Jamesian Precisions in Natsume Sōseki: Contending with ‘Light and Dark’

Jamesian Precisions in Natsume Sōseki: Contending with 'Light and Dark'

John Nathan - Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Room 202, Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

John Nathan will propose that with his final work, Light and Dark(1916), Sōseki invented the modern Japanese novel. He will focus on the unprecedented depth and exactitude of character revelation Sōseki achieved in that work, on its affinity with narrative strategies evolved by his European contemporaries, George Meredith and Henry James in particular, and on the originality of the language he developed to achieve a unique fusion of Jamesian precisions on the one hand and Japanese impressionism on the other. A critical question he will address as a translator is whether fiction so meticulously grounded in the soil of Japanese behavior can convey the accuracy of its observation and the arresting modernity – of its narrative approach through the veil of translation.