to “I,” asking him to help her recoverher lost memory by deciphering them. The text of these notebooks is set into Parts I, II, andIV of this four-part novel. The primary narrator, “I,” the secondary one, Miki, as well as thesubordinate narrators, talk about their acts of writing and about their results. They also, attimes, assume the role of narratees, becoming conscious of their acts of reading, anddiscussing how they interpret given texts.Divine Maiden thus shows four important characteristics. First, in terms of its multilayered narrative structure, we may call Divine Maiden an “embedding narrative,”1 theprimary narrative of which encloses the secondary narrative (and further subordinatenarratives). Second, if we focus on the diversity of voices, Divine Maiden falls into the1”[E]mbedding” is defined in Prince 25. For details, see Tzvetan Todorov, “Narrativemen,” The Poetics of Prose 66-79.86category of “polyphonic (or dialogic) narrative” in Bakhtinian terms.2 Thirdly, in terms ofthe characters’ consciousness of their own acts of reading and writing, Divine Maiden is aself-reflexive—or “narcissistic”—narrative.3 And lastly, Divine Maiden demonstrates B. H.Smith’s definition of narratives not as rigid “structures” but “as the verbal acts of particularnarrators performed in response to—and thus shaped and constrained by—sets of multipleinteracting conditions” which consist of “circumstantial variables” and “psychologicalvariables”4;the narratives consist of characters’ retellings (oral or written), and suggest howdiversified their recountings are, depending upon circumstances under which such acts areperformed, both the narrators’ and narratees’ intentions in participating in the acts,expectations in each other, previous knowledge, and prior experiences.Published in 1965 as a volume in the series called lunbungaku kakioroshi sakuhin[Latest Fiction], Divine Maiden challenges Japanese convention not only in narrative formbut also in the fact that it, like Blue lourney, was not originally published as a serial.5 Thedebate concerning Divine Maiden in Japan, however, has centred not upon its narrative2”[D]ialogic narrative”; Prince 19-20. It is also defined in Julia Kristeva, “Word,Dialogue, and Novel.”3”[SJelf-reflexive narrative”; Prince 85. Linda Hutcheon explores this sub-genre in herNarcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox.4See B. H. Smith “Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories.”5Divine Maiden was not, in fact, completed all at once; Miki’s embedded notebookswere published as a story called “Watashi no kokoro wa papa no mono” [My Heart Belongsto Daddy] in 1964.87characteristics—as the critical responses to Blue Journey have—but rather upon its thematiccontent.Divine Maiden has two thematic concerns, incest and amnesia, the significance ofwhich I will discuss later. The novel describes two incestuous relationships, one betweensiblings—a type of relationship Kurahashi has dealt with in her earlier stories—, and the otherbetween father and daughter, a type that will recur in her later novels. The participants inboth relationships discuss the significance of incest; as a theme, the motif of incest isrepeatedly described and explored. Divine Maiden also explores the amnesia of Miki:Kurahashi has already indicated her interest in amnesia as a subject in an essay, “KiokusOshitsu” [The Loss of Memory] (1 965). Although the two themes may seem very different,both do function to question the notion of self; incest, to Kurahashi, is a form of self-love,love for another in whom one “finds complete homogeneity with oneself,” to borrowKurahashi’s words in her short essay, “Insesuto ni tsuite” [On Incest] (1 966); amnesia is aform of self-erasure, in that the amnesic subject does not relate her or his present self to heror his former self.Inevitably, critical responses have criticized the depiction of incest in Divine Maiden,feeling that it is ‘lacking in sincerity,’ and that a sense of morality is missing from it.Kurahashi herself has replied that such criticism is “a tuneless song” in her “Nichiroku”[Diary] (1 965), and written “On Incest,” responding to moralistic accusation and defendingthe significance of incest in her fiction.My consideration of Divine Maiden will be in three parts. In the first, I will discussboth incest and amnesia in Divine Maiden, explaining the self-reflexivity of incest and the88desire for self-extinction in amnesia. The second section concerns metaphors and simileswhich describe the characters’ personal traits. As the plot summary will show, DivineMaiden does have a narrative that features causality and contiguity, unlike Blue lourney.However, “indices,” or metaphorical associations, operate as widely in the text of DivineMaiden as they do in that of Blue Journey. The personal traits of each major character are,in fact, a collage of reflections of those of other characters; the text thus becomes a networkof associations. I will also examine the nature of metaphors which imply that somecharacters’ “selves” are paradoxical and empty. Not only the primary narrator “I” but alsoothers make such associations, perceiving similarities and contrasts between persons. Eventhe narrator “1” is subject to the operations of others’ associations. Finally, I will discussthe narration of Kurahashi’s novel, which is multi-layered and which features manyinversions between narrator and narratee.6 In this aspect, Divine Maiden reprises the multidiegetic mode found in Kurahashi’s previous novella, “Kekkon” [Marriage] (1965), butmultiplies and complicates the process of embedding which Kurahashi experimented withthere.61t seems to me that the theme of the novel cannot be considered apart from the form.Indeed, they are so interdependent, or even inseparable from each other, that I only wishto use such categorization strategically to unpick the text, and that I do not assume anyhierarchy between the categories.7”Kekkon” is collected in Kurahashi Yumiko zen sakuhin [Complete Works of KurahashiYumikol, vol.5 (Tokyo: ShinchOsha, 1 976) 5-70. This novella is a third person narrative, butthe narrational viewpoint is that of its male protagonist, K. He receives and reads longletters from his girlfriend, L, which recount the process of her getting married to a mancalled S. In other words, L’s narrative is embedded in the primary narrative.89Before discussing these points, I wish to summarize the story in chronological order,for clarity’s sake. The narrative discourse of Divine Maiden is heterogeneous in terms ofboth tense and viewpoint; it is achronistic, with flash-backs; many different perspectivesoften are given upon a single incident. First, I will overview the ‘life story’ of the primarynarrator “I,” prior to the moment at which the narration commences; this life is presentedin a fragmentary and achronistic fashion in the primary narrative. Second, I will summarizethe events that follow from the commencement of the narrative present of Divine Maidenuntil the novel’s conclusion.“l”s life until this moment is narrated either without any implied audience within thenovel, or specifically to Miki or Writer, his female friend, with whom he finds it easy to talkabout his past. References to his life are made continually, and achronistically, in a stream-of-consciousness text.I” is an adopted son of a married couple who run a variety of not-too-respectablebusinesses. He has a sister two years older, whom he calls L. They are from the beginningextremely close to each other, both mentally and physically, and survive World War II,poverty and domestic dissonance together. When “I” is seventeen, he discovers that L hasseen him masturbating, imagining L as his love object. Driven by a sense of shame, “I” hassex with L to which she only half-consents; this incident appears close to rape. After thisincident, L never talks to “I,” and one day, she leaves him and vanishes without a trace.When “I” attends high school, he is considered the most intelligent student since thefoundation of the school, and is also physically well built. He and his classmates, who arecalled by nicknames such as “Eskimo” and “Marquis,” commit occasional burglary,90kidnapping and rape for money and fun. It is after one burglary when “I” has his first, briefencounter with Miki which incites in him an overwhelming desire to understand her. Atthat time, Miki tells him a story that she tried to sleep with her real father, who made hermother pregnant with her and then left to become a ship’s doctor. “I” trusts Miki, and isshocked by Miki’s mentioning the word “incest”, because it is the word he has tried toforget.One of the victims of his rapes reports “I” to the high school, and he is eventuallyforced to withdraw. Writer, who appears in the narrating instance to discuss Miki’s writingwith “I,” is his acquaintance from those days, and is understanding and even at timescooperative with him and his friends. She is a tenant in the apartment which “l”s adoptedmother runs. She has written a novel with an English title, Blue Journey, “a novel whichis a speculation about He and You, written in the second person” (Divine Maiden, 145).8She leaves for Kyoto to visit the relics of her love for her lost lover, “He,” just as You inKurahashi’s Blue lourney does, and suddenly sends “I” a telegram. Informed that she needshim, he visits her to find that she is now sick, and restores her health by making love withher. Waking up in the morning, she leaves for the city K where “He,” “I” conjectures, mayhave died. This is the last time “I” sees Writer before the narrating instance commences.8Herewith, all the page references are based on the paperback edition of SeishOjo(Tokyo: ShinchO bunko, 1981). All the translations are mine. Part I of this novel has beentranslated by Dr. Burtha Lynn Burton, who kindly let me have a copy of her translation aswell as that of her Ph.D. dissertation, “Divine Maiden: Kurahashi Yumiko’s SeishOlo” (U ofTexas at Austin, 1 983). Although I do not use her translation here, primarily because of itsinterpretive nature, I appreciate her cooperation, and also, acknowledge my thanks to Mr.Robert Omar Khan who introduced Dr. Burton to me.91After entering university, “I” commits himself to the political movement called anpo,protesting the military contract between the United States and Japan. He becomes amember of the Japan Communist Party for a short while, and then organizes his own sect,functioning as its theoretical leader. Iwata, who appears in the narrating present, is one ofhis comrades from these days.Losing interest in the movement, “I” then indulges himself in love affairs, and finallyproceeds to graduate school in computer engineering. He is accepted by UCLA, and iswaiting for a student visa to be issued by the Embassy of the United States, when it issuspended because the Embassy suspects that “I” has been previously affiliated with theCommunist Party. He is frustrated, and then he reads a newspaper article on a car accidentwhich killed Miki’s mother and has left Miki in a state of amnesia. “I” visits Miki in thehospital. This is the beginning of their relationship.The summary above consists mostly of “l”s actions, or what Barthes would call unitsof “the proairetic code” (5L. 1 9). The narration of Divine Maiden, however, is notconstituted in this way. “l”s narration is rather a series of attempts to solve the enigmaraised by Miki—units of “the hermeneutic code” in Barthes’ terminology (Ibid. 19).Structured around the suspense arising from the solution of a mystery, Divine Maidenachieves a definite temporal dimension which is almost absent in Blue lourney.9 This willbecome clear in the summary of the novel’s narrational time below.9Barthes maintains that “the hermeneutic and proairetic codes” “impose their termsaccording to an irreversible order” so that the text may “follow a logico-temporal order” (SL30).92Ever since their first encounter, “I” has been thinking of and looking out for Miki,asking himself such questions as “What kind of life has Miki led?” (7) He is given anopportunity to solve this persistent question when Miki gives him her first notebook whichshe has written before the accident, and asks him to “decode” it.1° Though the notebookconcerns Miki, she “cannot make sense of” it, since she is amnesic, It appears to her to be“like a mysterious hieroglyph dug out of a ruin in the desert” (1 1).h1 Thus, “I” is assignedto the role of the reader,though the notebook was not written primarily for him. In fact,Miki can make sense of most of the notebook when she makes this request. As sheconfesses in her third notebook, her real intention lies in making “I” watch over her.The first notebook relates a love affair between Miki and a middle aged dentist calledPapa, whom Miki suspects to be her mother’s ex-boyfriend, and may perhaps be Miki’sbiological father. Although “I” tries to verify the authenticity of the notebook, he knows solittle about Miki’s life before the accident that he cannot tell if the notebook is a fabrication10The circumstances under which the secondary narrative takes place are reminiscentof The Diary of Anaïs Nm (1966-1976) which was primarily written for, and read by, HenryMiller, the female writer’s lover. In fact, Kurahashi compares “I”s tone of speech to that ofHenry Miller’s in her “Notes on My Works” (Vol. 5 255), from which I would conjecturethat the author may even have intended to parody N in’s act of narration for Miller, whichwas known to the public ever prior to the publication of the diary. Moreover, Miki’snotebooks in Divine Maiden, especially the first one, challenge the reader’s expectationsthat they will be a purely autobiographical record of the writer’s past. Similarly Anaïs Nmconsciously fabricates her life in the Diary.11n fact, Miki used to live at Himon’ya (-- ), which, while it is an actual town’sname, also literally means “the valley of hieroglyph.”93or a faithful account of her life.12 However, “I” has a suspicion that the contents of thenotebook do not necessarily reflect reality. Reading Miki’s insufficiently brief reference toher first encounter with him, “I” adds a footnote:Anyway, I am a little disappointed; if Miki had taken more noteof that incident, it would have offered me a clue to judge howfar this notebook is based on fact. (29)Pursuing his investigation, “I” asks Miki when he visits her after she is discharged from thehospital:“Do you think the content of the notebook is factual?”“What does “factual” mean?”“Haven’t you ever thought that it might be a novel?”“What is a novel?”“Falsehood. Fabrication.”“What is falsehood?”“I give up.” (74)“I” expects Miki, the author, to know whether the notebook is a fabrication or a reflectionof the truth. She, however, pretends to be unable to answer the question, implicitly makingan excuse out of amnesia.After reading the first notebook, “I” visits Miki, who has now been discharged fromhospital and is living at her father’s house. “I” has no chance to see Miki’s legal father, and12This paralleling of ‘representation’ and ‘fabrication’ as the functions of notebooks isreminiscent of The Golden Notebook (1962) by Doris Lessing. In The Golden Notebook,a woman writer’s four notebooks assume different purposes; “the Yellow Notebook” isintended as fiction, while “the Blue Notebook” is supposed to be the representation of thewriter’s life, though she meditates upon the distinction between fiction and representation.94is told by her that he is “in a coma and married to being in bed” (69). Trusting Miki’swords, “I” feels her legal father is not Papa. Miki gives “I” another notebook, written aftershe has been discharged, presumably as a means of encouraging her own mentalrehabilitation, but perhaps also assuming “I” as the reader. This assumption is suggested byMiki’s promptness in giving the notebook to ‘9” when he suggests she write anothernotebook. By the time Miki starts writing it—around the same time she hands ‘9” her firstnotebook—she has recovered a fair amount of her memory, yet pretends to be still entirelyamnesic.The content of the second notebook is mainly events that have happened andthoughts that have occurred to Miki after the accident. “I” can thus verify their authenticityto some extent. Factual references seem to be correct, because “1” says, “what a goodmemory you have, Miki” (87), but as the reader is told later, the state of Miki’s mind is, infact, fabricated. Retrospectively, Miki explains her amnesic masquerade as arising from herneed to keep “l”s “desire to understand her” “which is the same as love” for her (21 6).“I” kisses Miki while visiting her house, and the kiss reminds him of L. One day, hetells Miki about his incestuous experience, and discusses the meaning of incest in general.He is surprised to hear from Miki that L is now in charge of a café which Miki owns. Theshocking news gives him a sleepless night and drives him to start writing the primarynarrative. It is here, in Part Ill of the novel, that the reader is clearly informed of the factthat the text is being written by the narrator “I.”“I”s main interest in Miki’s past is whether Papa is Miki’s biological father or not,and, if so, whether Miki knew this when she slept with him. He shows Miki’s first notebook95to Writer, whom he has come across after a year’s absence and who is now married to aman called S. She guesses that Papa in the notebook is Miki’s biological father and theyslept together knowing their biological relationship. Later, “I” is surprised to hear the oldfemale servant of Miki’s house call her father “papa,” because “I” does not expect Miki—notto say the servant—to call her legal father “papa.” “I” has imagined Miki’s legal father to bea vulgar businessman, not at all like Miki, and certainly not deserving to be called “papa,”which implies emotional intimacy in Japanese. However, “I” subsequently meets M, Miki’sfemale friend, and finds that the Papa of Miki’s notebook has many characteristics incommon with Miki’s legal father. “I” then assumes that the Papa of Miki’s notebook is herfather; he is both biologically and legally her parent.Finally, “I” visits Miki at her home after her legal father’s funeral and hears theservant’s monologue: “He was punished for his own bad deeds. He did what beasts dowith his own daughter” (189). Here, the tangled thread is apparently finally unravelled; themystery seems resolved. Miki’s third notebook, sent to “I” by express mail, confirms thisfact:Papa is my father, whose flesh and bones are already burnt toashes. Why did I deceive you [by writing] that Papa was adentist? No, actually I wrote that to deceive myself. That’s allfalsehood, that’s a fiction.It was merely a defective fiction, a charm exclusively for myself.I assure you I did not intend to deceive you by it. You yourselfbelieved that it was true. (209-210)Here, the mystery about Papa is completely solved: he is a fictional character, modelled onMiki’s legal nç biological father with whom she has committed incest. Miki further96discloses that her father predicted at the time of her birth that they would have anincestuous relationship, and wrote it in his diary which she later read, and becameconscious of her destiny. Miki also reveals that her father read her first notebook while shewas seriously injured in the hospital,13 and that she cheated “I” into believing sheremained completely amnesiac because she needed “l”s attention to overcome her crisisof self-dissolution.Until the final resolution of the mystery, “l’ has wanted to ‘understand’ Miki. Inother words, it has been his desire to understand her that has propelled the narrative. Nowthat he understands the mystery about her past, “I” became aware of another desire—hisdesire to own Miki. After reading the final notebook, l’ is finally issued a student visa bythe United States Embassy. He makes a phone call to Miki to discuss whether he shouldgo to the United States or stay in Japan and marry her. Finding that Miki has decided toenter a lunatic asylum, “I” makes up his mind to choose Miki even though this means givingup the chance to go to the States. Miki, pointing out that he has changed from a state ofaction to a state of inaction and self-consciousness, refuses his marriage proposal. With littlehope left, ‘9” decides to visit Miki, only to find that she has been waiting for him. Theyfinally achieve a mental and physical consummation of their “conjugation,” which is alsothe conjunction of two separate story lines involving “I” and Miki, and thus bring about theend of the narrative itself.13The fact that Miki and her father read each other’s notebooks in secret is reminiscentof Tanizaki Jun’ichirO’s Jca1 [The Key]. jy is also similar to Divine Maiden in that narrationby the female narrator and by the male narrator take turns in the novel.97I have made this overview assuming omniscient knowledge of the story. However,the reader actually reads the narrative of “I,” whose knowledge of Miki and of the others israther limited, and who is influenced by mistaken beliefs about the circumstances underwhich Miki has written the notebooks. Miki’s knowledge of “I”s life and thoughts, too, islimited. In other words, there is no omniscient narrator in the text, and in fact, the textconsists of the characters’ interpretations of the psychic states, thoughts and deeds of othersand of themselves. No interpretation within the text can claim to be authentic, just as noreader’s interpretation of the text can be. Or rather, Divine Maiden demonstrates thatnarratives are, by definition, nothing but interpretations, or retellings, made by the narratorand narratee, and are thus contextualized.The four narrational characteristics I mentioned—embedding narrative, polyphonicnarrative, narcissistic narrative and narrative as a verbal act—are now made evident. Themulti-diegetic, dialogic and self-reflexive narrative explicitly mentions many of what B. H.Smith calls “variables” which “shape and constrain” any narrative, such as “cultural” and“social settings,” “the listeners or readers addressed,” “the nature of the narrator’srelationship to them,” “the narrator’s motives for telling the tale,” “the particular interests,desires, expectations, memories, knowledge, and prior experiences that elicited his tellingit on that occasion, to that audience, and that shaped the particular way he told it” (Smith226).98Thematic Concerns:Incest as a Self-Reflexive Act, and Amnesia as a SeIf-Extinctive ActBefore considering the novel’s theme, we must first examine Kurahashi’s views onincest and amnesia. In her essay “On Incest,” Kurahashi assumes that there are three planesto existence: death, society and nature. Human beings exist on the plane of society, butalways with the potential of committing the ‘crime’ of moving to another plane. Eros resultsin the movement from the plane of society to the plane of death. It is therefore consciouslyantisocial in that it moves into an imaginary realm, and is thus a ‘crime.’ Incest, forKurahashi, results in a descent from the plane of society and human morals to an animal-likestate of nature; it is also a ‘crime.’Kurahashi has been accused of not taking incest seriously, but to make this criticismof Divine Maiden is to mistake the novelist’s intentions. Kurahashi is not attempting tojustify incest, or to shock the reader with an amoral theme. In “Sakuhin nOto” [Notes onMy Work], she expresses revulsion for incest in society, and declares that “there can be nojustification” for incest (Vol. 5 254-255). Kurahashi’s novel is not about incest in society,but about a peculiar injunction in which eros rises out of incest through the process offiction; she refers to this process as “seika” ( .ft, ) which I translate as sanctification,although the word in Japanese does not carry any Christian overtones.Fiction, for Kurahashi, is an anti-world in which the moral constructions of societymay be put into play, in which crimes may be sanctified and yet still remain as crimes. Thisconcern is raised in discussions regarding incest by “I,” Writer and Miki. When “I” asks99Writer to interpret Miki’s first notebook, which recounts a seemingly incestuous affairbetween the heroine and Papa, Writer comments:[The process of writing] is, in short, to create a fictional love, animpossible, imaginary love between lovers that may [ultimately]sanctify incest between father and daughter. (1 66)Toward the end of the novel, Miki admits that she has tried to “sanctify” “my impossiblelove for my Papa” through writing the first notebook. “I” is also conscious of his own incestbeing “sanctified” by his retelling the incident:Although my mouth is about to utter shameful and dark things,which look like infected blood, the words that I emit becomeas clear as honey, touched by the summer sun, and form apassionate song of ill-fated adventure (99).Thus the process of sanctification occurs for both Miki and “I” in their re-telling of incest.The narrator “I” presents his “assumptions” regarding incest to Miki. First, he definessexual desire as aspiration for “the other who is one’s second self—that is, no one butoneself—.” Therefore, sexual “conjunctions” of self with other presuppose the condition that“one should be able to find oneself in the other.” Thus, “the closer one is to the other, theeasier one can become involved with the other.” “l”s conclusion is thus that the incest isthe easiest sexual “conjunction,” since it involves an other very close to the self; in otherwords, sex itself is a reflexive activity and incest, the easiest expression of it. On thecontrary, eros is “a form of imagination,” a “spiritual” and “anti-natural energy” which “oneneeds to unite with someone remote from oneself.” Therefore, it is almost impossible “tofall in love with a person related to you.” Only “spiritually exalted families” are allowed100to do that. In “l”s view, he and L are not qualified as a “spiritually exalted family,” whileMiki and her Papa are, and are thus entitled to love each other (13 1-132). “I” considers hiscase to be “too natural,” comparing it with the “conjunction of paramecia,” and reducingit to “the level of animals, or rather of plants, of asexual reproduction” (1 64). To use thephilosophical terms Kurahashi outlines above, “I” describes his case as “the crime” of adescent to the place of nature. In contrast, Miki’s incest with her Papa is “sanctified” by herwriting of the notebook, and thus “anti-natural.” Despite “l”s views regarding L, however,he does say “I love you” (1 35) to her, implying that their relationship is not merely sex butcontains elements of eros, and paralleling Miki’s saying “I love you” to her Papa (15).Although in sharp contrast, “I”s case and Miki’s have features in common. Miki andher Papa, as well as “I” and L, show “tenderness” for each other, after their disastrous initialencounters. Recalling the physical pain which he and L shared the first time they had sex,“I” maintains:“Afterward, I was moved beyond self-control by L’s tenderness..Yes, it was tenderness: the tenderness of a sort which can neveroccur between people who are not blood relatives.” (135)In a similar manner, Miki recollects that the first time she made love with her papait was a failure, and observes in her third notebook:If we were not father and daughter, our love would have beenstill-born. Thanks to our strong existential tie as thefather and daughter, our love achieved a mysterious tenderness.Papa loved what he created, I who was created loved mycreator. This is an elect love, as the love between you and L is.(221)101It becomes evident here that Miki is conscious of the parallel between the incestuouscouples. She may be inspired by “I”s narration of his incest, in that she refers toHtendernessll between the related persons. In both cases the physical unions induce mentallove. Therefore, Miki defines “I”s case, as well as her own, as “elect love,” in the aboveexcerpt from her third notebook.However, the fact that they have not only had an incestuous sexual relationship, butthat they have also fallen in love with their second selves gives Miki, L, and “I” anoverwhelmingly strong sense of dishonour. Miki writes in her third notebook:I feel so ashamed of loving him so much that I almost want tobite off my tongue. To love someone equals a dishonour,especially if you realize that you have loved yourself throughsomeone else; it is a dishonour which almost deserves death.(211)Here, Miki finds incestuous love to be a self-reflexive, dishonourable act. “l”s case isdoubly self-reflexive, in that he first engaged in masturbation with L as the imaginary object,was then seen by L, and finally raped her. In other words, he shifts from one form of selfreflexive act (masturbation) to another (incest).In order to escape from this state of self-reflexivity, the three characters (Miki, L and“I”) attempt to erase themselves. L chooses to mutilate herself and by so doing, tries todistance herself from “I,” who is her second self. She then runs away from him, to eraseherself from him not only verbally, but also physically. “I” succeeds in distancing himselffrom his past by narrating it to Miki and Writer. He does not confess his own actions, butinstead assumes the role of a “troubadour” (99) and recounts his past as if “in the third102person” (158). His consciousness of performance distances himself from his past. In theprimary narrative, he narrates incidents and events in the past, but they “do not seem tobelong to” himself. When the Embassy of the United States defers issuing a student visa to“I,” suspecting he has previously been a member of the Japan Communist Party, “I” tellslwata that “now that we are no one; we can be anyone” (93). This phrase implies that “I”is aware of discontinuity in his self-history, and that he can perform different roles indifferent contexts. “I” also claims to Iwata: “I’m not what I am, but I am what I am not” (93:given in English in the original), parodying lago’s words in Othello. Here, too, “l”s disbeliefin the notion of the self as a constitutive and consistent whole is clearly expressed. He thusescapes self-reflexivity by the exhaustion of the self.I wish, in this section, to focus upon the three ways in which Miki, the centre ofinterest of the hermeneutic code, tries to overcome the self-reflexivity of incest. First, sheplans “to have a relationship with another man” (222) so that she may open the closedcircuit of incestuous love with her Papa, and proposes “I” to marry her. Secondly, shefictionalizes her incest in the first notebook. Third, in response to the catastrophic news thather Papa will die soon, she chooses to lose her memory — in fact, her amnesia is not“organic, caused by the car accident” (213), but psychogenic, chosen by her own will.14By making this choice, she annihilates her former self. When people describe her past, she14According to Kurahashi’s definition (based on psychoanalytic cases) in “The Loss ofMemory,” “organic” amnesia is caused if “the brain itself gets hurt” (255). On the otherhand, “psychogenic” amnesia is desired and chosen by the patient who wishes to “distance[her/himjself from the others,” by “abandoning ‘words’ which connect [her/him]self withothers” and by “erasing [her/his] past which links [her/himjself with the world” (257).103feels as though she were “listening to things in my previous life,” and remarks: “Having lostmy memory means having lost myself” (79). When she tries to recount her past based oninformation provided by others, she sounds as if she were “narrating in the third personabout someone else’s deeds” as “I” puts it (80)— an almost identical expression with thatwhich he uses to describe his own narration of the incident between himself and [15Conscious of the fact that she is not identical with her former “self” prior to theaccident, Miki distinguishes her “self” before from herself after, either by emphasizing theformer self, which she hardly knows, or by referring to her former “self” not as “I” but as“Miki.”“I” grasps the delicate distinction between “Miki” (her former “self”) and “I” (hercurrent selO. When Miki asks him, “What kind of relationship do you have with me, if Imay ask?” “I” answers:“I am your fiancé.”“Do you mean that you are Miki’s fiancé?”“Yes. Miki and I are engaged.” (85-86)It does not take too long for “I” to adopt the distinction in naming. Answering Miki’squestion as to when Miki and “I” became engaged, he says:“Last summer. You—can I say Miki rather than yjj?—Miki suddenly made a long distance call to me and proposedto me. Of course you do not remember, do you?” (86)15n “The Loss of Memory,” Kurahashi introduces a patient with psychogenic amnesiawhom she has interviewed, and who “narrates in the third person” about himself. He writesjust as if he were another person looking at him (262). This case seems to form thefoundation for many aspects of Miki’s character.104“I” senses that Miki will feel uncomfortable if he assumes consistency in her personalhistory, so he chooses to retell a part of her past in the third person, just as she does.“l”s acceptance of the split in Miki’s life makes a sharp contrast with the way thatM, Miki’s female friend, treats Miki’s amnesiac mind. M crudely supposes Miki to be thesame self as before the accident, and says: “Can’t you recollect Ella Fitzgerald? She is ajazz singer who you like” (82). Here, M uses the personal pronoun “you” to refer to Miki’sformer self, and the present tense (“like”) to describe a part of her past. Apparently M doesnot care that Miki cannot relate her former “self” to her current “self.” Moreover, M thinksthat ideally there should not be any discontinuity in the history of Miki’s self-consciousness,and that she has to help Miki fill in the gaps by providing the lost parts of her past.“I” deals with Miki with delicacy in another regard: he does not “talk about himself”unless asked. Miki conjectures that he “restrains himself,” out of care for her, whose “mindis too weakened to become interested in others” (87).16 In contrast, M claims to be Miki’s“only female friend,” (78) which Miki cannot verify. Miki reflects:Who s/he is means what kind of relationship s/he had with 1.However, now that! have disappeared, it is a mere story to meif I hear of the past! and the person shared. (87)We can thus comprehend that not M but “I” succeeds in establishing a “strangely abstract,but sufficiently stable friendship” (8) with Miki; he does not force her to regain his past, herlost self, or her lost relationship with him. Miki appropriately compares this process of16Kurahashi points out in the above-mentioned essay that the amnesic patient “hardlyobserves others” (262).105establishing the new friendship to “something gradually creeping out of a life-size hole inthe wall cut in a man’s shape” (85). Miki can recognize “l”s position in her past only as“a hole”—an absence—, though she does not doubt that he has existed for her former “self.”‘1” knows, too, that he exists for her “only after the accident,” saying that they “perceiveeach other through bodies without history, like two torsos amputated from their lowerbodies” (8-9).According to Miki’s third notebook, she has completely returned to her “original self”by the time she is discharged, “except for the only dark hole, the well of memory whichshould be filled with something terrible: needless to say, [it is filled with] Papa” (215). Onthe day when she is discharged, Miki unexpectedly gets the first notebook back from Papa.She compares “reading it” to “slowly pulling out the gauze that plugs the deep hole in [her]memory” (215). In a similar manner Miki compares her lack of memory to a hole in herthird notebook:My mind remained still dug up, like an archaeologicalexcavation. Holes of different sizes gaped in my memory, andI often told lies just to put lids on them to suit the occasion.(212)Interestingly, “I” often compares his recollections to “a well” (144), a “Laocoon of inflamedmemories” which he can “slowly pull out” (207), or “a hole” which is “filled with snakes”(72). These coincidental expressions imply Miki and “l”s verbal homogeneity, and displaytheir common view of life as not linear, but oddly shaped, full of holes that are empty orfilled up again.106It is significant that Miki recovers all her memory when Papa says to her, “I haveheard that I am going to die soon”:It was then that my self-centred flower of amnesia wasshredded to pieces. I remembered everything, and returned tomy original self. (222)By regaining the very knowledge she wanted to forget, Miki recovers from her amnesia.Her attempt to erase her ‘self’ by falling into amnesia fails.We have seen three efforts by Miki to erase herself, of which amnesia is the mostimportant in terms of the novel’s hermeneutic code. Having failed to remove herself fromthat part of her past which she wants to forget, Miki thinks of making a new choice, a fourthway of overcoming the self-reflexivity of incest. This is to become a lunatic in order againto differentiate herself from her situation. Still pretending to be suffering from amnesia, shetells ‘‘I’’:“It seems to me that my current self remains a fake self,and that I am undergoing fake rehabilitation; I cannot regain myoriginal self until death....Cannot we deliberately go mad?”“Perhaps we can, but then we are fake lunatics. Andauthentic lunatics are worse than fake human beings. [Such anact thus] means that you debase yourself to a level beneaththat of human beings.”“But, it seems to me that the process of regaining my lostmemory is like facing a horrifying face, and thus becoming alunatic out of fear.” (95-96)It is evident that Miki hopes to distance herself from her memory of incest. She reemphasizes this wish toward the very end of her third notebook: “Have you ever thoughtof becoming a lunatic by your own will when you are in a completely lucid state of mind?”107(223) She reasserts this idea when “I” makes a phone call to her near the end of the novel:“I will go to a lunatic asylum” (228). However, Miki does not carry out this plan: instead,she abandons “her body to the marriage” (234) with “I,” as he puts it.To summarize the discussion in this section, the two incestuous affairs in this novelare, unlike incest in the actual world, cases of “elect love,” in which spiritual loveaccompanies physical union. However, to love the other in incest, means to love oneself.This ultimately self-reflexive situation necessitates that those who become involved in suchaffairs distance themselves from their current “selves,” and abandon their second selves,their closed orbits of love, and their past. Methods of distancing include self-mutilation,flight, relationships with outsiders, which may be sexual (conjugation), or verbal (narration),falling into psychogenic amnesia, and fictionalizing one’s past (novel writing).However, among these solutions, conjugation, narration, and novel-writing result ina paradox. These acts presume the existence of another person to marry, to narrate to orto write for—in short, the other with whom to consummate the acts. This other must shareat least some features with the subject, and in participating in marriage, narration or reading,s/he comes to know the subject person better, and becomes approximated to the personwho married her/him, narrated to her/him, and whose novel s/he read. Thus, the attemptsto extinguish the self which result from the self-reflexive act of incest finally only produceanother self-reflexive act. “I” has discontinued his relationship with L. However, he triesto understand Miki, who, like himself, appreciated the discontinuity of life and theperformativity of words. While doing so, “I” changes from a man of activity to a man of108consciousness, just as Miki is a woman of consciousness. Only then is he physically unitedwith her.Characterization, Performance, and Inversion of IdentityIn the previous chapter, I demonstrated the frequent use of metaphors in Blue lourneywhich illuminates characters’ fragmentary, flexible, passive and performative selves, showingthe characters are no more than collages of images. Divine Maiden also resorts tometaphorical presentations of characters, rejecting descriptive representation in a mannerwhich is reminiscent of André Breton’s aversion to description in “Manifeste du Surréalisme”[Manifesto of Surrealism].17 “I” thus wonders: “What meaning can it have to describeMiki’s face, her body and her clothes?” (6). While “I” persistently observes Miki, and others,his perceptions of them are not merely descriptive, but are formed into metaphoricalconstructions which compare and contrast known with the unknown.I divide my discussion in this section into four parts. First, I will examine “perceivedsimilarities” (Brooks 91) between couples such as M and Mother, Writer and Miki, Writerand L, L and Miki, in terms of their personal traits. Secondly, I will analyze suchassociations and contrasts: the existence of the last three pairs of women are centred uponparadoxes and voids, while M and Mother embody constitutive, referential, and rigid17Here I have in mind a specific phrase which follows:And the descriptions! There is nothing to which their vacuity can becompared; they are nothing but so many superimposed images taken fromsome stock catalogue, which the author utilizes more and more whenever hechooses ... (André Breton, “Manifesto of Surrealism” 7)109representations of ‘reality.’ Thirdly, I will point out that these associations and contrasts aremainly made from “l”s perspective, and that similarities between “I” and “He” are perceivedby Writer. Finally, I will discuss how “l”s status as an interpretant or subject who‘consumes’ objects is reversed by Miki and Writer into that of an interpreted and‘consumed’ object.I do not intend to testify as to how authentic “I”s—and others’—perceptions ofcharacters are, but to examine his limited and at times unreliable discourse which displaysthe performative function of words. While being aware of any observer’s limitations, I will‘play with’ the words themselves. In one sense, the only point of view in Divine Maidenis that of “la since he narrates all of the novel. (Even Miki’s notebooks are presented to thereader only through “l”s reading.) However, I feel that I am justified in representing thewords and perceptions of others, which are narrated by “I,” as to some extent autonomousof him. My reasons for doing this will become clear in the course of my discussion.Miki’s mother (herewith, Mother) and M, Miki’s female friend share somecharacteristics, such as ignorance, blind admiration for purity, and the frequent use ofstereotyped expressions which suggest their common view of language as fixed entity.Mother appears only in Miki’s first notebook, and therefore, only as a fictional character,while M’s portrait in the first notebook is confirmed from “l”s viewpoint when he meets herlater in the novel. One of their common features (the same pronunciation of their names)is explicitly mentioned by Miki, while others are visible in her first notebook; furthersimilarities emerge if we compare Miki’s observations with “l”s.110Explicit comparison between Mother and M first occurs when Miki begins tointroduce M. She writes:M’s name is Misao (- ). By an interesting coincidence,my mother’s name has the same pronunciation, though thelatter is written as a Chinese character. (42)Miki does not fabricate their names; the newspaper article on Miki’s car accident quoted by“I” gives her mother’s name as Miyashita Misao, and M’s business card which she hands to“I” later shows her name to be Masuda Misao. This does not seem to be merely “aninteresting coincidence.” To use a rhetorical term, it is a case of “praeteritio,”18 in whichwhat is really significant is presented in such a way that the significance is negated or madeoblique. Miki’s first notebook is not usually redundant, but it returns to the phoneticidentity of the two names in the following dialogue between Miki and Mother:“You know, Miss M said,...”“Why do you call her Miss M? She has her name,Misao.”“Because it has the same pronunciation as your name,Mother.” (58)The claimed homophone suggests a mental affinity between Mother and M. Semantically,“Misao”—especially when represented by the Chinese character above—literally meanschastity. Miki relates in her notebook that Mother does not like to listen to any obscenetopic of conversation, that she suspiciously watches Miki’s behaviour, and that she loves18According to the definition of “Praeteritio” (or its equivalent, “Occupatio”) in RichardA. Lanham, ed., A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms: A Guide for Students of English Literature79, 68-69, it is a rhetorical technique in which “[a] speaker emphasizes something bypointedly seeming to pass over it.”111“the Chinese character (pure) in (virginity)” (31). To quote Miki’s expressions, she hasan “obstinate control system” in her which “must be more powerful than the mechanism ofsexual control any holy woman in the Middle Ages would have had,” and Mother looks “asif she believed in the Immaculate Conception.” Miki indulges in a wild fantasy that shedrives Mother “crazy” and turns her into a “sex-maniac” by breaking to her the news thatshe has slept with Papa (18).Instead of telling Mother about the first night with Papa, Miki discloses it to M. Mlistens to Miki like a “generous nurse and nun” (35). The metaphor is reminiscent of the“holy woman in the Middle Ages” to whom Mother is compared. M’s final response is tosay: “You are disgusting!” and “How can you smile after sleeping with a man?” (38). Motherwould have presumably responded in the same way. In other words, M functions as asubstitute for Mother.Miki aptly calls M “Miss Virtue” (45), saying “the word ‘innocence’ is almost madefor M” (53), who looks “like a girl depicted by Renoir” (43). Miki feels an irresistibletemptation to “enslave this wonderful Miss Virtue and corrupt her completely” (45), just asMiki dreams of scandalizing Mother and arousing her sexual impulses. Again, M andMother are doubles.A further characteristic shared by Mother and M is their ignorance of English words.When Mother asks Miki what she has written to her father from TOhoku where they havemade a trip, Miki answers in English:“I belong to my daddy.” [given in English in original]Mother stiffened her face, wearing a shell of indifference,merely because of the discomfort caused by my using Englishwords which she could not understand! (60)112Miki’s sentence is, in fact, the modified title of a jazz song, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”She mentions the title again when she confesses to M about the affair with Papa. At thistime, due to the noisy environment, and the possibility of the conversation being consideredembarrassing in its subject matter, Miki and M communicate by writing each other notes:I belong to daddy. [given in English in the original]There was a song of this title, don’t you know? (37)The scene not only shows M’s unfamiliarity with jazz, but also implies her ignorance ofEnglish, and thus her resemblance to Mother. The latter point is underscored by “I”sdialogue with M which follows. Remembering that Miki describes her lesbian relationshipwith M, “I” asks:“Did you and Miki have a lesbian relationship?”“I cannot answer such a question.” M stiffened her face;she apparently did not understand what the phrase “lesbianrelationship” meant. (1 74)M makes the same response of stiffening her face as Mother does in the preceding citation.If we compare the two observations made separately by Miki and “I,” their similarity isevident.Let us now turn to stereotyped expressions both Mother and M like to use. WhenMiki and Mother make a trip to TOhoku, they happen to meet a middle-aged man:“Such a nice gentleman,” said Mother in the bus, “andhe is very handsome, too.”Oh, Mother always describes others in such stereotypes.(60)113In a similar manner, “I” is irritated with M’s “amazingly scanty” “expressive capacity” whenhe tries to get her to disclose her secret knowledge about Papa:She [Ml hardly used words which would intoxicate myimagination, merely listing in an unenthusiastic way abstract, orrather, little inadequate words and stereotypes, catchphrasesand so on, such as “playboy type”. According to her summary,the incident which happened to Miki and Papa is categorizedby a tiresome label such as “a love affair of a sly girl and amiddle-aged playboy”.... (178-179)The above quotations not only imply Mother’s and M’s poor vocabulary, but also theirviews upon language. Stereotypes are acceptable when one assumes a stablecorrespondence between a word (the signifier) and an object (the signified): if an object canbe represented in one way, it is sufficient, and further search for expression, which would“intoxicate [the] imagination,” is unnecessary.Miki and “I” are critical of Mother and M because the latter two characters do notsee that synonyms can stand for different objects. When Miki asks Mother:“Please tell me about Papa.”“What about your father?”Mother did not even wonder why I said Papa, though Ialways call my [legal] father Father, instead of Papa. (61)In Mother’s view Papa equals Father, because “papa” and “father” are synonyms indictionaries. M shows insensitivity of the same sort when asked by “I” about Papa:“Miki likes middle-aged men of that type—of the type likeMiki’s papa.”“When you say ‘papa’ do you mean Miki’s father?”“Yes, Miki’s papa was a charming guy....”114(...)“...He [Miki’s papal was good at playing golf, but heliked yachting more, and was a regular participant at a yachtingclub.”“It’s Papa exactly!” I cried, but M not understanding me,raised her eyebrows foolishly.“What do you mean?”“I mean, Miki’s father is like the man Miki slept with.”“You might be right, though I haven’t met Miki’s man.”“Why would Miki call the man Papa?”“Because he was about the same age as her papa andhad some qualities in common, I would guess.” (179-180)M cannot distinguish Papa as a fictional character’s name from the commonly used noun“papa.” Therefore, she does not share “l”s surprise to know that perhaps Papa is identicalwith Miki’s papa. “l”s negative observation regarding M—”foolishly”—reveals his criticalattitude toward her insensitivity in the use of words.Such a rigid view of words which is shared by M and Mother opposes the flexibleand performative use of words which “I,” Miki, and Writer utilize. The words “I,” Miki, andWriter employ to narrate the parts of their past about which they are most sensitive ascompared to flexible and elusive things. When “I” recounts his crimes of burglary andincest to Miki in the person of a “troubadour,” he comments that:Although I am about to tell a shameful darkness like infectedblood, the words I have uttered are touched by the summersunshine, become as transparent as honey, and turn out to bea passionate song of ill-fated adventures. (99)Along with the discrepancy in nature between content (“l”s deeds) and form (words), theelusiveness of form in terms of its colour and texture is implied in the simile regardinghoney.115Another metaphor of elusiveness is that of the heat haze. Miki meditates upon herwords in her first notebook:The words which I had secreted had the nature of charms tomelt reality and confine me within a heat haze fluctuating onthe border between the real and the unreal. (217)Here, the heat haze functions as a metaphor of the surreal nature of words, which are alsocomparable to charms. This metaphor also occurs in another context, when Writer tells “I”of He, her lost lover:“He fled, one day, abruptIy, said Writer. I was told thisso many times and her intonation when she said this phrasewas almost like a phrase of Pierrot Lunaire [composed] bySchonberg. And the colour of her pupils when she smiled wasas light as the heat haze so that I could hardly bare to look atthem. (146)Her pupils, which the reader expects to be brown, escape being fixed in reality byappearing as light as the heat haze, and display performativity. “I” recurrently describes theexpression on her face when telling him about He, and on another occasion, remarks thatthe colour of her eyes appeared to be “as light as the day dream” (147). This, too, givessurrealistic and performative impression.Another metaphor which occurs here compares the tone of Writer’s voice to music,which is the most performative of the arts, since it has little referential quality to bedeciphered. Musical sound does not convey any constitutive meaning; it is rather flexibleand elusive. In the novel, verbal expressions are compared to music, and thus their116performativity rather than their content is emphasized. Musical metaphor is recurrently usedin Divine Maiden; thus, when Miki refers to her Papa, “I” observes:“But Papa exists,” Miki said, in a singing tone, lookingup at the sky. Instead of being transmitted to me to convey adefinite meaning, her words floated in the air, becomingsomething semi-transparent like a jellyfish. (96)Here, a metaphor of music, as well as the elusive object (a jellyfish), is employed tosymbolize the flexible and performative nature of Miki’s words.Having compared common personal traits between M and Mother, and contrastedtheir view on words to those of “I,” Miki and Writer, I will discuss two characteristics sharedby Writer, L and Miki: paradox and emptiness. Before entering into the discussion, I notethe fact that some similarities between them are observed and delineated by “I” and that theothers remain implicit in the text. “I” calls Writer his “fake elder sister” (157), contrastingher with his real elder sister L: “I” finds his first kiss with Miki identical with a previous kisswith L: and ‘1” notices the similarity between Writer’s and Miki’s ways of smiling, andbetween the occasions when he had sexual intercourse with them. In these cases, “I”explicates the resemblances. The other resemblances do not explicitly manifest themselvesas similarities, and they can be associated with each other solely by the reader’s competenceto “constitute a braid” (SL 1 60), to use Barthes terminology. However, again, the textconsists mainly of “l’s words. In other words, “I” is still in the privileged position of theobserving subject, though he may not always be able to arrange fragments of his perceptionshimself.117The images of the three women whom “I” perceives contain paradoxes and voids.Writer and Miki are paradoxical in that they talk in “a bright voice” (66, 155) when they arein despair—when Miki realizes her incestuous relationship with Papa has deteriorated, andwhen Writer leaves Kyoto to see He who, “I” presumes, is dead. Miki and L appear to beparadoxical in the metaphors employed to describe them: L is compared to “the sun (...) inthe dark” (1 90), “the black sun,” “the midnight sun” (204), and her eyes to “the eclipse” (98).The metaphors suggest that they exist only as absences, which parallels “I”s definition ofHe: “I” knows of “He’s existence, or rather, his absence” (145), because “I” never receivessufficient information regarding who He is. In a similar manner, the existence of the sunin the dark, the midnight sun, or the sun in eclipse, is only perceived as an absence.The motif of emptiness is not irrelevant to that of paradox. The sun image is alsoassociated with L’s vagina, or “the grotesque sexual mouth” (190) in “l”s illusion, andalludes to her internal void. The existence of a void inside Writer’s body is implied when“I” imagines that “her meaninglessly bright voice” in despair, one of paradoxical personaltraits of her, “may have been void which oozed out of her vagina” (1 55). The internal voidis emphasized here in reference to female physiology, which is associated with passivity,flexibility and performativity in Blue Journey. Writer tells “I” an absurd story that she ishorrified by the holes which may draw her into “néant,” or nothingness, and that she hastried to “put a lid on every hole” including “the one which has gaped in [her] body” since[He] left (146). Instead of openly confessing her current sexual inactivity, Writer implies thenothingness inside her.118While Writer is conscious of her own internal emptiness, “I” is aware of the hollowspace inside Miki’s body. “I” imagines “a mercilessly excavated darkness” (6) beneath Miki’sclothes on his first encounter with her. At that time, “I” indulges himself in the fantasy thathe is sailing on “the sea which spreads itself inside Miki” (122).The physical internal void is paralleled by mental emptiness. “I” considers Writerand Miki to be in the same category in terms of their “blank minds” (159), whose passivityenables him to narrate his past. The hollow inside Writer’s mind is He’s absence, whichis compared by “I” to “a fish-shaped nothingness” into which “I” tries to delve with “a handof curiosity which is like the hand of an obstetrician who investigates the gaping mouth ofthe womb” (145-146). The physical hollow functions here as a metaphor for the mentalhollow. In Miki’s case, the blankness of her mind is emphasized by the reference shemakes to her lack of memory: “I” is attracted by her words when Miki says he can “comeinto me, for it is empty inside me anyway” (68).The female characters hide their physical emptiness in almost identical clothes: Mikiwears “a white knit coat” with “a stole of the same yarn” on her first encounter with “I” (6),while Writer “enclos[es] her slim body in a white Astrakhan coat,” tying up “a muffler of thesame material as the coat” (1 55) when she is leaving Kyoto.On the other hand, both female characters hide their mental vacuums behind smiles,which, “I” mentions, are similar to each other. “I” realizes Miki’s smile is a meaningless,“abstract” and “insecure” one “which has bloomed out of amnesia,” even though he wouldlike to interpret it as a sign of utmost intimacy, like that “between siblings” or “betweenperfect accomplices” (67). Towards the end of the novel, Miki says: “I smile whenever I do119not know how to respond” (228). Writer performatively shows “several ways of smiling”to “I” and says: “I could try for five more types of smiling if I had a mirror” (144). In short,Miki and Writer do not smile because they are delighted or amused, but through a lack ofinternal impulse. On other occasions, Writer and Miki smile when they think of He andPapa. “I” observes that Writer’s smile is “mystifying,” while her eyes appear to be like “aday dream” (147) when she mentions He. “I” associates Miki’s smile when she mentionsPapa, with “a smile one would show when one is biting into ones inside” (123). I wouldsuggest that their smiles are not projected into the actual world for the purpose of, say,attracting others’ attention, or showing subservience to the world, but signify theirexcavation of hollowness into themselves, their imaginary world.Next, I will examine how “I” deals with the voids in Writer’s and Miki’s minds andbodies. Although “I” is interested in their mental voids, he restrains himself from being tooinquisitive. However, “I” has the opportunity to enter both Writer’s and Miki’s physicalvoids in sexual intercourse, and he notices that the two acts of lovemaking are almostidentical: the night with Miki is “an almost exact reproduction of the night [“I”] has spentwith Writer” (233). Since he does not describe in detail sexual intercourse with Miki, saying“citing the part I have written will be sufficient” (233), I will examine solely his presentationof this night with Writer. “I” compares her to “a slim plant,” “a light coloured orchid”whose “fragile stalk is broken” by “an ominous phonecall” which has conveyed bad newsabout He. “I” tries to “become another plant with a tender cortex,” and makes his “legs andarms as soft as a poplar bent by the wind,” and then enters her:120There was no danger. I stopped raging like an animal, and, asanother plant which has been grafted onto her, felt the timewhich overflowed and circulated calmly between me and her.I enlarged her at the same pace as it takes to acquire anotherannual ring, and simultaneously and in the same rhythm, wastightened undulatingly. It was a rhythm beyond the ability ofanimals to sense, a botanical rhythm, with an extremely longperiod. (152-153)This phrase conveys the passivity, serenity, composure which are usually ascribed to plants.My discussion is now moving to the next topic, that of the multi-layered inversionswhich take place in the perceiving subject, “I.” First, his way of being is inverted. In theprevious citation, it is evident that “I” is deliberately changing his state of existence from thatof an animal to that of a plant. When he is with women he considers sexual objects, “I”uses many metaphors of animals to describe his phallus: “violent crab’s craw” (1 96), “asdisgraceful as a fox which disturbs a poultry farm” (203), “a broken horn of a fighting bull”(204) and the like. In contrast, he wishes and tries to metamorphose himself into a plantwhen he is with Writer or Miki. Inserting his phallus, which “I” aptly and recurrently callshis “ego,” into a female body becomes no longer a conquest or self-projection, but a passiveunion like being “graft[ed]” (153), or the “medical treatment” (154, 233) a doctor (“I”)performs for a patient (Writer or Miki), not self-oriented but other-oriented.This transformation occurs as “I” begins to appropriate female passivity. Even beyondhis own consciousness, his state of existence is being associated with that of the femalemodels in terms of emptiness. In Part II, “I” is surprised that Miki’s room is “clear of anysurprising object” (76); later, he mentions the “scarcity” of furniture which gives his rooman impression like that of “a model of a skeleton” (209) in Part IV. Though “I” makes no121association between the two rooms, their similar appearances suggest a parallel between “I”and Miki.Thus, a new inversion takes place in terms of the subject who is now subject toobservation. In the above-examined two cases, “I” either implicitly or explicitly perceivesthe transformation. Although “I” is conscious of this transformation, he is “embarrassed”when Miki points out to him that his way of being has changed from that of “a wolf inhunger” to that of “a dandelion clock” (231). This is because he unexpectedly discovers inMiki another perceiving subject who observes him while “I” has thought he has beenobserving her. Miki’s third notebook reveals that she has pretended to be “a poor patient”in amnesia “to keep him as a doctor” (211), while “I” has thought he has voluntarilyassumed the task of a doctor to “nurse” Miki (66), or that of “a psychiatrist” (77). What hasappeared to be “I”s free choice is in fact under the control of Miki’s will.Another perceiving subject who is observing “I” is Writer. In fact, if we connectWriter’s, Miki’s and “l”s observations, “I” is compared with He, Writer’s lover, just as “I”compares Writer to L and Miki. First, both “I” and He are represented as K: When “I” refersto He, “I” simply writes “K” in a bracket after “He” with no explanation (147). Miki refersto “I” as “K” or “Mr K” in her first and second notebooks, and “I” adds a footnote: “Note:this [K] indicates me” (78). This is not “l”s real name, however, to judge from the fact thatM calls him “Mr **“ (171), ** being a common sign of omission in this text. Therefore, Khas another function than that of signifying his name—I would conjecture K suggests thehomogeneity of “I” and He. In a further example, Writer writes “I” a letter from Kyoto, inwhich she recounts an absurd incident in which “a male deer as beautiful and masculine122as [I] butted [her] tailbone with the shortened horns on its head” (148). This episode isgiven meaning only if we associate it with an incident, narrated from “I”s perspective,which may be either imaginary or real. In this incident, ‘1” watches Writer and a doctor,and sees the doctor kiss “the deepest hollow of her naked back” (150). After the incident,Writer tells 9” that the doctor is, in fact, He. In both the above examples, “I” is associatedwith He, which makes “I” part of the associative paradigm he has already established.Furthermore, Miki observes that “I” is trying to enclose himself inside her. Herspeculation is similar to “l”s speculation about He, Writer’s lover who has disappeared:“Perhaps her [Writer’s] He has vanished into her” (147). In other words, the relationshipbetween Writer and He offers a m!se-en-abyme of that between Miki and “I.” Writer, infact, makes a parallel between He and “I”. Why, then, do He and “I” decide to escape intowomen? Miki realizes that “I” has ceased to try to conquer the world after all his attemptsto “consume the world” “like a leech” (231). We may recall here the contrast made in Bluelourney between the male projection into the ‘real’ world analogous to the male sexualorgan, and the female excavation into the imaginary world.Another inversion also suggests “l”s surrendering his role as a conqueror, or aconsumer, of the world. In Kurahashi’s novella, “Vâzinia” [Virginia] (1 968) “perceiving iseating” (9). In a similar manner, in Divine Maiden “I” compares the act of perceiving to thatof eating. Since he assumes the role of the perceiving subject, it is primarily he who ‘eats.’Thus, “I” wishes “to become an eye, or a big fish, and [thus] devour Miki” (98). Thissynaesthetic expression, in which the organ the primary function of which is to observe (aneye) also purports to eat, synthesizes the two acts of perceiving and eating.123As we have seen, Miki has been observing “I” in the novel. “I” realizes toward theend of the novel that he is destined to be eaten by her. When he is going to read Miki’sthird notebook which has already been sent to him by express mail, “I” is “attracted to agolden spider which is waiting for me, displaying its jaws of death, like an insect caught inthe spider’s web” (209). “l”s position is inverted from that of the subject who eats to thatof the object who is eaten. Indeed, “I” employs a similar metaphor when he enters Writer’sbody: he compares her female organ to “the snare of an insectivorous plant filled withseductive juices” (153). These two metaphors are similar in that in both “I” is conscious ofhis being an object to be eaten by women.The relationship between Writer and “I” offers another parallel to that between Mikiand “I.” When Writer smiles “with her mouth shut,” “I” feels as if his “soles of feet” havebeen “licked by a hyena or the like” (101). “I” thus compares himself to an object to beeaten by a hyena—or Writer—, to carrion. The connotation also applies to Miki’s metaphorfor “la’s eyes: “his eyes are as transparent as those of a dying animal” (85). While makingthis observation, Miki is smiling, just as Writer is when “I” compares her to a hyena.Though Miki does not compare herself to a hyena, the text makes the association implicitly.“I” is caught, and eaten by Writer and Miki. “I” writes that he “has melted into nothinginside Miki” at the end of the novel: he is consumed, and digested by Miki.The discussion in this section began by examining contrasting or parallel images ofcharacters who are perceived largely from “l”s perspective. We then saw that inpersistently perceiving, “I” consciously approximates himself to Writer and Miki, who heevaluates positively in contrast to M and Mother. Even though “I” is not fully aware of the124process, it is clear from his own words, and those of Writer and Miki, that images ofWriter’s and Miki’s are duplicated and projected back on to him. “I” is transformed fromthe perceiving subject to the perceived object, while the primary objects (Writer and Miki)display the subjectivity in turn. Such an explicit and implicit process of appropriation resultsin the complete physical and metaphysical union of “I” and Miki, and “l”s extinction.Using the terms I employed in the previous section, then, the achievement of self-reflexivityproduces self-extinction. Thus, by studying metaphors regarding paradox and emptiness,we have reached the paradox and emptiness of the act of perceiving, and of the roles of theperceiver and perceived dramatised in the novel.Paradox: In/Around the Novel on the NovelThe progress towards self-reflexivity and self-extinction which I analyzed in discussingtheme and characterization is also found in metafictional references to the vocabulary of thenovel, the novel itself, the act of writing, and the roles of the writer and the reader.As I previously mentioned, “I” declares that he will “use words to erase” the object“from the reader’s eyes” (6). In a similar manner, Writer discusses “the paradoxical relationwhich the novel has with reality” and maintains that one does not necessarily write a novel“to convey something” but instead writes one “to hide something” (1 62). Here,conventional perceptions of words as tools to indicate actual objects, and of the novel asa verbal expression of the author’s intention, are challenged and refuted.Moreover, “I” perceives the act of writing not as his self-projection but as his ownself-annihilation. This becomes clear if we bridge two metaphors “I” employs for the act ofwriting: that of being chased by Thanatos, a deity of death, and that of feeding the novel125with the time in which the writer lives. Paralleling the race he has run competing with Mikiand his process of writing, “I” narrates his fear of being caught by Thanatos. “I” feelsThanatos “watching everything over [his] shoulder while [“I” is] writing,” always chasing “I,”always “right behind” him, but never quite catching up. “I” tells himself:I must not look back. I will write on breathlessly. I ran out ofbreath on that night, too. I did not doubt that either of us [Mikior “I”], who would be hindmost by half a stride would win thelottery of Thanatos, and be dragged into the mouth gaping inthe night by the silver fork-like hand. (187-188)It is significant in this context that Miki feels “Thanatos’ breath” on her ears, “look[s] back”toward the very end of her final notebook, and admits that she “has no power to carry onwriting about the time” between Papa’s telling her that he would die and his actual death(222). Miki is caught by Thanatos, and thus forced to cease writing.On another occasion, “I” compares the novel he is writing to “a dinosaur” andwonders:There may probably be no other way of bringing up themonster by the name of the novel than feeding it with time. Inshort, I must feed this monster with the time in which I live,and eventually transform myself into a novel. Now that I havemade up my mind to do so, all that remains for me to do is tocontinue writing as fast as possible. (1 39)The impulse for speed recurs here, and brings about a paradox. The faster “I” writes, themore of the time in which “I” lives the novel (a dinosaur) consumes, and the sooner it willcatch up with the narrating instance. The novel, or dinosaur, will then devour him.However, if “I” does not write fast enough, Thanatos will devour him. “I” is therefore126running towards death while also running away from death.19 Examining the roles of thewriter and reader in the metadiegetic mode of Divine Maiden will lead us to anotherparadox. Kurahashi’s previous Novella, “Marriage,” will provide a simpler model.“Marriage” plays with the notions of the writer and the written, the reader and the read, Itis a third person narrative, but is surveyed by the male protagonist K, who reads letters fromthe female protagonist (a parody of Kurahashi, to judge from the many coincidencesbetween her and L’s life). Therefore, Kurahashi’s double writes letters which are read bya male viewer who is himself Kurahashi’s literary product. In short, the subject (K) whosurveys the object (L) from the outside proves to be merely an object controlled by asubject, Kurahashi, who is apparently the object of the narration. Divine Maiden uses asimilar structure, but extends it by splitting the female protagonist in “Marriage” into threeindividual figures: Miki, L, and Writer.We may recall that “I” was seen by L when he engaged in masturbation with her ashis imaginary sexual object. This episode is significant in that the primary viewer (“I”) isactually viewed by the primary object of his viewing (L).Miki confesses in her third notebook that she happened to find an old diary of herPapa’s, and read his prediction made on the day of her birth that she would love him as alover. This fortune-telling makes her conscious of the possibility of incest. Zn a similarmanner, we are told that her papa stole Miki’s first notebook while she was in the hospital,19Blue Journey provides a paradox regarding death, which works in an opposite manner:“While You tell yourself to leave for death, You depart, in fact, in order to run away fromdeath” (88). The paradox is further repeated as follows: “Pretending to chase death, youhave actually been running away from death” (Ibid. 221).127read the story of their incest, and returned it to her. Thus, father and daughter take turnsplaying the roles of subject and object of reading, as the married couple of Tanizaki’s jydo. The self-reflexivity is not only found in their incestuous relationship in which “Papaloved that person whom he created, and the created [Miki] loved that person who created[her]” (221), but also in their reading and writing of each other.Writer’s lover He presumably does steal and read her novel about himself. Writer’snovel on He, Blue lourney, is stolen by someone, and He, who has already fled, is thealleged thief. In Kurahashi’s Blue lourney, You decides to search He’s apartment to find themanuscripts of the novel he is to write. The roles of the writer and reader are thus invertedbetween the two novels. Further, in Divine Maiden, He’s reading of Writer’s Blue lourneyoffers a mise-en-abyme for “l”s reading Miki’s notebooks: the novel, Blue Journey whichWriter has written is, in fact, written in “three notebooks” (145).Another inversion of subject and object made by Writer involves a manuscript which“I” has found in the hotel in Kyoto when he has been called by her. The manuscriptconcerns “he” and “she” (who is “writing a novel”), and stops at the moment previous towhich “he,” who visits “she,” “has spent several hours” with “she” in a hotel (151).Naturally, “I” wonders if “he” alludes to “I.” “I” thus reads what Writer has been writing asbeing about “I” and herself, since she is writing a novel. The acts of writing and readingoccur simultaneously, and both the reader (“I”) and writer (Writer) of the novel are foundin the novel as fictional re-presentations.Another aspect of Writer’s inversion is even more radical; she seems to be a doubleof Kurahashi. She shares the initials Y.K. with the author, and moreover, “I” reports that she128has written a novel called in English Blue lourney, a novel “as a speculation about He andYou, written in the second person” (145), and thus alludes to Kurahashi’s first novel.Further, she tells “I” that her new anthology of short stories concerns her marriage with Sinstead of K; this seems to parallel the plot of “Marriage” by Kurahashi. Making manyparallels with Kurahashi, Writer transcends the subordinate position of a character viewedand narrated by “I,” and implicitly dominates “I.”Divine Maiden thus embodies a paradox centred upon the issues of infiniteembedding and circularity, comparable to The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet whom Writermentions, in which the detective turns out to be the murderer he has chased, and toDrawing Hands etched by M. C. Escher, in which the hand which is drawing a hand witha pencil is simultaneously being drawn by the other hand. In such works, the relationshipbetween subject and object is infinitely proposed and then reversed.20The question I would like to pose here is whether Miki does not read the text of “I,”just as “I” reads Miki’s text. “1” listens to Miki, and Miki listens to him. Does not Miki read“l”s writing, while “I” reads Miki’s writing? Do not all reversible writer/reader couples—Papa and Miki, Writer and He, Writer and “l”—offer mise-en-abymes? If not, then, how is“l”s writing presented here? “I” does not display any sense of his intended audience, andit could be said that it is Miki’s reading act that has formed the text, If so, is not the readerin the same position as Miki?20Susan Stewart’s Nonsense: Aspects of lntertextualitv in Folklore and Literature,especially its fifth chapter, “Play with Infinity,” explicates the paradox seen in anti-romans.Also, Wendy Steiner, The Colours of Rhetoric has a section on “Pictorial Nonsense” whichsuggested to me the comparison of Divine Maiden to M. C. Escher’s drawing.129Whether we assume Miki’s unmentioned reading or not, it is our reading of 9”’swriting of his reading of Miki’s writing and of Writer’s writing and of his own writing whicheventually gives us the visible form of the narcissistic narrative of Divine Maiden.130CHAPTER 3: Demonstration of Disorder, Consciousness of Chaos:The Adventures of Sumivakist QKurahashi completed and published Sumivakisuto KvO no bOken [The Adventures ofSumiyakist Qi in April, 1969, after working on it for three years. The novel foregroundsdiscussions on views of the world and language to a greater extent than Blue lourney andDivine Maiden. It is primarily a novel about epistemology, and its abstract nature has beenthe focus of both favourable and unfavourable comment in Japan. Denis Keene, thetranslator of the novel (The Adventures of Sumivakist Q is the only one of Kurahashi’s novelthat has been translated into English to date) points out in his “Translator’s Introduction” thatthe novel possesses another quality which is rarely found in Japanese literature: “flAdventures of Sumivakist Q is...genuine satire, perhaps the finest example of the genre Japanhas yet produced,” particularlygiven thatJapan has produced, Keene maintains, “little satire”(The Adventures of Sumivakist Q xii).First, preparatory to an analysis, I wish to summarize the novel’s plot. Q, a memberof the Sumiyakist Party, arrives at H reformatory to take up the position of instructor, butwith the secret agenda of causing revolution. His actual relation to the Sumiyakist Party is,however, never made clear in the narrative. Q tries first to understand the power structureof H reformatory’s society so that he can organize the oppressed as a revolutionary force tooverthrow the people currently in power. He tries to achieve this by applying thesupposedly universal theory of Sumiyakism which presupposes class hierarchy, a causal,131progressive scheme of human history, and the deterministic predominance of the economicbase over the cultural superstructure.However, Q fails to understand, define, and categorize the inhabitants of Hreformatory, since there is no identifiable social system to be comprehended—no setschedules to be kept, no duties to be carried out, no reason for doing or not doing anaction, no authority to be respected, no class conflict. In short, it is a world void ofnecessity, causality and meaning. Q participates in a number of bizarre and seeminglyunrelated events: Q observes the rector of the reformatory have his whole body shaved,participates in a game whose winner is supposed to sleep with the rector’s wife, views a riteof “chastisement” or “penitence” carried out by a pupil, watches a dog race, has his anuspierced by Doktor’s penis (similar sorts of “operations,” such as castration, facial plasticsurgery, and the partial destruction of the brain, are obligatory for each instructor regardlessof his or her physical condition), and does the rounds surveying pupils, an activity whichis optional for instructors. Everything seems completely meaningless to Q, and thussymptomatic of “the corruption and depravity of the ruling classes” (1 33:107)1The people at the reformatory do not necessarily oppose Q’s world view, but theyregard specific situations from entirely different perspectives. Their epistemological stancesare beyond Q’s teleological understanding of the human world. Thus, the theologian F’s1All the quotations in this chapter are based on Denis Keene, trans. The Adventures ofSumivakist Q (Queensland, Australia: U of Queensland P, 1 979). Due to the free natureof the translation, however, I have changed words, phrases, and sentences when applicableand indicated the altered/added parts by bracketing. The page numbers preceding thecolons in the parentheses refer to the original Japanese text, while those after the colonsrefer to Keene’s translation.132fanatically religious perspective offers another monologic historic paradigm, implicitlycompeting with, but also mirroring the rigidity and exclusiveness of, Sumiyakism.Sumiyakism turns out not to be the one and only truth. The overseer, a rigorous rationalistwho has originally been sent to the reformatory by the Government, questions the absolutevalue of historicism and monologism from his phenomenological viewpoint, and thusobjectifies Sumiyakism. Sumiyakism turns out not to be the “truth” but rather “onehypothesis among others” (91 :69).Another of the characters is Bukka. He is a language instructor who writes novelsand is thus called “the literary man” by Q; he denies the status of the author, the necessityof any logical or temporal structure within writing, and also the value of the deterministicdescription which purports to represent reality in the traditional novel. He thus destabilizesany epistemology founded upon concepts such as ultimate truth, necessity, and nature. Qdoes not understand any of Bukka’s treatises on literature; he is, however, disgusted byBukka’s drive for self-destruction shown by his continually submitting to plastic surgery. Therector, who defines himself not as the centre of power but as a passive man who takesenormous interest in perceiving others, denies the existences of any external obligation,necessity, hierarchy, or authority. Instead, he perceives the world as an interdependentnetwork, just as Bukka re-presents it as “a forest where all the trees are linked to each otherby their branches” (1 70:138). Both Bukka and the rector are ontologists; they are antimonologist, anti-determinist, and refute the tenets of Sumiyakism. A fifth character, Doktor,troubles Q by his refusal to believe in any paradigm through which to give meaning to theworld. Doktor has an aversion to groupism, and thus mutilates Q, whom he regards as a133groupist. The contradictions between Q’s philosophy and that of any one of the fivecharacters call Q’s framework of thinking into question.After a series of futile attempts to convert the instructors to Sumiyakism, Q discoversthat they are eating their pupils’ flesh, and declares that he will incite a revolution tooverturn such a discriminatory, cannibalistic system. However, the revolution begins notthrough Q’s agency, but through the pupils’ taking Bukka as a hostage. While Q’s callingof the instructors to revolution fails to arouse their interest and cooperation, the pupilsengage in a spontaneous revolution, and slaughter and devour the administrative staffincluding the rector and rector’s wife, and then escape from the reformatory. Q remainsthere wondering whether the revolution which he has had in mind has occurred, and if so,if it has achieved its aim. How, he wonders, might the pupils’ actions be related toSumiyakist theory, and why have they left? The novel provides no easy answers, but endsin Q’s own departure to an unknown destination.The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q has two important features of an anti-novel: it ismarked by an indeterminate setting; it is impossible to know when and where the storytakes place. This is not necessarily due to the limited mental and intellectual resources ofthe protagonist Q; the narrator too exhibits no omniscient knowledge, leaving enigmasunresolved. No reference is made to any historical moment, unlike Divine Maiden whichmentions some actual incidents in Japan in 1 960’s. Moreover, the narrator tries to negatethe linear and mechanical flow of time inside the story, too. Thus, on his arrival by a boat,Q notices:134The hands of his ancient watch were apt to stop suddenly onthe yellowing dial and, even worse, to start up again in theirconfused progress, a fact of which Q himself was perfectly wellaware. Were he to try to calculate the time that had elapseduntil the boat had disappeared, [he would be confronted by thefact that] the hands might have stopped any number of timesduring a process into which one could then say that eternityitself had entered. (10:2)Similarly, when Q spends some days convalescing after Doktor’s “operation,” the narratormakes the statement given below:[Thus some days passed which were inseparable from eachother.] On reflection it seemed that the days that had followedQ’s arrival at the reformatory[, too,] had at some time all knittedtogether, been compressed and altered into something like anannelid; and regarding this dead body of time it seemedappropriate to make use of the plain prose style of “Someweeks had already passed since Q arrived at the reformatory.”(242:1 98)This citation is reminiscent of the following passage of Thomas Mann’s The MagicMountain, to which Kurahashi has compared her novel. When Hans Castorp is forced tostay in the sanatorium because of the unexpected symptom of tuberculosis, the narratorstates:[W]e need only recall the swift flight of time—even of a quiteconsiderable period of time—which we spend in bed when weare ill. All the days are nothing but the same day repeatingitself—or rather, since it is always the same day, it is incorrect tospeak of repetition; a continuous present, an identity, aneverlastingness—such words as these would better convey theidea....[Y]ou are losing a sense of the demarcation of time, thatits units are running together, disappearing ... (The MagicMountain 183-1 84)135This passage shares with the previous citation from Kurahashi’s novel the fact that theprotagonist has been bed-ridden, and that the days he has spent in bed have beencompressed into one. The narrator of Adventures of Sumivakist Q reinforces theshapelessness of time in the final chapter of the novel:A good many more weeks, indeed it may well have beenmonths, were to pass before Q took his final leave of this stageupon which our story has been set, monotonous days of whichone was hardly distinguishable from the next. (442:3 64)Thus, the mechanical development of time is problematized in the narrative, although thestory time, as well as the discourse time, flows in one direction from the beginning to theend of the novel.Just as time is problematized, so the narrator is equally reluctant to tell us about theplace in which the story occurs. She does not mention any concrete place names, in sharpcontrast to Blue lourney which is full of the names of cities, towns, restaurants, and cafes.The reader, like Q, does not even know the basic geographical features of the novel’slocation. At first, Q takes it for granted that he has landed on an island, but hispresupposition is radically questioned by the chief porter, whom Q meets by chance on theseashore:...Q decided they must have progressed about half-way roundthe island, and he nervously mentioned this to the chief porter,who gave a contemptuous sigh and shrugged his shoulders.“You really do seem to think that this place is an island,don’t you?” (20:10-11)136Although Q “hardly heard this remark,” the text suggests that the reader keep in mind thequestion whether H reformatory is on an island. In fact, it becomes evident soon that Q hasassumed the novel’s location to be an island through imaginative necessity, not observation:If this were an island, then it would be independent, shut off.If this were not an island, then it would be open to the outsideworld; the place he had come to would be open, and so thenwould his own past be [sic]. Q did, in fact, want this place tobe an island; and thus this story began with his landing on hisimagined island,... (20:11)This passage suggests that the previous occasions on which the location is described as anisland are Q’s observations, and thus that Q can perceive things as he wishes them to be.Thus he may be caught in self-deception when he sees the sea out of the window of therector’s room, and says “You can see the sea from here, can’t you?”;“Indeed? Well, yes, one can see something. A wall.”“Is that a wall?” Q echoed in consternation, since it wasa fact he found unacceptable. However, if he strained his eyes,then it did indeed look like the surface of a wall which hadbeen painted the colour of the sea. But then perhaps the rectorwas only speaking metaphorically when he called it a wall...(79:60)There has to be sea for the place to be an island; this is perhaps why Q perceives thesurface as the sea. However, it appears to the rector to be a wall. And Q can perceive itas a wall, too, if he only tries to observe it that way. The passage thus implies thesubjectivity of observations: both time and place can be altered by perception.The location of the novel, presumably an island, is often compared to a planet. Therector says that any attempt to escape from it is “rather like trying to escape from one’s own137planet by simply walking off it” (81:61). When Bukka shows Q around, the literary mancompares the place to “a planet where there is no water, no air, no living creatures,” or “[a]ruined planet” [haisei], though “Q [does] not notice” (173:140). Q’s indifference to themetaphor underscores the significance of the comparison through preterition. Though Qdoes not consciously accept Bukka’s metaphor, it seems inscribed in his mind, to judge fromthe fact, that, in his dream, he observes the similarity between the “rows of hills” and “thoseof some dead star [haisei]” (325:265).This recurrent use of metaphors of a planet implies that the novel’s location may bea planet, rather than an island. However, the narrator never discloses where the place is,and lets Q discover that the harbour at which he first landed has disappeared by the endof the narrative:A grassless waste stretched out from here, but Q was thinkingthat it had once been territory ruled over by the sea, and so itmust end somewhere, and there one would find the presentposition of the borders of the retreating sea. At this newboundary of sea and land there would be a new town with anew harbour, and a ferry would call at that harbour. If he didnot succeed in discovering that new sea and harbour, then thisplace he was now leaving would not be an island, but perhapslike a peninsula, something that was connected to the land. Inthat case one would arrive at a new place if one kept onwalking. Both alternatives were a source of hope for Q.(447:368-369)No final conclusion is made about the topos; possibilities are rather left open.Having summarized the plot and pointed out some anti-novelistic features of ]frAdventures of Sumiyakist Q, I now wish to give an overview of critical responses to it. Ialso wish to give a summary of how Kurahashi herself has responded to the criticism. The138first comment is Kurahashi’s “atogaki” [Postscript] to the first edition of the novel, which isomitted from the English translation. The iPostscriptu warrants attention because of itsdeceptive nature, It begins with an author’s note as follows, preceding the main discussionof the novel:Here I would quote, in place of a postscript, part of thecritical comments on this work made by Ms/ Mr Y.K., a critic,soon to be published in a periodical, with her/his permission.The Author (449)Kurahashi here refuses to make any ‘authoritative’ revelation of her intentions, circumstancesof composition, and so forth, which the reader might expect in a postscript. Instead, shepresents an interpretation of the novel, made by an imaginary critic named Y.K.. AlthoughY.K. is presumably Kurahashi’s alter ego, the manner in which the “Postscript” is presentedsuggests that we are not intended to read it as the ultimate truth about the novel. I wouldinterpret Kurahashi’s purpose in writing such a postscript as to satirize the “intentionalfallacy” which dominates much of Japanese literary criticism.Not only the author’s note but also subsequent comments distance the author fromthe interpretation of the novel presented. “Ms/ Mr Y.K.” refers to the author of the novelat the end of her/his comments, and leads the reader away from excessive interest in themanner in which the author may be represented biographically in the novel:If writing novels is a kind of activity, the relation the author hasto the novel, or the manner in which the author tries toproduce the novel by this activity, is identical with the relationQ has to the revolution. In this sense, we can imagine who theauthor is from the character of Q. (451)139In other words, Y.K. implies that the author Kurahashi and the protagonist Q are not relatedin any other sense than their behavioral patterns.Between the two excerpts given above from “Postscript” are a plot summary, andcomments on Q’s obsession with ideas, which is compared to that of Don Quixote, andwhich prohibits him from taking any action in order to realize the revolution. Also includedare further comments on conflicts between Q and other characters who, from Q’sperspective, embody different ideological stances, and a suggestion that the novel is“constituted of dialogues” between Q and others, and of “annotations” to these dialogues.In general, critics reviewed The Adventures of Sumivakist Q more positively thanBlue Journey or Divine Maiden. Morikawa Tatsuya, a critic of contemporary Japaneseliterature, praises “the critical spirit and poetic imagination” in the work, though he wouldprefer a more radical, deconstructive interest in the structure of prose, and regrets the lackof a figure representing “the other”, like Sancho Panza in Don Quixote (MorikawaS u miyaki st).Kaga Otohiko, a well-known Japanese novelist and psychiatrist, acknowledgesKurahashi’s more skilful handling of ideas compared with her earlier stories and novels. Healso points out the similarities in setting between Kurahashi’s novel and Jonathan Swift’sGulliver’s Travels and Kafka’s Das Schloss [The Castle], examines the effects of metaphorsemployed to present characters and situations, and briefly explores the metanarrative qualityof the novel. Kaga believes strongly in the independence of fiction from reality, and thusmakes the statement that Adventures of Sumivakist Q is not yet sufficiently detached from140reality: in his view, some incidents in the novel are so reminiscent of those in Japan of thesixties that the reader cannot help associate the fictional and historical events.In contrast to the above-mentioned responses which ignore (in Morikawa’s case) orquestion (in Kaga’s) the relationship between the novel and events in Japanese society in the1 960’s, some critics interpret the novel as a satire on the leftist movement in Japan. Whenthe paperback edition of the novel was released in 1 988, Kurahashi added another postscriptcalled “Chosha kara dokusha e: doko nimo nai basho” [From the Author for the Reader: TheNon-existent Place], emphasizing that the novel has no relation to reality in Japan.Presumably refuting the associations between the Sumiyakist Party and the Japan CommunistParty, and between the pupils’ upheaval and the students’ movement in Japan in 1 960’s, shediscloses that she named the party by representing the Carbonari, “an undergroundorganization which was active in Italy, France, and Spain in the early 1 9th century,” inJapanese. Although Sumiyakism embodies a monological ideology in general, as Kurahashiadmits, it does not allude to any specific system of thought in Japan, since she has “noobligation to write novels in order to criticise or make fun of” “the futility of Japaneseleftists” (454-455).Kurahashi also defends her novel from complaints regarding its abstract nature andincomprehensibility, by giving examples of similar works in world literature, such asGulliver’s Travels, Der Zauberberg [The Magic Mountain] by Thomas Mann, and noh plays,which have “a simple plot”: the protagonist (Gulliver, Hans Castorp, the travelling priest)visits an unknown place, is “caught” there, experiences something new, and “escapes” tothe familiar world (452-453). As Kurahashi suggests, she has also written a novella and141novel with the same characteristics—”Ningen no nai kami” [The God without Men] (1961),and Amanon koku Okanki [The Round Trip to Amanoni (1 986).Having paid attention to some of the critical responses, I wish, in this chapter, todiscuss the following three aspects of the novel. First, I will deal with its narration. Thoughthis is less complicated than that of Divine Maiden, The Adventures of Sumivakist Q is stilla multi-diegetic and self-reflexive narrative. The literary man Bukka discloses to Q that heis writing four novels, on the rector, Doktor, Q, and Ajita, the leader of the pupils’upheaval, respectively. One of these, called Doktor’s Notebook, is embedded in twoseparate parts into the primary narrative. In this regard, Kurahashi’s novel is multidiegetic.Q and Doktor read the novel by Bukka, and discuss it, just as Don Quixote does inCervantes’ novel. Moreover, Bukka gives Q a lecture on the novel and anti-novel threetimes. Therefore, The Adventures of Sumivakist Q is self-reflexive. In the complexity of itsnarrative, responsibility for narration becomes diffused. From my previous summary, it mayappear that Bukka assumes authority in the narrative. However, he disappears halfwaythrough the text. Further, the “heterodiegetic” narrator, who is not a character in the noveland remains obscure for most of the time, makes frequent comments on the manner inwhich the narrative develops, in a similar manner to the narrator of Laurence Sterne’sTristram Shandy. Therefore, the narrating authority or responsibility is diffuse anddecentred. In Michel Foucault’s terms, “the author-function” is exposed as a fiction(Foucault “What Is the Author?” 153).Second, I will discuss the manner in which units of the “semic code”—personal traitsof characters—are interwoven with metaphorical associations, in much the same way as I did142in the previous chapter. Though each pair of comparison may appear to display adichotomy, accumulation of comparisons will eventually suggest that characters in thenovels are not individual beings with essential identities but rather intersections of culturaland political attributes, any of which can be displayed depending on a particular context.Third, I will explicate the analogies drawn between the cognitive, digestive andreproductive systems of the human body. As I mentioned in the discussion of DivineMaiden, familiarization with “the other” can take verbal, sexual, and digestive forms. ihAdventures of Sumivakist Q presents comparisons between these three forms, foregroundingthem through dynamic and diffuse metaphors. By crossing over the established boundariesof anatomy, the novel challenges any categorization based on determined functions andsuggests instead as associative categorizations through transactions based on performativeacts.Thus The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q demonstrates disorder, a consciousness of theworld as chaos. The words “disorder” and “chaos” do not, in this novel, have negativeconnotations, but rather imply the subversion of a structural understanding of the worldwhich presumes a central authority governing the logico-causal relationship between itscomponents.NarrationI will discuss in this section two characteristics of the narration of The Adventures ofSumiyakist Q: the function of the extradiegetic narrator, and the multi-diegetic structure.By examining them, I wish to delineate the novel’s diffusion of responsibility and authorityfor narration.143The Adventure of Sumiyakist Q has an “extradiegetic narrator,” or a narrator who isnot a character inside the story (Prince 29). Therefore, the narrating voice does not belongto the protagonist, Q, although the narrating instances always describe activities to whichQ is party. The narrator demonstrates her/his existence occasionally by defending her/hismethod of narration, or by making statements on narratives in general. The “intrusivenarrator” makes “commentaries” on Q’s cognition, behaviour, and upon incidents heexperiences (Ibid. 46, 14). An example occurs when Q engages in masturbation for the firsttime in the narrative:If [I] were to make use of [the author’s] all-seeing and all-knowing privilege, [I] could look over Q’s shoulder and nodoubt see the full-length of a young girl,... (98:76)After a lengthy description, the narrator concludes the description of this scene as follows:Thus Q went on to perform various actions towards thisvictim within his imaginary room, but the demands of narrativerequire that one refrain from relating them. (99:76)The passage tells us two things: first, that the narrator’s consciousness is separate from thatof Q, and second, that the narrator does not purport to represent everything that occursfaithfully, maintaining the right to narrate only what s/he, not neutral but rather bound byculture, circumstances and her/his intentions, wishes to tell.Regarding the first point, the narrator reminds us at times that people, things andphenomena are being observed by Q, suggesting that we should not take these observationsas authorial comments or revelations of ultimate truth. For example, when Q first meets144Sabiya, the nurse, she is described as “a young woman,” and the narrator annotates that “[utis not necessarily to add that this was Q’s impression of the matter,” subsequently providingthe additional information that, for Q, “the standard of being or not being young” is “thestandard by which the woman was judged as a woman or not” (51).While the narrator thus implies that her/his consciousness is distinct from that of Q,the narrative development depends upon Q’s existence. Thus, when the rector confuses Qwith his eloquent philosophical speech, Q’s situation is compared to that of an objectswallowed by a snake, and the narrator comments:Shall we follow Q in this pursuit and let our story dispense withits correct, surface, horizontal progress, switching to unending,underground action instead? Certainly the story sometimesdoes this, proceeding in a vertical direction, but this couldhardly be allowed to go on for ever. Q must be swiftly draggedout from the far interior of this snake and returned tQ the realworld. And Q himself, gradually finding the strain of suchprofound unrest unbearable, was also doing his best to burrowhis way out to a point where his familiar, loved common wordscould flutter free. (148:119)When Q is shocked to find the decapitated rector’s head toward the end of the novel, thenarrator intrudes to make the following statement:Our story would then have to end at the point where Q ceasedto be a human being, which would mean an ending like that ofa lizard which bites off its own tail and dies, showing an uglyif scintillating cross-section of itself as it does so. But Qrecovered himself, and so our story will pursue his actions andhis fate for a little longer, as a tail grows gradually thinner untilit comes to an end. (438:360)•145The two citations above suggest that the temporal development of the narrative requires theflow of Q’s consciousness.Another characteristic of this novel’s narration—the multidiegetic mode—occursbecause of the existence of a writer: Bukka, or the literary man. As far as he discloses inthe narrative, he is writing, or has written, four novels. His manner of planning to writeeach of them offers insights which may either assist or hinder analyses of the primarynarrative.Bukka is planning to write a novel, using elements of the rector’s personality.However, he is “not going to create some kind of typical human being based upon therector, as the classic novel would do.” He intends to “analyze him visually, every piece ofhim, overlooking nothing, and then to rebuild all those pieces as one object instead of onehuman being.” Q misrepresents Bukka’s idea as “the last word in realism”; E3ukka, incontrast, makes a distinction between realist novels and his new novels:“Realism is the method the classic novel places its faith in, themethod of making puppets that look as if they’re alive [and thatarej called human types, and then moving them by the stringsof a plausible story. The new novel that I am planning is theopposite of that, since my method is to make nothing, butsimply to employ the destructive process of looking at things.Things, the world in fact, are simply there. One breaks downthese things that into as minute fragments as possible—wordsare these very fragments—and then arranges them on the page.They are not used in order to attach descriptive meanings tothings, but solely to suggest existence.” (164-165:133)146Thus the new novel refuses any description of objects and interpretation of their meanings.Instead, the new novel is constituted by fragments of perceptions from an ontologicalperspective. Bukka further states:“[F]he writer must bestow no deterministic ‘character’upon anyof his characters. Men are to be dismantled. The world is tobe rendered meaningless. Is the writer to look at the surfacesof the world and of men like a camera? Or is he to be aparasite looking out from his hole in the middle of the worldand of men? Either choice is open to him.” (216:176)Bukka’s manifesto is in keeping with Kurahashi’s practice in Blue lourney, which exemplifiesfragmentation, and in Divine Maiden which challenges descriptive representation. Thecognitive mode of the new novel finds its parallels in the rector’s and Doktor’s ways ofperceiving the world simply as something that is there.Bukka reveals to Q that he has started writing a novel “with Q as the model for itsmain character” (243:1 99). The literary man is wondering whether he can use the sentence“Some weeks had already passed since Q arrived at the reformatory” (242:1 98). The reasonfor his uncertainty is that such a sentence is a “transparent breaking of the rules” “in thenormal novel.” The literary man explicates the problem further:“By that [transparent breaking of the rules] I mean the writer iscontrolling the time of the novel as if he were some omnipotentcreator; that is, he’s putting the clock forwards and backwardsas he feels fit, which is not a very admirable way of goingabout things, you know. The time in the novel must flownaturally; or, if I’m to put that in precise terms, this time mustbe determined as a number of variable functions that areincluded in the novel, and these variables must fluctuate in thenovel in a way mutually dependent on each other, andconsequently the writer should not be able to adjust them freely147from the outside. Of course, what I’ve just given is a rule thatpertains to the old-style novel.” (244-245:200)Thus the literary man raises the issue of temporality in the novel in a paradoxical way that,while questioning the author’s control over the story time, implicitly denies the ‘natural’flow of time which is assumed to be neutral and independent from the circumstances underwhich the act of writing occurs in the 1 9th century “old-style novel.” As Bukka maintainselsewhere, “The novel is not to be made to comply with external time. In certain cases adeliberate attempt to derange this external time is called for” (216:176). In other words, thenew novel denies the ‘naturalness’ of linear time-flow by presenting an atemporal order asan alternative construction of temporality.Bukka has written part of the draft of a novel called Doktor’s Notebook, which isembedded in the primary narrative of The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q. The nestednarrative, written in the first person, recounts the narrator-protagonist (Doktor)’s marriage,his and his wife’s affiliation with the Sumlyakist Party, and his dismissal from a hospitalwhere he worked as a doctor due to his eating a miscarried baby. It further recounts thecannibalism he is still engaged in at a reformatory he has arrived at after his dismissal, andhis encounter there with a Sumiyakist called Q. Bukka leaves the manuscript at Q’sbedside, hoping that Q will read it. Q reads it and “put[sJ all his emphasis upon whetherthe things written in the work [are] true or not.” He tacitly assumes that “the contents of thework were actual facts” (267:2 1 7), and thus provokes Bukka with his responses to the novel:“Did he actually do something as awful as that [eating a foetus]?” The literary man states:148“I presume that you look upon the novel as something whichuses real bricks and puts them together with imaginary cement,and although the completed novel may show variation in theplacement and arrangement of these bricks, it is still only theresult of a secondary processing which maintains this direct,one-for-one relationship with that reality it has used as itsmaterial. But the novel is not like that. The only meaningreality has for the novel is as a catalyst in the imaginativeprocess. The world of the novel is totally different from that ofreality, a world where one-for-one equivalents do not apply. Idid not write that work with the intention of recording ortransmitting might have said.” (269-270:219-220)Here the literary man is refuting the myth that the novel is supposed to represent reality.He repeats his thesis on another occasion:In a novel one word does not stand for one thing, and languageis not a means of communication. The unchanging reality thatwould be communicated by such means does not exist. Realityis expressed by language, and exists as limitlessly as there arelimitless variations of style. (216:176-177)This statement echoes Kurahashi’s manifesto concerning her compositional methodology,“The Labyrinth and Negativity of Fiction,” in which she states that she refuses to writenovels that “represent <<reality>>.” Subsequently, Kurahashi reveals her aversion towritingshishOsetsu, ora supposedlyfaithful representation oftheauthor’s personal life. Sheattributes the high estimation of such novels to a predominant tendency in Japanese literarycriticism which “tends to ... view novels as the authors’ <<self-expression> > . Also, shedowngrades the value of biographical studies of literary works (66-82). The followingdialogue between Q and Bukka implies both favourable and unfavourable attitudes towardsuch critical approaches to literary texts:149“Anyway, the best thing seems that I should ask Doktor himselfif it’s true or not to make sure.”“Always assuming that Doktor tells you the truth.” (270:220)Bukka warns Q against the misbelief that the author is ready to disclose the ‘truth’ of his/herstory and implies that the subject who retells her/his actions can neither be neutral norfaithful to the audience.Bukka tells Q that he has completed and sent to a publisher a short story with the“improper title” of “The Anus,” in which he “analyze[s] the relationship between a boy andthe world about him” “the model for” the leading character of which is Ajita, the leader ofthe pupils’ revolt (342:277-279). As I will discuss in the next section, the text of flAdventure of Sumiyakist Q consists primarily of the examination of the differentrelationships between characters and the world about them. Following Bukka’s explanation,then, “The Anus” has the same thematic concern as The Adventure of Sumlyakist Q itself.Except for Ajita, the models for the protagonists of the novels are all aware that Bukkais writing ‘on’ them. The rector asks the literary man if he has “invented that toughlyflexible, that resilient style which will apprehend me in its net, yet not give way beneath[the rector’s] weight” (128:102). Q is forced to listen to Bukka’s discussion about his novelconcerning Q. Q also finds himself in Doktor’s Notebook, and discovers that Doktor hasread Doktor’s Notebook and that he also knows that Q has read it. The self-reflexive circleof a protagonist’s reading the novel written about him, which I explored in the previouschapter, recurs in The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q.Though Bukka himself hardly becomes the object of observation, as “I” does inDivine Maiden, he cannot stay in the privileged position of the producer of the narratives,150either; he is imprisoned by the pupils and does not appear in the later chapters of the novel.As Kaga Otohiko suggests, it is ironic that the character closest to the author, close enoughto be her double, is subject to erasure and mutilation, disappearing from the story earlierthan any other character. In a sense, then, the author commits suicide in the text.Paradoxically enough, in the place of the novel written by the literary man about Q, anothernovel about Q—The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q—is being written by Kurahashi even at themoment of Bukka’s disappearance.The narrator of The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q who, as we have seen, manipulatesits characters and narrative in a deceptive manner, is eventually responsible for thedevelopment and completion of the narrative. Bukka takes the initiative in the metafictionalmode of the novel, performing not the task of a minor character but that of the narrator.It seems to me that by erasing him in the middle of the story, and letting the extradiegeticnarrator complete the narration, the author both caricatures herself and transcends the mereposition of a character within the novel. Furthermore, the narrative blurs its origins. Who,finally, is responsible for it: Q, the protagonist, the deceptive narrator, or Bukka? No oneis. Thus, the narration of The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q actively displays disorder,through its use of a multidiegetic structure and its problematization of the position of theextradiegetic narrator.Indices: Metaphorical Associations of CharactersThe Adventures of Sumiyakist Q presents its characters in much the same way asDivine Maiden does in which characters’ personal traits are made to parallel or to contrast,either implicitly or explicitly. Q and Bukka parallel each other in their lack of practicality;151Q the teleologist and the rector the ontologist make an antagonistic pair; K and L, twinsproduced by the rector’s wife in a virgin birth, engage in incest and thus parallel Doktor andSabiya who are also children of the rector and his wife; another antagonistic pair is madeby the overseer, a man of reason, and the theologian F, a fanatic believer in a monotheistreligion; Q and the overseer are similar in their being subject to a larger system; Q and Fparallel each other in their belief in monologist and historicist doctrines; F and Ajita areboth compared to a mad dog, in that they bite people; finally Doktor and Ajita share acannibalistic inclination.Viewed thus, it is evident that though characters often seem to be in direct contrastto each other, in fact they form an overall network which is disorderly rather than orderly.None of the characters can assume any substantial characteristic as a foundation of her/hisidentity. Rather, they display different attributes by being compared to others in differentcontexts. In other words, the characters in The Adventures of Sumivakist Q are performativerather than constative.Although Q can barely understand the literary man’s treatises on literature, or on theanti-novel, he shares with Bukka a basic pattern of behaviour. Just as Bukka can nevercomplete a novel which will conform to the conditions he stipulates, Q can never realizethe revolution which is the goal of his understanding of Sumlyakism. Both of them preparefor the accomplishment of their ideals, polishing their ideas, exercising in their minds, butnever fulfil those ideas.The narrator, when s/he analyses the significance of Q’s masturbation, points out thathe always likes to do preparatory exercises in advance:152But Q himself doggedly tried to find some practical meaning inhis daily masturbation, in this imaginary coitus with his ownbody. That is, according to Q, this was an armchair workoutpreparatory to the struggle that was inevitably to come, Ofcourse this was hardly the kind of argument he could haveseriously offered to anyone else. Also it should be noticed thatthis habit of conducting mock experiments in his head, ofhaving to do everything first of all in the mind before actuallydoing it, was one of the most prominent of Q’s characteristics.(100-101:78)This characteristic is also visible in Q’s way of coping with his revolutionary mission. Aftercriticising his own life as an underground Sumiyakist activist, which has resulted only inobservation of people at H reformatory, he tries to justify his inactivity:Q’s behaviour had been in accord with the principle that inorder to move towards ground-level operations, one could onlygo by the road of awareness; and the road was turning out tobe unendingly long, and the revolution which it should lead toeven had become like a mirage, seeming near but being far.(2 14:1 75)A mirage, which signifies that which one can always see but never reach, recurs as ametaphor in a dream of Q’s in which he is about to cause a revolution:The revolution, which he had worked out in such detail in hishead, which he had come to imagine with such clarity, wasnow beginning to look like a mirage he would never be able toreach....lt seemed that the more preliminary rehearsal he donein his imagination the more his power to act had been sappedout of him, and his resolution was now sickly pale like a ghost.(324:263-264)The literary man Bukka feels much the same regarding his futile attempt to write a novel.Instead of the metaphor of a mirage, Bukka employs that of the evening sun:153“In this region the sun burns huge and ripe before it goesunder, so that you feel you could put out your hand and touchit and a hot juice would trickle out; but the truth is that at thattime it’s...going further away [most rapidly]. When I’m writinga novel I always feel I’m chasing after that setting sun. I cansee the novel I should write, but as I write I can never say I getone step closer. And still I must go on writing every day, butwith no hope of anything from it. It’s like breathing as onewaits for death; or more like having to breathe in order to waitfor death.” (214:175)Bukka further explicates the paradox in which the very act of writing distances him furtherfrom his goal of the ideal novel:“Firstly, in terms of quantitative change, in my case that is nil.I mean, no matter how hard I try to write I can hardly writeanything; and even if I do manage to write a little I’m obligedto tear the whole lot up the next day. This is because I amtrying to write in accordance with a very strict theory of thenovel, and anything that is not in accord with my own theoryI have to destroy quite ruthlessly. It’s a process more likedestroying a novel than making one.” (21 5:1 75-1 76).Novel-writing, doxologically a creative act, turns out here to be a destructive act. Theexcerpt above underscores the irony of being a “writer and literary theorist” (128:102) at thesame time; the more acute a critic one becomes, the more difficult one finds it to write.The passage above also offers a caricature of the anti-novel, in that it simultaneously inheritsand subverts the norms of the novel.Q tries to cheer up Bukka, who is discouraged at his failure to write, “trying toencourage himself perhaps more than the literary man” (214:175). Q is thus apparentlyaware of the similarity between his problems and Bukka’s. The morning after Q listens toBukka, he himself begins to write:154[H]e [QJ decided immediately to begin his own constructiveoperations. Firstly he opened his notebook and started to writedown the plan of operations, but his hand would not move. Hewas like a house carpenter with no building plan, or even theknowledge of how on raises a pillar, who is yet trying to builda house. A terrible uncertainty burned about him, and hetasted some of that sense of helplessness which the literary manhad tasted. His whole aim seemed to have blurred before him,a spectral monster lost in the mist. (217-218:178)The metaphor of “a spectral monster lost in the mist” is a variation on the earlier image of“a mirage,” conveying the elusiveness of Q’s goal.The above excerpt gives an example of another associative chain of metaphors in thetext, those regarding construction. They appear persistently in the text, implying thediscrepancy between planning and physical construction on the one hand, and thedestructive nature of imaginative operations such as novel-writing and the revolutionarymovement on the other. Thus, Bukka confides in Q: “while I secrete my dreams, my novel,which is a number of delicate towers built in air, appears and disappears. When I watchthat, then I don’t want to construct a castle like some mason with words.” (335-336:273)In fact, any incident at H reformatory is less an action than a paradoxical state inwhich construction and deconstruction operate simultaneously. When Q notices theirregularly-shaped pupils’ dormitories for the first time, from a distance, the rector maintains:That is the shape of both a ruined city and one in the processof being built. Work is proceeding even at present, even ifonly on a scale invisible to the eye; and its destruction is alsooccurring at the same time, again at a speed which one cannotactually notice. Over these past decades the work may as awhole appear to have made slight progress, but the precisetruth of the matter is known to no one....Anyone may, ofcourse, have his image of perfection; but once let him155announce what it is, once show the blueprint of it, and it willbe seen as merely incoherent, continually in conflict with otherthings, something which will so easily crumble and fall. (1 67-168:135-137)The former part of the excerpt is reminiscent of the literary man’s endless engagement incriticising his own writing, while the latter parallels Q’s and Bukka’s idea-oriented lack ofpracticality.There is another character to whom inactivity and desire for cognition are attributed:the rector. Q wishes to define him as “the highest authority in the reformatory,” its “controltower,” or “the apex of that pyramidal structure which is the system of management” (83:63)in the Sumiyakist conception of society. However, the rector maintains that there are “nopyramids,” “no fixed image that will express the ontological structure” of the reformatory.The rector would believe in what Foucault calls “[tjhe omnipresence of power” and wouldclaim that power should not be ascribed to a specific person or institution but that “powermust be understood in the first instance as the multiplicity of force reJations immanent inthe sphere in which they operate and which constitute their own organization.” In otherwords, “[plower is everywhere” (Foucault The History of Sexuality vol. 1: 92-93).Subsequently, the rector defines himself as follows:“...l am no functional existence, no axis of the power system,nor am I myself any incorporation of power, as heavy as astone, at all. I am merely the gravitational centre of this world.I exist as weight; I exist as extension; I exist in filling the world;I exist in place of the world. That is [the principle of myexistencel. [A]s for power, [which embodies the principle ofaction], that is something with which I am obliged to say I havenothing at all to do.” (84:63-64)156The two principles of existence and of action are echoes of the ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’represented by the female and male sexual organs in Blue lourney. In that novel,normatively ‘feminine’ passivity, flexibility, performativity is appraised positively, notnegatively, in opposition to the male principle of self-projection, action and conquest of theworld. In The Adventures of Sumlyakist Q. the male rector embodies the female principle.Indeed, he has asked Doktor to castrate him. The rector maintains:Generally speaking, being itself is what the female principle is,a principle which I myself, as you will already have observed,embody, implying that I am in the process of change from themale to the female condition. (146:118)He continues by comparing his wife’s subjectivity, to his own:“In my case, however, I transform substance into my flesh, inorderto occupyall oftheworld, of space, with myself; whereasshe expands that space which she unfolds within her, aiming ata purse-like condition in which the whole world may beinserted. Thus I say that she evolves an increasing darknesswhich is probably greater in immensity than this world.” (146-147:118)The married couple are trying to occupy the world either by a hollow (the rector’s wife) orby flesh (the rector) and thus take the place of the world. To expand hollow and flesh, theyeach eat as if their “satiety centres” had been “destroyed” by Doktor and thus their appetitehad no limit (248:203). The rector also persistently tries to perceive others; he states thathis “principle is to understand everything” (73:55). He calls his own body “a tub ofomniscience,” “a brain that takes in every kind of information, and ferments it all there”(382:312). I will deal with the analogy between eating and comprehension in the final157section. Here, I only wish to delineate the manner in which the rector and his wife relatethemselves to the world.Some people at H reformatory presume that Sabiya, the nurse, and Doktor, thedoctor, are children of the rector and his wife, and that they used to be married to eachother. Their presumably incestuous relationship is duplicated by that of K and L, or thePrince and Princess, who are pupils at the reformatory. The rector explains to Q that K andL “are the result of a virgin birth” (146:117), “fraternal, or dizygotic, twins” who have“embrace[d] each other” “ever since they were on the road from the womb, from an anti-universe to our universe,” and thus are in “[love, or the state in which their consciousnesseshave intercourse]” (1 44:116). The quoted phrases, most of which also appear in Kurahashi’sshort stories about incestuous siblings as well as in Blue Journey to describe the relationshipbetween You and He, suggest complete homogeneity in that K and L are twins, self-reflexivity in that their relationship is incestuous, and self-containedness in that they areborn in a virgin birth. In other words, K and L do not have any relation to the world orothers but only to themselves.It is no wonder that K and L commit suicide. The last we see of them is when theyfall into the mouth of a raging volcano, “[sjtill holding each other,” and “[sink] into the thickacid of the lake” (287:234). A crater lake is implicitly compared to the vaginal opening inKurahashi’s later novel, Amanon koku Okanki IThe Round Trip to Amanoni. K and L thusgo back to the womb, or the “anti-universe” in exactly the same manner as they were born—embracing each other.158Thus K and L perform an ultimate form of self-reflexivity. This attribute and itsopposite, self-distancing, are displayed in the parallel between the overseer and thetheologian. They parallel each other implicitly and explicitly, in their eyes, manners ofspeech, mental interests, medical conditions, physical build and ways of walking. Suchpersonal traits clearly draw a contrast between the two characters who embody the twoabove-mentioned opposing inclinations.The overseer and the theologian F share a distinct characteristic which the narrativerecurrently mentions: a squint. When Q is interviewed by the overseer he discovers that“the overseer’s sharply glittering eyes ha[vej a slight squint in them” which gives “theimpression of his being a slightly cruel yet capable official” (31:20). The next morning, Qsees his roommate, theologian F, and finds that he “also ha[sJ a squint”:It is true that this squint was considerably more pronouncedthan the overseer’s; but, unlike his, the theologian’s was aninward looking one, the two eyeballs making exchanges as ifintent on devouring each other, and intertwining their foci onthe plain between them in so selfishly single-minded a mannerthat it seemed almost inconceivable that they could everachieve any view of the outside world. (57:41)The ways in which the theologian and overseer squint are opposite, and the impressionsthe two men make on Q similarly contrast. Q perceives the theologian as “a mostwretchedly handicapped person” (57:41), rather than “a slightly cruel yet capable official”which the overseer appears to be. Their ways of squinting seem to reflect the ways inwhich they relate to the others. The theologian tends to confine himself in an inner worldwith God. He hits himself violently as a form of prayer; this surprises Q, who observes:159[T]he inward squinting eyes of the theologian seemed evenmore inward, and his body was quite stiff like that of someonein an epileptic fit, so that for some other person to address himwas quite fruitless. Clearly some not easily nameable alterationwas going on within the theologian....The theologian is nowplugged into his God, thought Q, and his body is the receiverthat catches the godly wavebands. (106:83)The theologian is watching himself and his God exclusively, unable to see others or howthey see him. He cannot “reflect the other” or see “the image” of himself reflected in themirror of “the other” (1 08:84).Significantly, it is the theologian who tells Q that the people at the reformatory arecut off from the outside world through the breakdown of a “video receiver” (109:85). Thetheologian’s self-absorbed inclinations increase toward the end of the novel. Wishing to tellhim about the schedule of the instructors’ meeting on the revolution, Q finds him on theshore, where he is meditating:“Now an incurable, a total atrophy, an atrophy begins inthe existence of man,” said the theologian, lending no ear towhat Q had said, and using his squint (as it seemed to Q) to barthe route through to the world outside. (394:322)The theologian chooses to lend no ear to any other person except himself and his God, justas he cannot see anything but his own eyes.Moreover, the theologian cannot make himself understood by others, because hesuffers from an acute stammer:The habit he had of repeating words and phrases, since he didit so frequently, was particularly unnerving. Q began towonder just how high the frequency of this habit was. (124:99)160The speech problem of the theologian reaches its peak when he makes a theological speechat the instructors’ meeting. Repetitions of phrases and unpunctuated sentences leave Q“aghast to the delirious lecture, which no matter how far it went never formed one completesentence but gave the appearance that it could continue without end” (402-403:330).In contrast, Q is impressed with the overseer’s “horribly crisp manner” of speaking“with analytic incisiveness and cold irony” (30:1 9), which sounds “polished” to Q (362:295).The overseer thus becomes Q’s model in both his exterior deportment and his interiorcritical spirit. Q is thus satisfied when he successfully concludes a controversy with thetheologian, “with a crisp and faultless eloquence not inferior to the overseer’s, while stillkeeping a stern eye” which is reminiscent of the overseer’s eye, “upon his rival” towardwhom Q has feelings of “affection” (112:88). Q often feels compassionate toward thetheologian, while often feeling inferior to the overseer.The overseer’s eyes and way of speaking are presented in parallel in order todemonstrate his character and mannerisms:The overseer’s eyes, which in contrast to the theologian’s hadthe tendency to repel each other in their squint, glittered, andhe spoke in the crisp manner of a scholar replying to a questionthat had fallen like a cannon-ball into his special area of study.(272:221)The overseer is thus clearly contrasted with the theologian in his eyes and manner ofspeech. Moreover, the inner inclinations of the two characters contrast with each other,although this remains implicit, not explicit, in the text. The overseer is averse to self-161absorption. He tells Q that “[t]he whole business” about “private life” is “vulgar nonsense’and expounds his ideas as follows:“Personally I should be very glad to do without any of[the private life]. I consider quite genuinely that the private,secret areas of life should all be rooted out. When I say privateI am referring to all those tendencies to lick oneself with thetongue of the consciousness, in such processes as introspectionand recollection, which turn us away from our relations withothers and in upon the self, with its sufferings and vanities,leading to self-deceptions, obsessions with illness and with theflesh, concerns with personal salvation, and to self-abuse.” (89-90:68)The overseer’s aversion to any exclusively self-absorbed life makes a contrast with thetheologian’s self-reflexive life, which is concluded by his self-annihilation: he strangleshimself.However, the overseer shares a weak point with the theologian: both of them sufferfrom frequent spasms—the former is a stenocardiac, while the latter is an epileptic. In bothcases, attacks complete a transformation of the characters into animals which they resembleeven in conditions of normal health. The overseer abruptly changes from “a creature ofintelligence” into “a crazed ostrich” (43:29), when he has a light attack of angina pectoris,implying the fragility of the overseer and of logos which he embodies. He resembles anostrich even when in a healthy state through his unusual height and “considerably speedymanner of walking” (44:30). Like an ostrich, he is unable to fly, and is bound to the actualworld. The metaphor further suggests the limitation of the logos, the predominantorganizing power in the real world, which the overseer embodies.162The theologian gives Q the initial impression of being like “a crab” or an animal ofthe “crustacean” species both in terms of his “physique” and “face” (54:38) and legs: “hisface” is “reminiscent of a crab’s shell,” “his body,” “another larger shell,” and his legs are“spindly, crooked, crab-like” (392:32 1); he is “chronically bandy-legged” and “walk[s] witha heavy roll from side to side” (11 3:89). (Note that the theologian’s way of walkingcontrasts with the overseer’s “unswaying, regular motion” (45:31)). In addition, thetheologian’s inwardly squinting eyes are compared to the crab’s scissor-like claws becausethey are “locked crisscross” (392:32 1).When the theologian absorbs himself in prayer or communication with his God, hisbody becomes “stiff like that of someone in an epileptic fit,” while his mental state is likethat of “a freakish crustacean” which “he externally resemble[s]” (106:82-83). The hard shellof a crab may represent the theologian’s mental rigidity and exclusiveness. He does,indeed, have an epileptic fit when he dines with Q and other instructors, “with [foam]starting to dribble forth from his mouth” (120:95). The “foam,” which accompanies anyepileptic fit, is similar to that of a crab. The metaphor of a crab is thus in keeping with thetheologian’s being epileptic, as well as his exclusionary, rigid mind.Q and the overseer are similar in that they have a strong sense of being members ofa larger system. Q has a guilty conscience when he engages in any private activity orthought (e.g. masturbation), and prohibits himself from making any statement or doinganything that is not suitable for a member of the Sumiyakist Party. The overseer wishes forthe complete erasure of the private aspect of anyone’s life—by “private life” he means selfabsorption in the cognitive and sexual senses. The overseer always conscious of his163“position” within any certain context, never fails to make the comment “I say the followingas a private person” when he refers to anything outside his business, or “position”. It is nowonder that Q sometimes tries to model himself after the overseer in order to achieve apublic, or “social existence” in the rector’s words.However, the rector does not regard the overseer highly. He describes the overseeras an “insect-like” man upon whom “the habits acquired as a worker bee in the hive of thebureaucratic system have left their mark” (66:49). The rector defines Q as one of thoseinsect-like men in a similar manner as follows:“You can none of you get through even one day unless, as onecell in the fictional organism we call society, you feel that youare responsible for some slight portion of its metabolism.Splendid! It is thanks to this insect instinct that our society isable to endure....”Then the rector concludes:‘...Let us create a society where everyone can work happily!There we have the insect morality of the revolutionary, thewhole of it, root, branch, and flower.” (1 71:138-139)The pejorative label “insect” stands for a teleological, positivist view of the world and acomplete dedication of the individual to the service of society. Prior to his conversationwith the rector, Sumiyakist Q has a dream in which he becomes an ant which is“desperately endeavouringto eat up this impossible mountain of stones” (51:36). The dreamis comprehensible through the rector’s description of Sumiyakists.164The rector employs another metaphor in the excerpt, that of a “cell in the fictionalorganism,” which recurs later in Doktor’s definition of Q as a “cellular man”:“Organisms with no independent system of their own asindividuals. People who are nothing but one cell in someillusory organism structured by themselves. There are billionsof people like that in the world. Give them a name, andthey’re cellular man, friend.” (229-230:188: emphasis added)The phrase italicized above is an echo of the rector’s word in the previous citation, “cell inthe fictional organism.” The narrative draws the reader’s attention to this fact by saying“[tihis sounded to Q something like the way the rector talked” (230:188).Doktor further extends the range of people to which his metaphor of the cell applies,employing it to describe “savages” as well as Sumiyakists:“A collective of cells, a tribal organism of cells with nomembrane dividing them, squirming together as one single unitof life. Its individual cell is not human....For a start, they don’thave the first person singular pronoun in their languages. Infact language for them isn’t a thread that links individualstogether to form a society. For that kind, language is a part ofmagic, which sends ripples through the structure they alwayshave been, a linked chain of countless cells. (230:188)The latter part of this excerpt analyses the lack of “the first person singular pronoun” insavages’ languages, and thus compares savages to Sumlyakists again; valorizing thesolidarity of the people, Sumiyakists favour the first person plural pronoun, “we.” Q thusirritates Doktor by using “us”:“Stop using the damn word “ shouted Doktor,...”Usethe first person singular, because I’m not one of your tj.” (231 :189)165Devoid of any sense of a tie with others or the world, Doktor rejects the idea thatindividuals are part of any group.Doktor’s above-cited simile of “cells” also applies to the buildings the pupils at Hreformatory use. When Bukka shows Q around the pupils’ quarters in which they live forthe dry season, they are shown to consist “entirely of single cells” connected in adisorganized way. At one place among them there is “a high-rise apartment buildingreminiscent of a bees’ nest” (178:144). The metaphor of “a bees’ nest” as well as that of“cells” gives a negative connotation to the description of the pupils’ residences which, byinference, attaches to the pupils themselves.Later, Q visits the pupils in the communal living quarters in which they spend therainy season, in order to stir them up into a revolutionary consciousness. The quarters looksimilar to the world of the savages that Doktor talks about:As opposed to what Q had expected, the buildings had nocorridor, and as soon as he had put a foot inside it he was in asingle room. Since the single room took up the whole space ofthe building, it gave the impression of being inside somethinglower than a simple creature [which still has many partitions,articulations, and loop-shaped punctuations], even, somethinglike a coelenterate. (353:287)The fact that the dormitory does not have any “partitions” reminds us of the “tribal organismof cells with no membrane dividing them” that Doktor describes. The pupils are, indeed,perceived as a type of savages.Both Q and F dedicate themselves to political (Sumlyakism) or religious doctrine.Both Sumiyakism and F’s doctrines presuppose a master narrative necessitated and verified166by human history. It seems significant that the two monologists and historicists are assignedthe same room.Despite his monologic beliefs, however, F is also associated, through a furthercomparison, with savagery and inhumanity. In the middle of his epileptic fit, he bites Q’shand and is compared to “a mad dog” (121:96). The “foam” he emits from his mouth maybe a sign of rabies well as of epilepsy (120:95). The narrative offers another character—Ajita,the leader of the pupils, and thus presumably a “savage”—who is compared to “a stray cur”and subsequently bites Q’s hand (415:340). Thus F and Ajita make a parallel. Both of themare situated upon the border between human and inhuman, normal and abnormal.A language instructor tells Q that Ajita has previously bitten his female schoolteacherto death before being sent to the reformatory, and compares Ajita to a “snake.” The literaryman, Bukka, compares Ajita’s teeth to “those of a hyena worrying a rotting corpse.”Although Q considers taking Ajita into his plans for revolution, he is horrified by Ajita’scriminal record, viewing him as “a wolf.” However, Q is determined enough to make uphis mind to “regenerate [Ajita] from a little [mummy of an evil spirit] into a “revolutionary[dragon], or at least into that sort of thing, a wild dog a hyena, a snake, it didn’t matterwhat” (331:269-270).Similes employed to describe Ajita are also used to describe Doktor, although theconnection between the two is always implicit, not explicit. Doktor’s personal traits includehis “showing the thin, sharp tip of his tongue” (224:184), reminiscent of a snake,“discrimination” which is compared to “[a poisonous snake lying in a coil in his mind]”(231:189), and his “terrifying teeth like those inside the mouth of a wild beast” (231 :189).167Doktor consciously engages in cannibalism, while Ajita habitually bites others; Doktor thusshows parallels with Ajita.Further, both Ajita and Doktor penetrate other people’s bodies heartlessly. Accordingto Bukka, Ajita pierces his schoolteacher’s anus with “a rusty gimlet” (342:278). Doktorapparently inserts his penis into Q’s anus, discharging semen into his rectum, to judge fromthe following description of Doktor ‘s “operation” on Q:Suddenly the constrictors of Q’s mind burst open. Someburning foreign body was entering him. As Q endured the painhe tried to think if it were a steel medical instrument, or thehorn attached to the body of a monster; but brief time wasdrifting extraordinarily lengthily in the pouch of his mind, andsuddenly a pillar of fire raised up before his eyes, and as he feltthe hot brimstone soaking throughout his body, he becameconvulsed, and fainted. (241 :197)Doktor and Ajita thus have in common the desire to project themselves into the body of theother, yet it is a desire not based upon a deconstruction of subjectivity but upon a forcibleimposition of self upon other.The personal traits of characters in The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q constitute atextual network of comparisons and contrasts, a multiplicity of world views and means ofrelating self to other. The extent, variety, and frequently contradictory nature of the networkindicate the plurality of human subject positions, and yet also demonstrate that these subjectpositions are not essentially ‘true’ or founded upon stable identity; they are ratherperformative, constituted by their environment. Such a realization leads us to the analysisI will perform in the last section of this chapter, in which I explore three parallel ways in168which the text of The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q makes the other familiar, anddefamiliarizes the self.Familiarization of Others, Defamiliarization of Self:Digestive, Reproductive, Cognitive Systems Which Relate the Subject to the WorldI showed in the previous chapter that in Divine Maiden, analogies are often drawnbetween characters’ desire to know others, and their desires to eat them and to have sexualintercourse with them. This analogy is extended in The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q by thediffuse use of digestive and sexual metaphors to describe the process of cognition.I wish first to delineate the patterns through which the subject relates to the world,other subjects or the self by giving an overview of the ways in which the three desires’operating processes interlock, and then by examining the analogies between, in particular,the digestive and cognitive systems in the text of The Adventures of Sumivakist Q.Stages in the process of consumption of food—I icki ng, biting, swallowing, absorption—function as metaphors for stages in the process of cognition of something extraneous to theself. Failures or difficulty in passing a stage—dysphagia, vomiting, indigestion—imply a futileattempt to understand something beyond individual comprehension. Vomiting is at timesa metaphor of the manifestation of the self’s thoughts to others, as is excretion.Pingiya, Q’s lover and disciple of Sumiyakism, is “provided with a talent as a goodstudent”:She would swallow every word and phrase of Q’s withoutexception, and then regurgitate the same words with unsmilingseriousness. (304:247)169Digestive metaphors are also employed to represent the process of sexual intercourse. Atongue, teeth, and a mouth serve as metaphors for the vaginal opening. Thus, the narratordescribes the first sexual encounter between Q and Pingiya, “on a high level of abstraction”:[Wihat one can call Q’s sub-self was sucked into a sub-universewhich had a hot tongue and teeth, and then had its essencesucked out of it in this depressor situation [sic], leaving a senseof asthenia as if his sub-self had been eaten up by this sub-universe consisting of a single mouth. (3 70:302-303)Here, the words, such as “sucked,” “tongue,” “teeth,” “eaten up,” and “mouth,” “constitutea braid” (Barthes 160) of association with the digestive process in a passage whichrepresents the scene of making love.Sexual metaphors are also used to represent the cognitive process. When Q first seesthe rector, he is overwhelmed by his eloquence and his voracious desire to devour andunderstand the Sumiyakist. Q feels as if he were being raped:Now the words of the rector had destroyed all resistance andwere violating Q’s mind, pushing their way into each corner ofit. (73:55)The metaphor of violation recurs when Q tries in vain to induct Bukka into Sumiyakism:Q had spoken with considerable fervour....but when Q hadfinished he [Bukka] simply nodded his agreement. This onlymade Q more desperate. In aiming at the restructuring of theway one individual thought, Q meant that this should be anexpulsion of the violently resisting ideas that already occupiedthat person, with sumiyakism raising its flag of victory in theenemy s camp. This was what was known as Sumiyakistthought processing;...For this process to bestow upon theprocessor a pleasure similar to that of rape with violence, it was170necessary that the person processed put up a determined, evenfurious resistance. (1 77:143)Just as rape represents a forcible projection of self onto other, so teaching involves a forcibleimposition of thought from self onto other.In addition to making the other familiar, each of the three systems of desire—digestive,sexual, cognitive—display themes of self-familiarization. The digestive system presentscannibalism and coprophagy, the sexual system presents masturbation and nymphomania,and the cognitive system displays penitence and self-introspection. I wish to provide heresome examples which link manifestations of self-familiarization in two different systems.The rector provides a theoretical parallel between digestive and cognitive self-familiarizations, when he explains to Q the custom of penitence:Essentially penitence has always been a laying bare with one’sown hands of that which one believes evil in oneself, and theclassic forms were always such methods as disembowelling,and skull splitting....As an alternative, the emetic method wasin fashion for a time, for since the actual innards were founddifficult of exposure, the aim was to provide a substitute forthem by [discarding] the objects preserved within the body forinspection. [Technically speaking, there are the upperdiscarding and lower discarding.] (1 52-1 53:122-1 23)Although K, the “Prince,” does not use these methods for his penitence, he offers anexample of parallelism between digestive and cognitive self-familiarization. He keeps“thr[owingj up” and “push[ing] back” “the sponge” which he should place in his mouth sothat he will not hurt the inside while slapping himself as a form of “chastisement.” “Thesponge” can be defined as the other, because it has been used by many other pupils for171chastisement, and also can be viewed as a part of K’s self now that he has contained it inhis mouth many times and vomited it out (1 54:124).Sexual self-familiarization at times uses a digestive metaphor; Doktor in Doktor’sNotebook, written by Bukka, defines Sabiya, the nurse, as “a nymphomaniac,” andmaintains:But nymphomania is a self-defeating thing. Certainly itpossesses a rapacious stomach, but its juices are alwayssecreted externally, and thus it cannot take all kinds of foodwithin itself. Eventually it will melt itself away. (296:240-241)Being a nymphomaniac thus does not mean one is interested in the other human beings,but suggests that one is concerned with one’s own sexual desire.Bukka, the literary man, offers another example of self-reflexive digestive andcognitive processes. As I have shown, he insists that his novels should be read by theirsubjects and he is even eager to recite his work in front of others, or read and “add relevantfootnotes and comments” to it along with the reader (245:200-201). It is significant that heends up indulging in coprophagy; after he is imprisoned by the pupils, he is forced to be“besmeared in his own dung” (384:3 14). Just as he wants to read and annotate his ownverbal products (novels), he eats his own excreted objects (dung).The overseer would be disgusted with penitence, nymphomania or coprophagy, sincehe is critical of all self-conscious activities, mental or physical. When he expresses hisaversion to self- reflexive acts, the overseer employs the metaphor of licking:I consider quite genuinely that the private, secret areas of lifeshould all be rooted out. When I say private I am referring to172all those tendencies to lick oneself with the tongue of theconsciousness, in such processes as introspection andrecollection, which turn us away from our relations with othersand in upon the self, with its sufferings and vanities, leading toself-deceptions, obsessions with illness and with the flesh,concerns with personal salvation, and to self-abuse. (89-90:68)As the overseer says, self-reflexive acts inhibit oneself from relating to the world.Having explored how Q knows and digests others, in the remainder of this section,I will explore ways in which Q is known by and digested by others, examining theanalogies through which Q and others relate themselves to others and the world.On his first encounter with Q, the rector makes an analogy between eating andunderstanding extraneous objects:My principle is to understand everything, and of course Iunderstand everything about you. Namely that you are to beeaten by me and become a portion of my living and rottingflesh....Yes, you will understand many things...even the fact thatyou are loved by me....And the only way you will be loved byme is as an object of my consciousness. (73:55)Just as “I” in Divine Maiden wishes to “devour” Miki by his desire for cognition, and justas the narrator of “Virginia” says that “cognition is eating,” so the rector draws a parallelbetween eating and understanding. Moreover, just as Miki identifies “i”s desire forcognition with his love for her, so the rector states that he loves Q because he wants tounderstand Q.Q does not seem to grasp the point of the rector’s speech. However, he does seemto sense the rector’s desire to understand and to eat him:173Q listened in some confusion to the rector’ s eloquence,which was exactly as if a hot tongue, a hot wet tongue, hadentered his body and was licking out all the folds and pleats ofhis mind, so that it now seemed that his mind was losing allsense of direction. Like a stomach that has lost its digestivepowers, Q’s mind has for the moment lost the ability to secreteawareness towards this particular object. (73:55)In fact, Q feels as if he were being eaten by the rector even before listening to him. Whenthey first meet, they shake hands:[lit rather felt to Q that his hand had been folded in soft meatand was now burrowing further within. When the handshakehad ended he was then overtaken by the anxiety that his handmight have been devoured...(60-61 :44)The handshake, as a sign of recognition of the other, is viewed here as a devouring of theother. Q experiences the fear of being devoured again:[H]is hand was seized by a bunch of lumps like a powerfulinsect-eating plant, and he was hauled in towards the greatbelly. Q let out a cry of fear. [Hie feared that he would indeedbe sucked into this volume of heavy, enormous flesh and betransformed into a part of it. (314-315:255)The metaphor of a insect-eating plant reinforces the implication of devouring first suggestedby the handshake.When Q listens to another of the rector’s speeches, he has the sensation of beingswallowed by him and of viewing his internal organs:Q, being a naturally sincere person with a love of debate, wastrying earnestly to follow the rector’s words, which led him intothat tunnel which winds from the real to the unreal; and when174Q had time to notice, he was already swallowed up inside thebelly of a snake, and he knew that the logic that supported therector’s thought was this meaningless pattern of white bonesthat drew an arch above him, the ribs inside the snake, but onlythat his ideas swallowed up people as a snake does. The snakewould encircle Q, swallow him, probably never let him returnto the real world—endless deglutition of Q in a tube ofunreality. (147-148:118-119)The rector’s desire to know about Q even displays itself through metaphors drawn from theother end of the digestive system. When the rector mentions the question whether Q is anoutcast or not, Q feels confused:[He felt] as if he had suddenly been given an enema. The feargrew that the tentacles of the rector’s consciousness had enteredinto him from all entrances of his body and were going to reachto his inner organs, and with this fear he had the hallucinationthat these organs were melting within him and flowing out fromthe extremities of his digestive system. (379:3 12)The hallucination also oppresses Q when Sabiya tells him that she knows he has “come outof prison,” and Q feels a “sensation of existential incontinence as his heart seem[s] to meltand start leaking down out through [his] body” (202:1 65).An actual enema is performed when Q takes Doktor’soperation: Suddenly the constrictors of Q’s mind burst open.Some burning foreign body was entering him. As Q enduredthe pain he tried to think if it were a steel medical instrument,or the horn attached to the body of a monster; but brief timewas drifting extraordinarily lengthily in the pouch of his mind,and suddenly a pillar of fire raised up before his eyes, and as hefelt the hot brimstone soaking throughout his body, he becameconvulsed, and fainted. (241:197)175If the “foreign body” is “the horn,” then Doktor ejaculates into Q’s rectum. If it is “a steelmedical instrument,” the operation is comparable to Ajita’s insertion of a “gimlet” into hisschoolteacher’s “[a]nus” (342:278-279). In either case, the penetration is not associated withverbal cognition. However, the metaphor of hot brimstone recurs later in the novel,induced by the word, “town,” which is “a symbol of [Q’s] past life,” and “the very soundof it makes Q feels as if the flesh on his back were cut apart like French doors, and the hotbrimstone were poured into there]” (338:273). In short, the mentioning of Q’s secrets tohim has the same effect as an enema upon him.Let me now turn to a discussion of Q’s process of cognition. When Q first pays a visitto the rector, he is offered a lump of unknown meat, which I would conjecture is humanflesh. Q feels “a premonition of nausea,” “[struck by something opposite to an appetite, orto an impulse to ingest and assimilate other organic matter—by an impulse to refuse the alienmatter and discard it from his body]” (62:46). This excerpt implies that the narratorconsiders digestion to be a form of familiarization with extraneous matter. This point isfurther clarified by the rector. When Q rejects the meat and explains his rejection byreference to stomach problems, the rector corrects Q’s explanation, saying that “[a]II thepeople who come here show for a time a breakdown in their ability to digest things,” andthat “[t]his is not, however, a problem connected with the stomach” (63:47). Indeed Qexperiences a sense of nausea as soon as he lands at the beginning of the novel. Nauseaand lack of appetite are not problems with the stomach but rather with the cognitive system,as the rector emphasises in the lecture above.176Some time after his first rejection of the meat which the rector offers, Q decides torequest meat. However, the “odour of scores of spices” is so “violent” that “[h]e only justmanage[s] not to spit the thing out.” Then, “that particular feel on the teeth that animal fleshgives spread[s] throughout his mouth and again incline[s] him towards nausea.”Nevertheless, he succeeds in “avoid[ing] nausea by swallowing the meat in one gulp,without biting or tasting it.” Eventually, “[aifter blocking his gullet [the pieces of meat] f[a]llinto his stomach, announcing their undigested presence there like stones” (65:48-49).When Q comes to know what he has unconsciously repressed, he feels indigestion.Thus, being informed of the cannibalism in which all the inhabitants of the reformatory(except the overseer who is a vegetarian) participate, “Q fe[els] his body go tense all over,[as if he were a snake which had swallowed a stick]” (311:253). Also, when Doktor tellsQ that the pupils “went out on a sortie,” Q “grow[s} rigid as if he had swallowed a stick”(428:35 1). When Doktor points out that the pupils have exhausted all the supplies of frozenhuman flesh stored at the reformatory, Q stops him and says:“Would you please repeat that more clearly.”“Why don’t you try saying it yourself, in your ownwords?”“There’s a limit to everything, you know.”“You’re trying to say there’s a limit to what language canexpress, are you? In your case the cage of that limit has beenmade very tight indeed. Your language, and so yourimagination, is shut up inside that narrow cage, and it cannever arrive at anything which is outside the cage....(429:352)Revealing that Q is now eating part of the last stock of flesh, he asks Q if Q’s “language”can “digest” this fact (429:353). Here, the digestive process and the cognitive process177through language are clearly made parallel. Q cannot digest either the human flesh in hisstomach or the idea of cannibalism through his language. He “suddenly become[s] awareof the existence of his stomach dangling there within his body” and vomits up what he haseaten (429:353).Doktor further points out the transformation of the self which Q has unknowinglyundergone by eating the pupils’ flesh:“You see, ever since you first came to this reformatory you’vebeen eating student meat every day without fail. At thismoment the majority of cells in your body are not what youwere, but things that have been replaced, replaced by students.Which means that you are not you, but somebody else.”(429:353)Digestion, which is supposed to “assimilate other organic matter” to oneself, as the rectorputs it, turns out to transform oneself into the other. A paradox occurs between making theother familiar and defamiliarization of the self.Doktor suggests that Q should accept the fact that he has been involved incannibalism, saying that all he can do is lie down with it for a long time, as a long, coiledsnake does, and digest it, digest these hard pebbles of truth” (431:354). The metaphor ofpebbles is reminiscent of the scene in which Q swallows the unknown meat, while themetaphor of a snake is an echo of the rector’s search for cognition of Q. Again, digestionand cognition are made parallel. Doktor further employs the metaphor when he shows Qaround so that Q can see the last of inhabitants of the reformatory—the theologian, the rectorand his wife—, suggesting that Q should “swallow down the whole of reality” “just like abird that has swallowed a stone and is now going to die” which “look[sJ at everything178without blinking” (431:354)—a metaphor which also suggests the fate of Sabiya, who is oftencompared to a bird and whose eyes are “unblinking” (200:164).However, Q refuses to understand the things he sees. Doktor cuts off thetheologian’s penis, which he and Q discover after the theologian has strangled himself, andeats it; “Q close[sl his eyes for a while and wait[sJ,” deciding “to think this [us all somethinglike the waking nightmare the eyes can see when they are tired” (436:358). When Q comesacross the body of the rector’s wife, he is not upset because his eyes have a “membrane”“which allow[s] him not to see things he [does] not wish to see,” which is “an extremelytough film over the eyes built up out of lassitude and apathy,” “which, on its encounteringthe most potent and corrosive of poisons, is made thicker and firmer” (437:359). Thus,although he is shocked to see the rector’s decapitated head, “the membrane stretched overhis eyes so he [does] not see one of the menials thrust something into his [the menial’slmouth”—a part of the rector’s body. As Doktor maintains, “men can [deceive] themselves”(431:354). Q has “previously made up his mind that he w[illl not understand” themechanism of “the game,” the winner of which is entitled to “buy the body of” the rector’swife (133-134:106-107).The manner in which a human being relates to the world is ultimately deception—deception to protect oneself and to conquer others. One deceives oneself both by notperceiving what one does not want to accept in the world and thus protecting oneself fromself-destruction, and by coming to know what one wishes to accept, through language.Doktor discusses the latter as follows:179Men have to think out aims and find meanings in the world sothat they won’t destroy themselves, so that they can escapefrom death, and live. (435:357)Indeed, what Q has done is to “think out aims” and “find meanings” according to hisunderstanding of Sumiyakism. He criticises the “meaningless”ness of the rector’s having hiswhole body shaved, the lack of “aim” in the construction of the pupils’ dormitories, andvarious symptoms of the void of meaning and vacuity of direction in reformatory society.In the narrator’s terms, Q engages in such operations of consciousness as if he were“[sjtick[ing] language onto bare existences,” “attach[ing] ropes of words where by it[consciousness] can drag and fling them as it pleases” (61:45). The objects beyond suchcapacity for labelling or naming, such as the rector and the concrete projection of the officebuilding which the overseer calls “a mere piece of unsightly and flabby existence” whichis “unnamable” (29:18), threaten one as “existential facts that stick out awkwardly” (61:45).A few characters are not inclined to name objects in the world to stabilize theirrelation to that world: Bukka, Doktor, and Doktor in Doktor’s Notebook by Bukka. Bukka,who maintains that “[tihe world is to be rendered meaningless” (216:176), and tries to usewords not “in order to attach descriptive meanings to things, but solely to suggest existence”(1 64-1 65:133), loves the desert-like landscape in which “[tjhe paint of meaning that men putonto” “things” “has all peeled off” and “[t]he things have refused to be of any assistance atall to men” (1 73:140). Meaninglessness and aimlessness are to the taste of Bukka, whoseontological perceptions are opposed to Q’s teleological view of the world.180When Q betrays his teleological stance and says: “The something we live for whenwe’re living for something can be replaced by lots of other things. Such things are, as yousay, merely objectives that we work out for ourselves as we think fit,” Doktor replies:“Once you get that clear to yourself, then you should be ableto live without sticking meanings all over the world, or danglingaims in front of your nose. Just like me.” (436:358)Doktor clearly refuses to interpret the world in order to relate himself to it in a way that heprefers, since this is merely a deception.Doktor in Doktor’s Notebook, a metadiegetic character, presents this lack of world-view with the greatest clarity and detail:I accepted the existence of the world. [However, what I couldfeel was only that the world is] an aggregate of things and men,of which aggregate I was also a part. [I could not recognize theexistence of] the correlations and order which held the worldtogether. Of course, correlation and order were secondary,conceptual existences, [the formation of which depends onwhat interpretations I make of the world. Unless you face theworld with some kind of conceptual formula, with belief in theformula which more or less belongs to the world-view that hasbeen already established, the world will appear to you moremeaningless than] a heap of twisted roots of trees and stones.However, I cannot believe in any idea. (259:212)This coincides with the world in the rector’s perception, “a place where all things relymutually upon each other, an interdependent system,” and that in Bukka’s perception, whichis reminiscent of the forest in Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees, “a forest where all thetrees are linked to each other by their branches” (170:138). Indeed, the world itself is“unnamable,” an “unsightly and flabby existence” (29:18).181ConclusionAs I have shown, The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q displays disorder; the world is nolonger viewed as an organized whole with a determined system of responsibility, ahierarchy of power, a linear progression of history, substantive individual; nor is ateleological understanding of functions possible. Instead, the world is as a nebula in whichresponsibility and power are diffused, history does not follow any Hegelian schema orMarxist master narrative, and in which people are not confined within any determinedidentity in terms of social class, gender (as the theme of castration shows), or belief. Inother words, the world is free from the constraints of temporality, space, causality, logic, andidentity. As in Blue Iournev and Divine Maiden, this feature is displayed in aspects of thenovel such as narration, indices, and themes. The world view of the novel andmethodologies through which it is constructed thus coincide.In fact, The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q is the last work Kurahashi shows completeconfidence in post-modernist world-view and in anti-novelistic methodologies. As I willdiscuss in the next chapter, Kurahashi’s theses on the world and literature changed whilewriting the novel; the subtle balance she had maintained between constructive anddestructive forces which operate both in the world and in literature began to be shaken.During the 1970’s she worked upon ‘authentic’ novels embodying a world based upon thelogos. When she came back to the subversive novel, her model was no longer Europeananti-novels but those Japanese classics which display a similar inclination toward disorderand performativity.182CHAPTER 4: Bracketing the Anti-World:“Virginia” and “The Long Passage of Dreams”Japanese literary critics have invariably declared that Kurahashi’s novels changed aftershe visited the United States to study creative writing at Iowa State University, on a FulbrightScholarship, between 1966 and 1967. The claim is usually made not regarding hermethodology as a whole (pastiche, metanarrative, the dialogic mode) but specificallyregarding the styles of her works, their motifs and ambiences, which seem to have become“Japanized” since her return to Japan.Kurahashi’s main methodology—pastiche—has not experienced any radical change.She has continued to “steal” other writers’ styles and modify them. However, instead ofusing those of Western novelists such as Kafka, Butor, Nm, and Cervantes, she has startedto appropriate the styles of modern Japanese novels and those of classical Japanese andChinese texts. Thus, critics (including Kurahashi herself) have noted that she imitates thestyle of lshikawa Jun in “Shiroi kami no dOjo” [The Little Girl with the Grey Hair] (1 969),that of Kawabata Yasunari in “Reikon” [The Spirit] (1 970) and Yume no ukihashi E[iicFloating Bridge of Dreamsi (1 970), and that of Mon Ogai in Shiro no naka no shiro IIhCastle within the Castle] (1980). It is clear that in many cases the motifs and plots ofKurahashi’s novels are drawn from Japanese classics such as noh dramas, prose narrativesin the Heian era (e.g. The Tale of Genii), and the 12th century waka.Kurahashi’s choice of sources in classical Japanese literature suggests that she mayhave learned ‘indigenous’ Japanese modes of intertextuality—honkadori [allusive variation183upon earlier Japanese poems], hikiuta [allusion to earlier Japanese poems in prose], andhonmondori [allusion to earlier Chinese texts in prose]—as well as motifs and plots; theclassical texts enumerated above are famous for the way in which they interweave allusionsto earlier Japanese and Chinese poetic texts. We might say that classical Japanese texts havealways consciously engaged in what would be called pastiche in the West.After the publication of Divine Maiden in September 1 965, Kurahashi published onlyfour short stories until November 1 968, when she started publishing an omnibus, J:inhigeki [Anti Tragediesi. Apart from writing essays, she was silent for almost three years.This period of silence coincided with her visit to Iowa, a subsequent sojourn in New York,and her giving birth to her first daughter. Japanese critics have noticed a drastic change inher works after this time and tended to attribute this to the author’s private experiences.My discussion is not focused on the relationship between Kurahashi as a writer andas a human being, but on the relationship between Kurahashi as a critic and as a writer.As a literary critic, she published two essays on the novel which I have quoted in precedingchapters: “ShOsetsu no meiro to hiteisei” [The Labyrinth and Negativity of Fiction] (June,1 966) and “Dokuyaku to shite no bungaku” [Literature as a Poison] (October, 1 966).Discrepancies in Kurahashi’s literary stances between the two essays reveal that her purposesin novel writing have changed to some extent, even in so short a time.In “The Labyrinth and Negativity of Fiction,” Kurahashi maintains that she will notwrite novels which purport to represent reality, whether that reality be society at large orthe life of the author as an individual. Instead, she wishes to “express <<a world whichis not this world>>, or <<an anti-world>>, by making use of issues” in this world.184Such an orientation makes her define the novel as “a magic which gives a <<form>> to<<an anti-world>> through language and by making free use of all non-literary factors,”or as “< <form> >“ itself given by the operation of magic. Therefore, Kurahashi showsinterest in “< <nouveau romans>>, which are studies of the novel and negations ofclassical novels,” enumerating experimental novelists such as Julien Glacque, André Breton,Maurice Blanchot, Michel Butor, and Main Robbe-Grillet as her models. AlthoughKurahashi is aware of the dead end to which the new novel will lead, of its self-destructiveness, and of the difficulty in communication with the reader which arises fromthe use of the new novel as a tool, she declares that “it is ridiculous to observe the<<authentic>> constitution of the novel, and to dream of the restoration of the classicalnovel of the good old days.” In short, she definitely prefers the anti-novel to the “authentic”novel (66-82).“Literature as a Poison” is written as a manifesto of “rOjin bungaku” (the literature byold people) probably in contrast to “shOjo shOsetsu” (the literature by girls), the labelKurahashi employed to indicate the nature of Divine Maiden. Kurahashi feels that she was“a girl” in her teens, was meant to perform the role of “a hermaphrodite” in her twenties,and after reaching thirty is privileged to become a degendered human being, “an old person,not an old woman.” Her literary stance has changed as her sense of her own age hasshifted. Kurahashi summarizes her understanding of the new novel in much the samemanner in “Literature as a Poison” as she did in the previous essay. However, her way ofrelating to the new novel has totally changed: “I am not such a dedicated person that I willtry to contribute to development of the new novel.” Instead, she will engage in attempts185“not to reject, but to approve of and become subject to, <<the world> >, and “to replacethe content of <<the world>> by perfect <<techniques> >,“ or “to peel and subvert<<the world> >“ “under a nonchalant appearance.” In other words, Kurahashi implieshere that she will write seemingly, or formally, ‘authentic’ novels the themes of which willnonetheless be provocative, and anti-worldly (87-95).This manifesto is best carried into practice in Yume no ukihashi [The Floating Bridgeof Dreams] (1 970), which is a third person narrative with an omniscient narrator, has a clearplot structure, and yet deals with transgressive sexual acts such as swapping sexual partnersand sibling incest. Two preceding novellas, “Vâzinia” [Virginia] and “Nagai yumeji” [TheLong Passage of Dreams], both published in December, 1968, function as transitionalattempts to “poison” under the disguise of an “authentic novel.” They include motifs,characters, and units of plot which appear in Kurahashi’s anti-novels, Blue Journey andDivine Maiden. Issues such as nymphomania, homosexuality, incest, and lunacy recur inthe novellas. However, such issues are viewed in the novellas by persons who are outsidersto such ‘absurd’ phenomena, and who thus privilege logical order, the objective viewpointof the ‘traditional’ novel. In other words, the anti-worldliness ascribed to the anti-novels is‘bracketed’ in the novellas by the ‘realistic’ or conventional mind.It is in this sense that I would call “Virginia” and “The Long Passage of Dreams”transitional works in Kurahashi’s literary career; I am sceptical of the consensus held bymany Japanese critics that the two are direct expressions and results of incidents in theauthor’s life in the United States and her life upon her subsequent return to Japan.Certainly, the setting of the former novella is Iowa, while that of the latter is, presumably,186KOchi, the author’s home town. Moreover, the major characters are American in “Virginia,”and Japanese in “The Long Passage Of Dreams.” However, this is not sufficient evidenceto call one, “Americanized,” and the other, “Japanized.” Kurahashi ridicules such criticismmade on the novellas’ first publications in her retrospective “Notes on My Works”: “TheLong Passage of Dreams’ may have appeared to careless people as a return to JapaneseClassics, while ‘Virginia’ has been seen as, so to speak, a souvenir of America” (Vol. 6 284).In contrast to many critics, I rather feel that the two novellas have many motifs incommon. To name only a few: oni or Japanese witches or demons which are destined tolive on the border between the spiritual world and the human world because of theirattachment to their own flesh and to the actual world, and their carnal and cannibalisticdesires for human beings; conflicts between mother and daughter, the former of whom ispresented as superior to the latter: and an analogy between human beings and trees.Contrasts are apparent in the manner in which the two novellas try to transcend theform of the anti-novel. “Virginia” is first-person narrative recounted by an “intradiegeticnarrator,” “I,” who is called “Yumiko” and shares many biographical details with Kurahashi.In short, “Virginia” purports to be a fairly transparent representation of the author’sexperiences. In contrast, “The Long Passage of Dreams” is narrated in the third-person byan extradiegetic narrator, and thus purports to be a fiction, though parallels are made withKurahashi’s life.In this chapter, I wish first to summarize the manner in which “Virginia” ‘brackets’features of the anti-novel, and in subsequent sections, to discuss “The Long Passage ofDreams” in terms of its mode of pastiche or collage, paradox or subversion of the subject-187object relationship, and its inclination to logocentrism, which is negatively viewed inprevious novels such as The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q. I believe considering such issueswill offer an insight into the continuities and discontinuities in Kurahashi’s literary careerwhich are made visible in the novellas.“Virginia”“Virginia” ‘brackets’ anti-novelistic features such as the decentering of the narrator’sauthority, surreal incidents—what Kurahashi would call ‘anti-worldly,’ or ‘nightmarish’—,transgressions of the sexual norm such as nymphomania, free sex, and homosexuality, whichquestion any stable human relationship between persons of substantive identity, subversionof traditional artistic canons, and subversion of social, legislative, and familial authority. By‘brackets’ I mean that the novella mentions and distances them through the orderly mindof the narrator, even though it does not exclude them.“Virginia” concerns a period of friendship between an intradiegetic narrator, watashi(“I”), and Virginia, which occurs in Iowa of the late 60’s. “I,” a 30-year-old female novelist,has come from Japan to study creative writing at Iowa State University, accompanied by herhusband who is enroled in the Film Department at the same university. Virginia is also astudent in Film, 27 years old, separated from her husband, and living with two little Sons.The story shows “l”s process of getting to know Virginia, and thus consists mainly of thedialogues between them, and “l”s observation of Virginia. The narrative begins with thefollowing contemplation on knowing a person:188What does it mean to know a person? ...[wje can assume thatto know a person means to insert oneself into the person, or topossess him/her. It is thus an erotic act. One’s desire to knowa person includes the possibility of making the other into anobject, of destroying the other, and even at times of committingcannibalism. However, human beings situate languagebetween themselves in order that death might not intervene andthat it might not accomplish eroticism. Here language functionsas a talisman against evil. Human beings draw a verbal imageof a person, assume it to be the person, and go on. Suchimages are rough, abstract, and stereotyped. We say “theperson is nice,” or “he is a funny guy,” and consider the makingof such comments means we know person. (9)“I” claims that her relation to Virginia is neither erotic, nor based on stereotypical labelling.By writing this story, the narrator “attempt[sJ to read a person [Virginia] as if she were avolume of a book” (13).Narrated solely by “I,” the narrative is monologic, rather than dialogic as DivineMaiden is. Virginia remains an object under observation, while “I” stays in the privilegedposition of the cognizing subject. However, “1” is aware that getting to know a personmeans being known by her/him:[Tjhe whole relationship between myself and Virginia was aninteraction; in this regard, it was different from the relationshipbetween me and a book. In other words, when I got to know(or read) Virginia, I was known to Virginia simultaneously. If,as I wished, Virginia regarded me as an interesting book fromJapan, then we succeeded in establishing a unique relationshipas two volumes of books which read each other. (13)Just as “I” and Miki ‘read’ each other in Divine Maiden, “I” and Virginia may enjoy themetafictional circularity of reading and being read. The narrative of “Virginia” happens to189be monologic, but could be complemented if Virginia were to write a novella called“Yumiko” on 01UIn fact, Virginia interrogates lu on two subjects: first, the ‘futility’ of her married lifewithout romantic love, and: secondly, the ‘meaninglessness’ of her plan to return to Japan.Virginia’s critical responses to these choices which “I” has made suggest that she, too, isobserving “I” as other. However, “I” is not at all intimidated by Virginia. Rather, she seemsto be quite confident, and even to feel superior to Virginia. The inversion of the subject-object dichotomy, which recurs and in many layers in Divine Maiden, does not occur in thetext of “Virginia.” In this regard, the text ‘brackets’ the paradox of inversion and circularityoften found in anti-novels.“Virginia” ‘brackets’ the anti-world again when the narrator defines the nature of thenovella not as “an anti-novel which assumes the task of destroying a solid notion of thenovel” but as “sub-novel” which “modifies or expands” the form of the novel so as totranscend any “restriction on possibilities of cognition” (11). As far as she restricts the rigidstructural requirements, or set-patterns of the plot in the novel, which she compares tomythos in Greek tragedies, “l”s stance coincides with that of anti-novelists. However, thereason that “1° rejects definite structure is its lack of verisimilitude, or of plausiblerepresentation of the actual world, rather than an aspiration to “the logic of<<dreams>>” in opposition to the logic of reality, which predominates in Kurahashi’s“anti-world” (“The Labyrinth and Negativity of Fiction” 77). “I” quotes the sentence, “suchthings did not happen on earth” from Tonio Kröger by Thomas Mann (148), and maintains190that she will not make up ‘unreal ‘incidents, such as adultery between her husband andVirginia, or a lesbian relationship between herself and Virginia.Another way that the anti-novel is bracketed is that the narrator maintains a criticalattitude toward sexual transgressions of the norm, while Blue lourney, Divine Maiden andThe Adventures of Sumlyakist Q contain a variety of transgressions which are not viewedas negative. The fact that she feels adultery and lesbian relationships “absurd” suggests heraversion to them as well as, in her view, their unrealistic natures. Virginia, despite hername, is a nymphomaniac, having one-night stands with most of her male classmates inFilm. This is simply beyond “l”s comprehension, judging from the question which shenever asks Virginia but keeps perpetually in mind, “Why do you sleep with so many men,Virginia?” (32). The narrator employs negative phrases to describe Virginia, such as “awitch” (30), “devastation of life” (38), “a ruined planet” (46), “a futile land” (46), and thusdistances herself from Virginia’s sexual disorder. Furthermore, the narrator seems to becomeembarrassed when talking about a penis or nudity. Such conservative attitudes towards‘obscene’ topics are in sharp contrast to You in Blue lournev who does not hesitate to makelove with strangers, is not ashamed of showing her naked body to others, and indulges indreams about the phallus.Finally, the narrator’s sympathy with authority, the establishment, such as literarytradition as opposed to novelty for novelty’s sake, or mothers as opposed to daughters,contrasts with the subversive inclination of the anti-novels. She calls American popular art“ivy plants without roots” “in a two-dimensional world without the axis of tradition, [aworld] which will never grow into a huge tree” (62), while Japanese artisans polish their191techniques through apprenticeship and “persistent imitation [of their mentors’ works] andpractice” and at times achieve “divine art” (42). It is evident that she sympathizes with thelatter.Virginia’s mother is an embodiment of authority, order, and discipline. She “watchesevery occurrence in her own domain carefully, and insists on putting right any disturbancein the order as trivial as a mote of dust’s falling.” She is “a college instructor inlinguistics,and dominates the territory of language very severely.” The mother has alsoprohibited her daughter from having any contact with male acquaintances. “I” drawsparallels in the relationships between Virginia and her mother, and between herself and herown mother:The daughter always locates herself ahead of her mother,positing the preposition, <<against>>, between them. Still,the daughter is related to the mother by this <<against>>,and she eventually becomes the flip side of her mother, despiteher defiance. However, such self-fashioning by the daughternever fails to transform the mother in turn into a grotesquecreature. Since the mother discovers that the daughter locatesherself through the preposition <<against>>, the motherstarts to kill herself little by little. The accumulation of smallrelinquishments builds up a heap of corpses of love, whichweakens the mother just as the growth of gallstones does. Ifyou ask which of the mother and daughter is the victim, it isthe mother in most cases. (72)It is evident here that the narrator is sympathetic to the mother. In addition, sheacknowledges Virginia’s mother’s “insight” which does not overlook the traces of thedaughter’s nymphomaniac life, though “Virginia seem[s] to think her mother does not know”192anything about it (74-75). In other words, the daughter does not know the mother knowswhat the daughter does. The mother’s superiority in knowledge is established here.The narrator’s preference for order as opposed to chaos is consistent in the text.Although she claims that “Virginia [in the novella] is a collage of fragments which requirethe reader to gather them into an image,” the novella is not as flexible as Blue tourney.another collage of fragments the text of which is incessantly being created by the reader.Rather, the narrator of “Virginia” provides innumerable parenthesized annotations whichmake it impossible for the reader to participate actively in interpreting the text. In otherwords, the text is explanatory, rather than associative, and thus is more like an essay thana novella. (Kurahashi did clearly categorize this work as a fiction when her CompleteWorks were edited, although we are entitled to question the author’s categorization, andcategorization per se.)In fact, Kurahashi has not written any other fiction in this style: the first-personnarrative with a intradiegetic narrator who is very similar to the author. The representationalnature of “Virginia” may represent the personal feelings of the author who claims to beconfined within social norms in her actual life. (Remember, for example, Kurahashi showsstrong aversion to incest in reality in “Notes on My Works” added to Divine Maiden: yetshe feels free to write of incest in the novel itself.)Having examined the manner in which “Virginia” transcends anti-novels, I now wishto turn to another transitional work—”The Long Passage of Dreams.”193“The Long Passage of Dreams”The text of “The Long Passage of Dreams” is full of references and allusions to worksof noh. To begin with, its title draws upon the last phrase in a noh play called Tamakazura[The Jewelled Chaplet], which is quoted toward the end of the novella:Tamakazura’s soul has attained the jewel of Truth,Tamakazura’s soul has attained the jewel of Truth,and the long passage of dreams has come to an end.(Goff, 124)1“[T]he long passage of dreams” stands for the duration of obsessive human attachments tothe secular world—emotional, carnal and material desires. The fact it “has come to an end”means that those who have been attached to the secular world are finally enlightened byBuddhist truth, and achieve peace of mind. In medieval Japan it was believed that thosewho could not detach themselves from worldly desires became oni [demons, witches], whohovered around trying to devour living human beings, and haunted the objects of theirdesire, at times possessing them and torturing them to death.Two persons in the novella experience “the long passage of dreams” or the processof overcoming attachment: Keisaku, a dentist on his deathbed, and Mariko, his daughter inher late 20’s who comes back from the United States to see him. Let us first followKeisaku’s passage so that we may also have an overview of the story.Incidents in Keisaku’s life are usually rendered through comparison with otherincidents in Greek tragedies and noh plays. In Keisaku’s dreams Mariko provides analogies11 have modified Goff’s translation in order to attain consistency in the use of tense andto add the equivalent of the original word “ji” which means “the passage” and is missingfrom her translation.194with Greek tragedies, while Keisaku himself, who has practised the chanting andperformance of noh, often associates circumstances he has been in with those in noh plays.He met Fusa, his current wife, when he was a student at a dental school in Tokyoand she lived with her aunt in the city, engaged in practising the many arts required for aproper marriage for daughters of respectable families. At Fusa’s request, Keisaku wrote alove letter to her every night, and hoped that his wish to gain her hand would come truewhen he had continued the letter-writing for a period of one hundred nights. Keisakucompares his endeavour to obtain Fusa through such measures to the endeavours ofFukakusa no shOshO in a noh play called Kayoi komachi [Komachi and One HundredNightsl. In the noh play, Komachi, a noble woman renowned for her beauty and talent inpoetry-composition in the Heian era, requires one of her innumerable suitors, Lesser CaptainFukakusa, to visit her one hundred consecutive nights, and promises that only then will shelet him consummate their relationship. The play ends when Fukakusa no shOshO hasmanaged to visit her on ninety-nine consecutive nights without telling us the final result, butanother nob piece, Sotoba komachi [Komachi on a Stupal reveals that the suitor dies on thevery last night.In Keisaku’s life, Fusa, leaving for her home town on the ninety-ninth night, wascaught by him at the railway station; he visited her family to ask for her hand, and wasrejected. However, Fusa told her family she would choose Keisaku even at the cost ofbeing disowned, and joined Keisaku in his home town where he set up a dentistry practice.Mariko, in Keisaku’s dream, compares his abduction of Fusa to Jason’s flight withMedea from Colchis to steal the golden fleece. The king of Colchis, before he grants his195request, asks Jason to sow dragons’ teeth. The motif of teeth connects Jason to Keisaku,who is a dentist. Informed by Mariko of Medea’s revenge upon Jason’s infidelity, Keisakuassociates this with the betrayed wife’s possessing of her husband as a spirit in the noh play,Kanawa FThe Iron Crown].Though Fusa’s superhumanly strong will and composure are comparable, in thedream, to those of Medea or the woman in The Iron Crown, Keisaku is not a latter dayJason: he has never engaged in adultery. Therefore, Fusa has had no opportunity to exerther ‘magical power,’ which “poisoned herself” and “transformed her into a witch in thedisguise of a perfect, ideal housewife and mother” (114).Overpowered by his wife in his everyday life, Keisaku has reacted by engaginghimself in practising noh chanting and performance. His hopes have been to stop practisingdentistry one day, and leave this world. His former hope has now been achieved, and nowhe dreams of leaving for a trip, accompanied by Mariko, just as Oedipus is guided by hisdaughter Antigone, or as Kagekiyo in the noh play Kagekivo who was once a famouswarrior, and now lives in a thatched hut as a blind beggar and is visited by his daughterHitomaru. In another dream he has just before his death, Keisaku plays the role of atravelling priest, who encounters an old man who is identified as a devouring demon. Thesetting is similar to those of noh plays such as Kurozuka [A Black Tomb] and NomoriGuardian of the Field]; the former is mentioned, and sentences of the latter are quoted inthe text. In The Guardian of the Field, the priest peeps into the demon’s bedroom in whichthe corpses of the human beings he has devoured are stored; the demon in Keisaku’s dreamshows him a pile of the teeth he has extracted during his life. The demon further shows196Keisaku a well of “the completion of wisdom” and a hawk which disturbs the placid mirrorof the water and prevents a person from viewing Prajnâ pâramitâ reflected in the mirror.The demon suggests that Keisaku should scatter the extracted teeth so that the hawk maybe distracted from the well; he does so, and it disappears. Following the demon’sinstructions, Keisaku manages to look into the well, to find not pâramitâ but sOn yatâ, oremptiness.2 The next moment, the hawk bites Keisaku’s back, and Keisaku finds “his flesh”to be “remove[d] as a cicada shed[s] its skin, leaving the empty shell of a long confusingdream.” A sentence from Tamakazura sounds to Keisaku: “the long passage of dreams [hascome] to an end.” Then, “Keisaku awaken[sJ from his dream and enter[s] the well” (1 36)—heis dead.Kurahashi’s novella, we have seen, is full of references and allusions to noh pieces.However, noh functions as more than the source of motifs in “The Long Passage of Dreams.”The novella reflects the methodologies of noh composition—pastiche of poetic phrases, theuse of dialogic mode between the two major characters with an annotative chorus, and thedual structure of dream and reality. The first methodological characteristic of noh plays isevident in the very fact that “The Long Passage of Dreams” is filled with echoes of nohpieces. The novella is, in fact, a pastiche of pastiche.21 have used the transcriptions of the two Sanskrit words given in “Hannya-haramittashingyO” and “KU” in Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary. I also referred to A Dictionaryof Buddhist Terms and Concepts, which defines “pâramitâ” as “[p]ractices which Mahayanabodhisattvas must undertake in order to attain enlightenment” (“Pâramitâ” 341), and“shUnyata” as “non-substaniality, emptiness, void, latency, relativity, etc.” (“KU” 237).197Another characteristic of the novel which imitates noh methodology is its structure.While this is not identical to that of the noh play, it shows similarities in its use of thedialogic mode. Its text consists of ten sections: in the first, third, fifth, seventh and tenthsections, the heroine Mariko’s viewpoint predominates, while her father Keisaku functionsas the main viewer in the second, fourth, sixth, eighth. In short, the father and daughtertakes turns to provide viewpoints. The narrative is dialogic in this sense. Moreover, eachsection, except for the ninth, which consists merely of the doctor’s declaration of Keisaku’sdeath and an indication of the time, is dialogic. The sections narrated mainly from Mariko’spoint of view represent her communication with Takatsu, a boyfriend, regarding Keisaku;Takatsu has asked Keisaku for her hand, and excited him to a point at which he has falleninto a coma. Their communications, direct or indirect (letters), are either rendered asdialogues or incorporated within statements made by the narrator. In Keisaku’s sections,which, as a consequence of his being in a coma, are mainly constituted of his dreams,Keisaku and Mariko, and at times Fusa, talk with each other.The last and most important similarity between the compositional principles ofKurahashi’s novella and those of noh is the dual structure of dream and reality presented ina sub-genre of nob plays called the fukushiki mugen nob [double-decked noh on dreams];waki, or the secondary character, often a travelling priest, meets the primary character (shite)in the ‘real’ and ‘present’ section, and in the subsequent ‘dream’ and ‘past’ section, shiteturns out to be the ghost of a well-known literary or legendary person who cannot detachher/himself from the secular world after her/his death.198The theme of conflict between dream and reality predominates in the novella, andreflects the subject of this chapter—the way Kurahashi ‘brackets’ the anti-novel. Keisaku’sdreams offer the world of the anti-novel which subverts principles of the real world. I nowwish to discuss the ways in which they transcend the logico-temporal-spatial order whichdominates the real world, and offer ‘leaps and twists typical of dreams” (“The Labyrinth andNegativity of Fiction” 77), how they engage in conflict with the real world and how theyeventually subside.In the second section of “The Long Passage of Dreams,” Keisaku experiences his firstbout of incontinence without at first realizing what is happening: he dreams of an incidentin which he abducts Fusa, and then regains self-possession and is aware of his incontinence.At the beginning of his dream, he senses that the “sunny” and “warm” room “suddenlybec[omes] dark” and “filled with chill.” This suggests that Keisaku shifts from the real worldto the dream world. Then he discovers he is wearing “a noh mask made by Himi,” amedieval master of mask-making who made a mask of yaseotoko, the one worn by a nobperformer in the role of Fukakusa no shOshO in Kavoi komachi, and the one with whichMariko associates the face of dying Keisaku. In fact, °Himi” literally means the sun and ice,and thus implies the dual structures of sunshine and cold, brightness and darkness, realityand dream. Keisaku can “see his own face from the reverse side [of the maski as the faceof an old man, with an inflexible deathlike expression” (101). Another dichotomy is addedhere—that between the surface of the mask (the face of a young, lovelorn man) and itsreverse side (the face of a dying old man). Keisaku thus experiences both sides of the binaryoppositions outlined above.199The surrealistic metamorphosis of Keisaku’s face is followed by a temporal confusion.In an adjacent room, Keisaku finds Fusa as the girl who ordered him to visit her for onehundred nights. When Keisaku replies to her saying, “I no longer have such time; I amdying,” Fusa runs away, leaving a note which reads, “I am going home to Kumano.” Thus,the present in which Keisaku is dying is abruptly connected, without any explanation, withthe ninety-ninth night of his courtship forty years ago.Keisaku runs to the railroad station to catch up with Fusa, as he did forty years ago.The way in which the chase is presented suggests that Keisaku is fully conscious of theatemporality and absurdity of the whole episode:What he thought while running is that if [this incident] were[happening] now, there would be the taxis which hover in thetown like innumerable noctitucae. His throat was scorched drywith frustration at the thought that if it were now, he could flyto Osaka ahead of Fusa and wait for her there. However,Keisaku knew that he was running in a town of forty yearsago....A rickshaw without its puller was parked with its shaftsdirected toward the heaven in the deserted town. Keisaku ran,pulling the rickshaw, thinking how absurd the whole businesswas.Arriving at the station and running up the stairs, Keisakuwas out of breath. Apparently the train had already left. He satdown on the ground, and within his head sounded the chorusof jiutal, “I was to come a hundred times; / There lacked butone .../ My eyes [are] dazzle[d}. Oh the pain, the pain! / Ohthe pain! and desperate, / Before the last night had come, / Hedied,—Shii no ShOshO the captain.” It should not have been likethis, Keisaku mused, and tried to look into the well of memory.However, there was a muddle in his brain after the avalancheof encephalomalacia, and he was even uncertain of the locationof the well. This is where I caught Fusa then, Keisaku thought.And now then.200There she was, as he had expected. (102-103)The present and the past of Keisaku’s life are at first separated by the repetition of “if it werenow,” and later united by the sentence, “And now then.” The word “shafts” issuggestive of those on which Fukakusa no shOshO marked the number of his visits in Kayoikomachi, and the quotation from Sotoba komachi connects the time forty years in Keisaku’spast with the Heian era, and thus Keisaku and Fukakusa no shOshO. Keisaku’s identity is notsubstantive but performative; it is surrealistically dissolved in the anti-world.However, in a subsequent passage, Keisaku is troubled by being conscious that heis no longer as young as forty years ago, while Fusa somehow remains a youthful girl:“I will let you go no more. I am coming with you toKumano,” said Keisaku in a youthful tone. However, his voicewas that of an old man, his face, that of “yaseotoko” with adeathlike expression. Hoping Fusa would not notice it [hisagedness], Keisaku expanded the wings of unrestrained carnaldesire on the reverse side of his own aged ugly [face]. The girlwas youthful, with the face of a “koomote” [a noh mask foryoung women characters]. She was somewhat different fromthe Fusa of that time. Imagining violating this girl with his agedbody, Keisaku felt an almost frantic, brutal joy.“I have bought a ticket for you, too,” said the girl,opening her clasped paw to show it. Keisaku grabbed the handand drew her to him. Drawn as if she had no weight, the girlhid her face in Keisaku’s chest. Worried about the foul breathof old men, Keisaku was thinking of kissing her lips. Thisconcern had been missing “then.” Confused with such vagueretrospect, Keisaku continued caressing the dew-soaked, coldhair of the girl. Then the hair shone in awesome silver. Thewoman’s face, turned over, was witch’s mask. It was a “shinja”[a true snake: a noh mask for witches] showing its tongue.l have inserted Arthur Waley’s translation of Sotoba komachi several lines of which arequoted in this excerpt.201From the manner in which Fusa was working awayaround his feet, Keisaku realized that he had wetted his pants.Driven by irritation, he said, “Since when have you become thetrue snake?” (103-104)The discrepancies between now and then, real and unreal, confuse Keisaku. Finally Fusa’sface is transformed from a koomote to a shinja, without any logical transition, just asKeisaku’s face is transformed into a yaseotoko at the beginning of the dream.Similar atemporality is found in the fourth section of “The Long Passage of Dreams.”Knowing that he will die soon, Keisaku plans how he will leave for Kyoto as a dead man.Illogically enough, he considers being accompanied by Mariko and Takatsu, even thoughthey will in fact be alive after his death. Keisaku thinks he has to take out some of the treesin the yard so as to make it look tidier, “At the thought, Keisaku fe[els] that he g[ets] upeasily and look[s] down at the yard from the window.” His observation is as follows:Now, the season of loquats was already over, and it wasstill too early for autumn fruit to ripen. Under the persimmontree, the elementary school pupil Mariko and KOji [her] three-year-old [brother] were having fun turning over the soil in asquatting posture....The children were digging up something.Keisaku leaned out of the window upstairs and cried to them.“Folks, you mustn’t dig out the extracted teeth!”It was rather an absurd manner of speaking to childrento use such terms as “extracted teeth.” Moreover, it had beenmuch after when Keisaku had buried the teeth pulled out of hispatients’ mouths. There should have been an air defense moatunder the place in which the schoolchild Mariko was digging.Therefore, Keisaku corrected his statement, and cried, “Youmustn’t play on the air defense moat!” Then Mariko and KOjilooked up at Keisaku upstairs. The two faces were muddled,their eyes and noses missing. Baffled, Keisaku said, “Look, yourfaces have changed in this way, for you are playing at such aplace.”202“I have dug a hole for you, Father,” the grown up Marikocame to tell him. (110-111)Here, again, three points in the chronological time are confused: war time, the time whenKeisaku buried the extracted teeth, and the present in which Keisaku is on his deathbed.He is conscious of the atemporality and absurdity, and tries to correct them. Logicaldisorder is also visible, when he “g[ets] up easily” and when the “eyes and noses” disappearfrom the children’s faces.The narrative in sections of Keisaku’s dreams even transcends spatial reality. He canbe anywhere he imagines himself to be. In one incident, Keisaku seems to be transferredto the place Kurahashi calls the “anti-world,” in that he goes through a hole and reaches “theother earth”:The hole Keisaku had fallen into was like the hole of an antlion. The funnel-shaped sandy hole collapsed easily,and hisfeet trod through the bottom of the sand. As soon as he felt hisbody was in the air, he flew down to the other earth. Theplace appeared somewhat like Kumano, and somewhat likeAdachi ga hara or Kasuga no sato in Yamato prefecture [Bothare locations in which a witch or demon appears in noli plays].It was a world of twilight stretching as far as the end of theearth. The destination for which he had wished to leave mustbe such a place, thought Keisaku. (13 1-132)Thus Keisaku can move between the world and the anti-world.In addition to such surrealistic transgressions of orders of logic, time and space,Keisaku’s dream displays paradoxes in which the subject and object of observation areinverted in much the same way as in Divine Maiden. Here, I wish to discuss twoconspicuous examples, those of Keisaku’s diary and of his jabberwockies.203Keisaku has written into his diary of “a grotesque dream” he had “around the timeof Mariko’s birth,” in which a baby was born as a “lump of flesh covered by a semitransparent, albumen-like pouch” and had no head, no limb, only the vaginal opening.”Suddenly “a grotesque bird came down, grasped the lump and flew off.” He modifies thedream by adding a fictional passage in which “Fusa, who produced the egg-like thing,laughed with her mouth torn wide like that of a cat.” Then, “Keisaku store[s] the diary ina bookshelf with glass French doors with a lock. However, he often forg[ets] to turn thekey, and leaves the diary on the desk, so it i[s] quite possible that someone in the familymight have had read it in his absence.” (11 7)Keisaku keeps asking himself if Mariko has read his diary, and becomes sure that shemust have, to judge from “a slight change in her attitude”:Mariko’s eyes had been those of a daughter who looks at herfather, focusing upon the surface of the mask of the fatherwhich Keisaku wore. After a certain moment, however, hergaze stretched boldly forwards, and delved deep into Keisaku’seyes like a probing fishline. Her gaze was that of a womanwho was in love [with a man], and knew that she was alsoloved [by him]. The reason that Mariko could gaze at Keisakuin such a way was that she had come to know that she wasknown by him. Keisaku’s dream in which Mariko was born inthat egg-like shape was a revelation to her. The birth dreamt ofby Keisaku was the origin of her existence, and thus it was noone but Keisaku who had given birth to her. Therefore, Keisakuwas the man who knew Mariko’s secret. Now that Marikocame to know that she was known by a man, wasn’t it rathernatural that her eyes which gazed at the man appeared to bethose of a woman who was completely known to him? Keisakuinterpreted Mariko this way and wrote down this analysis, too,in the small leatherbacked notebook which he used as a diary.(118-119)204Keisaku and Mariko’s relationship changes from that of the father and daughter to that ofsecret sharers, of intimate lovers. Therefore, their identities are incessantly changing, andperformative. Keisaku writes that he supposes that Mariko has read what he has wroteabout her birth; such multi-layered nesting in which the subject and object of observation!knowing are perpetually inverted is, as I discussed in the second chapter of my thesis, aparadoxical feature typical of anti-novels.An answer is provided to Keisaku’s question regarding whether Mariko has read thediary or not in another of his dreams in the sixth section. There, Keisaku and Mariko havea dialogue in which inversions occur unceasingly. His wish to get Mariko back from theUnited States is realized in his dream earlier than reality. Mariko arrives by a plane in theback yard (again, absurdly), and asks Keisaku:“What can I do for you?”“I have called you back because I have become ill.”“No, you have become ill because you wanted to callme back.”“My brain has begun to deteriorate because my illicitlove for you became more and more acute.”“Every corner of your thoughts is clear to me; I have readyour diary.”“So, I was right; you have read it.”“It’s you who deliberately left it open on the desk so thatI might read it.”“Now that you understand that much, I need not explainany longer. I am leaving for a trip with you.”“You are too ill to do so.”“You need not worry; mine is a feigned sickness. Areyou angry?”“Of course I am.” (124)205The first inversion occurs in a cause-effect relationship: does the illness inspire thesummons, or the summons the illness? The second concerns whether Keisaku wishedMariko to read his diary, or not. Finally, the third inversion explores the question whetherKeisaku pretends to be ill or not.As is evident in the passage above, Keisaku and Mariko deceive each other, tryingto conquer the other and yet also apparently intoxicated with the sense of being conquered.Such sado-masochistic dialogues are only possible when both of the participants accept theparadoxical “anti-world.” Keisaku cannot indulge in such mesmerizing infinite circularitywhen he faces Fusa. Another series of inversions occurs in his consciousness when he iswith Fusa, but Fusa mercilessly refuses to play the game with him:As his illness took a turn for the worse and his tongue becameless mobile, Keisaku often pronounced words deliberatelyunclearly, and looked back at his family, who could not catchhis words and brought their confused faces closer to his, withhis eyes full of hatred. The faces of humans always lookedextremely foolish on such occasions. Fusa, whose face wassually well-composed, was no exception. Keisaku was free ashe wished to despise Fusa who showed the expression of afoolish, deaf person. He almost gnashed his teeth together outof hatred and rage not only at Fusa but also at himself whoconsciously did such things. However, it was not long beforeFusa perceived Keisaku’s plot, and came to nonchalantly ignorehis unclear words. His hatred toward Fusa, who tried to takecontrol of him calmly, regarding him as an unsightly, foolishpartially-paralysed patient, was like that of a helpless infant. Inthe course of time, Keisaku gave up attacking her and got usedtoyieldinghimselfupto Fusa’s careas meeklyas achild. Still,he became almost frantic in a momentary rage when Fusa said“Could you please say it more clearly?” in a well-composedtone of voice. He was not speaking in such a mannerdeliberately—he could not speak in any other way any longer,Keisaku was about to explain, but gave up. Tears filled thecloudy eyes of the patient. (104-105)206The comparison of the patient to an infant cared for by a nurse is not an unusual one.However, the patient’s position is inverted when, as in the above excerpt, he consciouslyperforms the role of the patient, and thus views the nurse contemptuously as “a foolish, deafperson.” Keisaku is even conscious of his performance and feels “hatred and rage” towardhimself. Such a closure of self-reflexive acts is shattered by Fusa, who stops appearing as“a foolish, deaf person” and instead deals with Keisaku “unconcernedly” “calmly” and in a“well-composed” manner. Refusing to join her husband in the play of circularity, Fusamaintains a privileged position over him, just as she did before Keisaku fell ill. UnlikeMariko, Fusa is not an inhabitant of the “anti-world.”Another example of the power struggle between Keisaku and Fusa will lead us toconsideration of the logos in “The Long Passage of Dreams.” The eighth section begins asfollows:As his illness got worse, Keisaku became able to cometo and fro between dreams and reality. It was because hiscontrol waned that his imagination operated unrestrainedly.The fact that his control over his imagination waned meant thathis control over his limbs and mouth waned, too. When hesensed the immobility of his body, Keisaku stopped chantingand dancing, and instead licked unuttered words like candieswithin his mouth, with noh textbooks open on his lap,transforming himself freely, or rather dissolutely, into shite andhis past self. He thus pronounced the words of the person intowhom he transformed himself, It was just like dreaming, but inKeisaku’s case, he saw dreams in the presence of others while[normallyJ one sees dreams when one is alone, wrapped in apouch of sleep. The words Keisaku uttered in such a state ofmind were words in dreams, or, to use Fusa’s expression,jabberwockies. Fusa thought of dreams which were beyond thecontrol of the social conventions of language, and leakedoutside, as something as unrestrained as incontinence of urine.Since the time when he had become incontinent bothphysically and in his illusions, Keisaku had been confirmed as207an invalid. It was also since then that Fusa pointed Keisaku outto their children as “the person” instead of “your father.” (130-131)As in The Adventures of Sumivakist Q, Kurahashi tends to dismiss the divisions betweenmental and other systems in the human body, and teleological explanations of the functionand malfunction of organs. Here, the discharging of urine and of illusions are incorporatedtogether.However, what I would like to emphasize here is the narrator’s negative descriptionsregarding Keisaku, and the world of illusion. The narrator corrects her/his statement aboutKeisaku from “freely” to “dissolutely,” and views the whole process of his illness as“wan[ingj” into the state of being an “invalid.” The narrator also quotes Fusa’s observationsoften: “jabberwockies,” “slovenly.” Eventually, Fusa comes to regard Keisaku not asrespected member of family, who is presumably in power, but as an object of observation.The shift in Keisaku’s position occurs because of his lack of control—especially, linguisticrestraint is missing—so that he cannot be accepted any longer in society in which “language”as “a social convention” dominates.Opposed to the intoxicated, disordered, paradoxical states of Keisaku’s, andoccasionally of Mariko’s, minds are the sober, organized, and ‘logical’ dispositions of Fusaand Takatsu. We may contrast these two opposite inclinations as Dionysian and Apollonianimpulses, following Neitzsche’s definitions in The Birth of Tragedy (“Apollonian-Dionysian,”Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics 41). The three novels I have dealt with in thepreceding chapters—Blue lourney, Divine Maiden and The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q—aIlfavour Dionysian, chaotic, subversive, and performative inclinations. A shift to a preference208for the Apollonian order is visible in “The Long Passage of Dreams” as well as in “Virginia,”first in the expansive references to the ordered mannerisms of Fusa and Takatsu, secondlyin the reliance of Mariko and Keisaku upon them, and thirdly in the respectful commentsMariko makes about them.Fusa’s organized way of life is presented in many ways. Her manner of eating foodis “as if she were neither driven by appetite, nor as if she did not like the taste of dishes, but[us completely incorporated within a ritual, far from the way in which animate creatures eat:without noise, almost without dipping chopsticks into the food” (92). In fact, the narratorclearly contrasts Fusa’s manner at meals with Keisaku’s, who “eats frantically, making anoise with his tongue” and “c[annot] compete with Fusa in the [manner] of eating” (92).Fusa’s tone of speech is “well-composed,” her attitude in general also “calm” and“unconcerned.” Keisaku observes that “[a]s she becomes aged, she seems to haveaccomplished the art of nonchalantly making satirical and cynical statements the realmessages of which Keisaku c[anlnot catch.” “Though Keisaku hate[sJ the toughness of herheart, he d[oes] not have the art with which to compete with her” (114).Fusa surpasses and frightens Mariko as well as Keisaku. When Mariko comes home,has a dinner with her family, and is surprised that Takatsu has been staying at home, Fusaexplains the reason that she did not request him to leave as follows:“I wish him to see the person’s [Keisaku’s] end. He[Takatsu] has established such a tie. Also, I considered thepossibility that you might not have arrived in time.”Mariko stiffened her shoulders, sensing a horriblemachination, beyond brutality, in her mother’s words. Theword, “witch,” occurred to her. A witch was beyond the reachof the interpretations of deep psychology or psychoanalysis; a209mountain hag who had grown out of the jelling of obsessionand delusion. (92)Just as in “Virginia” “I” compares Virginia’s mother to an omniscient “witch,” reminding herof her own mother, Mariko here compares her mother to “a witch.” Fusa’s strong will,through which she unhesitatingly presents Keisaku’s death as inevitable, overcomes Mariko.Subsequently, Mariko again acknowledges her inferiority to Fusa:“I could have come back earlier if I could have changedairplanes more efficiently,” said Mariko. She knew that shecould only speak apologetically to her mother, and also thatFusa would never accept her apologies. (93)Mariko is here deprived of the freedom of speech which she seems to enjoy when talkingwith Keisaku. Mariko is obviously under the verbal control of Fusa, as Virginia is dominatedby her linguist mother who perpetually corrects her manner of speech.Mariko used to think of the possibility of “something ominous happening to herfather.” In contrast, she never expected that “[a]nything ominous would happen to hermother”:Mariko was certain that her mother would never die of disease.If she ever died, no other way than suicide was conceivable.But such a superhuman woman would never commit suicideeither. Words such as “the witch,” “mountain hag,” occurredto Mariko then, too. (93)Mariko has unshakable trust in Fusa’s physical and mental toughness, while she is uncertainabout Keisaku’s physical strength. Later, Keisaku’s mental fragility also surfaces in Mariko’sconsciousness:210Mariko was convinced that her mother would never cry like anordinary woman even at the last moment of her father’s life.Fusa would never lose herself, cling to the dead man or cryover him. Being so convinced meant that Mariko was able torespect her mother. When she was around twenty years old,Mariko had been so intoxicated with the idea of “love” that shehad taken to her father’s side in interpreting the relationshipbetween her parents based on this idea, and by making ajudgement that her mother did not love her father. However,the Mariko of the present, who had been awaken from theintoxication of “love,” found her father rather annoying, for hehad yielded to [the temptation ofl talking about his courtshipwith her mother to Mariko when she was intoxicated. It wouldbe after his death that even those soft points he had exposed toMariko would appear dear, Mariko thought. In contrast, hermother, without soft points, was a mountain hag, superior to ahuman woman. (129-130)Here, Mariko is aware of a shift in her attitudes towards her parents; she now definitelyplaces Fusa above Keisaku, and by so doing, implicitly values sober will and toughnessabove intoxication and softness.Mariko formerly shared wild, unrestrained flights of imagination with Keisaku. Evenwhen she faces the dying man on his deathbed and thus is supposed to concentrate onwatching him, Mariko’s mind is disturbed by the idea of writing a novel about an incidentin New York. However, she thinks that she should not indulge in such a thought. She findsher imagination “unrestrained,” and wishes to calm herself down through the help of hermother:She would be able to write a novel, Mariko tried to tellherself again. However, she had no confidence in the idea. Itdisappeared like a bubble of trivial thought. Why could shenot prevent herself from turning her mind over and overdissolutely, in the middle of a ritual in the presence of a dyingman? It was as if she were doing something obscene with her211body beneath her clothes without being seen. Realizing theinstability of her mind which could not dwell on any subject inorder to escape from her father’s death, Mariko looked at hermother as if to seek control over it. (88)The motifs of novel-writing and masturbation are contrasted with “a ritual” of death. Thewords “take over” indicate the operation of an evil-spirit, an operation which was part offolk-belief in medieval Japan and thus recurs in noh plays. Modifiers such as “trivial,”“dissolutely,” “obscene” give a negative connotation to Mariko’s loss of composure. Marikoherself is critical of her Dionysian inclination, and needs Fusa to help her resist it. Fusasimultaneously threatens and supports Mariko. The recurrent comparison of the “neatlysit[ting]” Fusa to “a candle holder” implies her stability, brightness, and her position as thecentre of order in the family.Takatsu functions in much the same way as Fusa—that is, as a keeper of order, whichis visible in his face, writing style, handwriting, the manner of his speech, his posture andhis attitude to others. His behaviour is based on reason and composure.When Mariko sees Takatsu for the first time after arriving home, he apologizes to herfor having excited Keisaku by repeatedly asking for her hand to a point at which the olderman fell into a coma. However, Takatsu does not make an elaborate explanation, anattempt to justify himself, but simply says, “Forgive me, please.” His face, too, does notshow any concern: his face “appear[s] to signify nothing.” By such a “lack of expression,Takatsu’s face show[sJ true courtesy.” “Mariko approve[s] of it,” comparing it favourably toa face of emotional turbulence “like the inside of a crab’s crust” (94). Here, Mariko prefersthe lack of, or overcoming of, emotions to an unstable state of mind.212Ever since Keisaku fell sick, Takatsu has been writing to Mariko in the United States:Mariko had never read at length the long letters from Takatsuwhich were written in an upright hand, and in a style somewhatlike a mixture of those of Montaigne and Main. The contentsof his letters were more or less those of observation recordsmade by a courteous medical doctor....Mariko was angry at thefact that Takatsu had put the lid on her father’s opening of hisinward self, that he had begun to function as a mediatorthrough which her father viewed and contacted the outside.This should have been Mariko’s task. However, Mariko alsoknew that she would not be able to bear such a task. (97)It is evident in this excerpt that Mariko acknowledges Takatsu’s formality and logic assomething lacking in herself, and has an antagonistic feeling toward him, but admits that herfather needs the support of such a logical person. Keisaku tells Takatsu about his earlycourtship with Fusa, and about his resolution to retire from dental practice, about whicheven Mariko does not know in detail. As Takatsu himself says, he “may know more ofcertain things about Keisaku than Mariko” (99). Indeed, Takatsu comes to occupy a superiorposition to Mariko in terms of knowledge about Keisaku.Mariko is thus opposed to Takatsu’s disposition, and at one place even finds him“laughable” in terms of his “strangely polite, formal manner of speech” and of his “mannerof sitting in front of the Japanese writing desk which show[s] he ha[s] been disciplined” (98).Nevertheless, Mariko needs Takatsu’s help just as Keisaku does. This is primarily impliedin the fact that Mariko “Iurche[sJ and put[s] her hand on Takatsu’s shoulder” (107), just asKeisaku “[falls] on to Takatsu’s lap” (95) when he is first shocked. Mariko’s dependenceupon Takatsu becomes visible in a more extensive manner a short while prior to Keisaku’sdeath. Mariko finds the patient’s room too dark:213The dying man would not be troubled with excessive light,considering the darkness of the hole which he was entering.Mariko thought that even a sun-like light ball could be hung upin order to disperse the darkness leaking from the hole of death.However, the power of darkness was irresistible; it seemed togradually suck up the remaining light. It was dim and dismalinside the room, making the people sitting there look likeghosts or demons. Mariko searched for Takatsu among them.She was in need of an Apollo-like young man who, as the onlyrepresentative of reason, shining in his interior light, wouldsend her a message, “Retain your sanity.” Takatsu was sittingin the corner of the room. He looked like a member of thechorus on the noh stage who sat still, with his fan in front of hislap, during the dialogue between shite and waki. (129)Dichotomies are visible in this passage: darkness and light, death and life, reason andinsanity. The metaphors of the sun and Apollo are significant in this context, because theysuggest a centric order as opposed to the Dionysian intoxication with disorder. Thecomparison to the chorus is also worth noting. By being compared to the chorus, Takatsuis made to assume the task of the annotator of the play—namely, the long passage of dreamsthrough which Keisaku is proceeding.Thus privileged, Takatsu and Fusa purport to interpret Keisaku’s wishes to Mariko.Fusa tells Mariko, “That person [Keisaku] knows well that you are back; he simply does nothave the ability to express it in his face” (93). In a similar but more detailed manner,Takatsu explains Keisaku’s state of mind to Mariko as follows:“Your father may know that you are back, Mariko. He cannotlet us know that he knows, for he cannot move either hismouth or his eyes. But his brain may be alive and active, andhe may keep thinking by himself—without even using languageany more.”“Without even using language any more?” repeatedMariko as if talking in a dream.214“Because he has fallen from a world shared with othersinto the abyss of himself.”Would there then be no medium from which to divinefrom the outside the sparks of thought flashing in her father’smind? Mumbling, “Beside language,” Mariko stood up, lurchedand put her hand upon Takatsu’s shoulder. (107)I would suggest that this passage privileges the discursive mind (Takatsu’s) over the sub-discursive min