Queer Transmissions in Japan: A Haiku Hauntology from Shiki to Soseki
a lecture by J. Keith Vincent
April 12, Thursday
6:30 to 8 pm
J. Keith Vincent, World Languages & Literatures, Boston University
The close friendship between Natsume Sōseki(1867-1916), Japan’s preeminent modern novelist, and Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), who coined the word “haiku,” is legendary in the annals of modern Japanese literature. The two men became friends in their early twenties and remained close until Shiki’s early death from tuberculosis in 1902. While Shiki had revolutionized Japanese poetry and become a beloved national figure already by his mid twenties, Sōseki began his career as a novelist in his late thirties, after Shiki’s death. The loss of his close friend had a powerful impact on Sōseki, reverberating both thematically and formally in some of his most powerful novels. In this talk, I show how Shiki’s haiku lie buried in Sōseki’s novels in ways that invite us to reimagine what it means for one man to “influence” another.
19 University Place, Room 222
For more information about this event, please contact the Department of East Asian Studies at 212-998-7620.