University of Notre Dame

The "Other" in Modern Japanese Fiction

Course Number: LLEA 13186-1
Instructor: Michael Brownstein

In this course, we will study five novels by modern Japanese writers (in English translation) as a way of exploring the theme of “Otherness.” Otherness may be subjective—the sense of being an outsider, of being different, but there is also the Otherness of the stranger, the foreigner, of even those who are closest to us. The novels are: Silence by Shusaku End, Kokoro by Natsume Soseki, Masks by Enchi Fumiko, Woman in the Dunes by Abe Kobo, and All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe. By reading, discussing, and writing about these novels, you will also have the opportunity to explore how fictional narratives work to produce meaning, share your critical insights with others and improve your writing skills.