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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A textual analysis and comparison of the Taketori monogatari and Cupid and psyche Dubé, Joy Alexandra


My thesis is that texts are sites of competing discourse and ideological struggle. I employ the theoretical writings of Mikhail Bakhtin and James Clifford to analyze instances of "social heteroglossia," "reaccentuation" and "competing discourses" in my analyses of the Taketori Monogatari. a tenthcentury anonymous Japanese tale, and Cupid and Psyche, a second-century Latin tale by Apuleius. I investigate the socio-historical mini-world of the Taketori Monogatari to develop my argument that substrata of a native, Japanese, female shamanism enter into conflict with a Confucian state ideology and male emperor system which was officially adopted in Japan in the seventh century. I also uncover the figure of the Queen Mother of the West in Chinese Taoist texts which is transposed onto the figure of Kaguyahime, the protagonist of the Taketori Monogatari. In the ensuing transposition, the original Taoist content of the Chinese text is erased and subsumed into a non-religious, aesthetic effect. I view the Taketori Monogatari as a site of competing ideologies of religion, state and gendered politics a la Bakhtin and Clifford. In order to compare the Taketori Monogatari to Cupid and Psyche. I also analyze the socio-historical mini-world of Cupid and Psyche to uncover the struggle between Roman state religion and the Isis cult, and between the Isis cult, Christianity and magic. Class interests, nativism, and Platonic philosophy combine against the background of this struggle to produce a text which is reaccentuated by the power elite in later centuries, in socio-ideological contexts of nationalism and European colonial expansion. comment on the critical analyses of the Taketori Monogatari by two scholars—Michele Marra and Richard Okada-- to further develop my thesis that texts are sites of competing discourse. Marra's analysis comes closest to the Bakhtinian analysis of socio-ideological mini-worlds, while Okada's analysis is based on what Foucault terms the approach of the "traditional historian" who searches for origins. I investigate the twentieth-century psychoanalytical, literary commentaries of Erich Neumann and Hayao Kawai on Cupid and Psyche and, by extrapolation, the Taketori Monogatari. to expose the theoretical grounding of the psychoanalytical and literary approach to texts. I find it is firmly rooted in an age of orientalism, imperialism, sexism, nationalism and capitalist ideologies. I use the theoretical insights of Foucault, Homi Bhabha, Miyoshi Masao and Naoki Sakai to situate my analyses of texts as "literature" or as psychoanalytical truth.

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