Japanese Courses Fall 2020

Schedule: Japanese Courses Fall 2020

JAPANESE 10 and 10H: Masterworks of Japanese Literature (in English)
Instructor: Joseph T. Sorensen

This course serves as an introduction, in English, to selected masterworks of Japanese literature from 7th century into the 21st. We will read from a wide variety of genres: poetry (both ancient and modern), myths, tales, novels, plays, and short stories. The course is organized chronologically around a central theme: depictions of love in literature. We will consider the historical and cultural context of each work, as well as the conventions of the various genres we encounter in our readings. Among the questions to be considered throughout the course are: What kinds of love and what aspects of love are depicted in literature? How are they represented? What is not represented? What does it mean to be a “masterpiece” of literature? This course has no prerequisites, and there is no assumption of prior knowledge of Japanese language, history, or culture. Student grade based on quizzes, in-class discussion, term paper, midterm and final exams.

Required Texts (4 items, plus a reader):

Title: Snow Country
Author: Yasunari Kawabata, Edward G. Seidensticker (trans.)
Publisher: Vintage International
ISBN: 0679761047

Title: A Personal Matter
Author: Kenzaburo Oe, John Nathan (trans.)
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 0802150616

Title: Sputnik Sweetheart
Author: Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (trans.)
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 0375726055

Title: The Tale of Genji (abridged)
Author: Murasaki Shikibu (Edward G. Seidensticker, trans.)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
ISBN: 0679729534