Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Mori Ōgai, “The Grouch” – A Kanshi (Sino-Japanese Poem) about Paintings for Sale in a Modern Department Store


Wixted, John Timothy (2017). Mori Ōgai, “The Grouch” – A Kanshi (Sino-Japanese Poem) about Paintings for Sale in a Modern Department Store. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 71(2):627-634.

Abstract

Mori Ōgai 森鷗外 (1862–1922) stands at the fountainhead of modern Japanese literature. He is most famous for his prose writings: the groundbreaking short story, Maihime 舞姬 (The Danseuse); the full-length novel, Gan 雁 (The Wild Goose); and a half-dozen lengthy historical biographies. Much of Ōgai’s most creative writing is found in his translations. In Sokkyō shijin 即興詩人, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Improvisatore is transformed into mesmerizing quasi-classical Japanese. Fausuto ファウスト, written in a pithy Japanese vernacular full of wit, provides the first full-length translation of the Goethe classic. And his renderings of plays by Ibsen and Strindberg stand at the forefront of modern Japanese theatre. Mori Ōgai’s Sino-Japanese poems are especially important. They are revealing in biographical terms, the better to understand Ōgai (the person, the author, the public figure); in historical terms, to comprehend better the era in which he wrote, as well as how he experienced it and perceived earlier periods; and in literary terms, the better to appreciate his achievement as a writer. The selection presented here is revelatory on all three counts. One should keep in mind that, by writing in classical Chinese, Ōgai was not only participating in a centuries-long tradition in Japan. He was also “enacting civilization”, as it were, by writing in the pan-East Asian idiom that anyone educated was assumed to know. By the time the following poem was written, such a view had become quite conservative, if not reactionary.

Abstract

Mori Ōgai 森鷗外 (1862–1922) stands at the fountainhead of modern Japanese literature. He is most famous for his prose writings: the groundbreaking short story, Maihime 舞姬 (The Danseuse); the full-length novel, Gan 雁 (The Wild Goose); and a half-dozen lengthy historical biographies. Much of Ōgai’s most creative writing is found in his translations. In Sokkyō shijin 即興詩人, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Improvisatore is transformed into mesmerizing quasi-classical Japanese. Fausuto ファウスト, written in a pithy Japanese vernacular full of wit, provides the first full-length translation of the Goethe classic. And his renderings of plays by Ibsen and Strindberg stand at the forefront of modern Japanese theatre. Mori Ōgai’s Sino-Japanese poems are especially important. They are revealing in biographical terms, the better to understand Ōgai (the person, the author, the public figure); in historical terms, to comprehend better the era in which he wrote, as well as how he experienced it and perceived earlier periods; and in literary terms, the better to appreciate his achievement as a writer. The selection presented here is revelatory on all three counts. One should keep in mind that, by writing in classical Chinese, Ōgai was not only participating in a centuries-long tradition in Japan. He was also “enacting civilization”, as it were, by writing in the pan-East Asian idiom that anyone educated was assumed to know. By the time the following poem was written, such a view had become quite conservative, if not reactionary.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

22 downloads since deposited on 13 Jan 2020
13 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 71 (2017) > 2
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:27 January 2017
Deposited On:13 Jan 2020 11:19
Last Modified:28 Jul 2020 14:15
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0004-4717
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2017-0038

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'Mori Ōgai, “The Grouch” – A Kanshi (Sino-Japanese Poem) about Paintings for Sale in a Modern Department Store'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: German
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB
View at publisher