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Title: Schoolboys, toughs and adulteresses : representations of desire in the fiction of Mishima Yukio
Author: Adam, Duncan
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis addresses the varying ways in which sexual desire is portrayed in a range of fictional works by Mishima Yukio. It presents a fresh examination of the central role that desire plays in Mishima's work, in the light of contemporary literary theory, particularly cultural materialism and queer theory. The works discussed include a number of Mishima's popular entertainment novels. The representations of aspects of desire, including same-sex desire, sadomasochism and heterosexual relationships outside marriage, are compared to contemporary writing on these in Japanese non-literary discourse, as well as earlier literary representations of, in particular, same-sex desire. The influence of sexology and psychoanalysis is examined, specifically in the forms in which these accounts of desire were communicated to the Japanese reading public in journalism of the period. The relation of Mishima's fiction to popular journalism in general is discussed, with reference to the kasutori magazines of the Occupation period and women's magazines of the high-growth era. Mishima's strategies for representing sexual desire for men are discussed, including his use of literary allusion and his portrayal of women as desiring subjects. Aspects of his narrative technique are identified as camp, in that they use borrowed cultural authority to express desire from a non-dominant subject position. The use of allusion in Forbidden Colours is examined to show how Mishima used allusion to elaborate paradigms for same-sex desire other than those available in contemporary discourse.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral