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Title Transcription
ナツメ ソウセキ ノ ココロ ト ウチダ ヒャッケン ノ ハナビ ニオケル メイキュウ イメージ ノ ケンキュウ
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A Study of the Labyrinthine Images in Natsume Soseki's Kokoro and Uchida Hyakken's Hanabi
Tanaka, Masashi
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
In this essay I analize Natsume Soseki's Kokoro or The Heart and Uchida Hyakken's Hanabi or Fireworks, from the viewpoint of the labyrinthine images in them. These short stories have in common extraordinarily dreamy characteristics. In Kokoro, a man finds a strange bird that reminds him of vague memories within himself. Then he meets a strange woman who also gives him impression that she may be related to dim memories of his past. She leads him into a dark, narrow, mazy lane, that is, a labyrinthine space. In this story Soseki created a chain of images that showed his subjective world: a bird, a woman, memories, and so on. He created Kokoro on the basis of subjective visions, instead of the real world. On this point, Soseki can be compared with the Western subjective artists whom G. R. Hocke called the Mannerists. Kokoro's influence on Hanabi is obvious. In Hanabi, a man also meets a strange woman on a bank near the sea. They walk together towards the seaside. They saw splendid fireworks on their way, and he thinks that the fireworks resemble the memories of his past. That is, the image of fire or fireworks has the function of the bird in Kokoro. Getting into a small labyrinthine corridor, he feels uneasy. Finally the woman fall upon him, screaming a flirt!. Hyakken also created a subjective chain of images in his work. These works are quite neurotic, but I think pathological approaches are not sufficient to understand them. Because Soseki and Hyakken composed them deliberately from the viewpoint of artistic effects. They tried to express their inner enigmatic world, which they thought really valuable. They produced many labyrinthine images in the process of representing such enigmas.
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