Woman's Weapon : Spirit Possession in the Tale of Genji

Bargen, Doris G.

Published by Univ of Hawaii Pr, 1997
ISBN 10: 0824818016 / ISBN 13: 9780824818012
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Synopsis: In this subtle and highly original reading of Murasaki Shikibu's eleventh-century classic The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), Doris G. Bargen explores the role of possessing spirits (mono no ke) from a female viewpoint. In several key episodes of the Genji, Heian noblewomen (or their mediums) tremble, speak in strange voices, and tear their hair and clothing while under the spell of mono no ke. For literary critics, Genji, the male protagonist, is central to determining the role of these spirits. From this male-centered perspective, female jealousy provides a convenient explanation for the emergence of mono no ke within the polygynous marital system of the Heian aristocracy. Yet this conventional view fails to take into account the work's female authorship and its largely female audience. Relying upon anthropological as well as literary evidence, Doris G. Bargen foregrounds the motives of the possessed character and located mono no ke within the politics of Heian society, interpreting spirit possession as a female strategy adopted to counter male strategies of empowerment. Possessions become "performances" by women attempting to redress the balance of power; they subtly subvert the structure of domination and significantly alter the construction of gender.

About the Author: Doris G. Bargen teaches Japanese literature and culture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Title: Woman's Weapon : Spirit Possession in the ...
Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr
Publication Date: 1997
Book Condition: Good

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Bargen, Doris G.
Published by Univ of Hawaii Pr (1997)
ISBN 10: 0824818016 ISBN 13: 9780824818012
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Book Description Univ of Hawaii Pr, 1997. Condition: Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP88134580

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Bargen, Doris G.
Published by University of Hawai'i Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0824818016 ISBN 13: 9780824818012
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Book Description University of Hawai'i Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Good. xx, 379 p. Seller Inventory # 16450

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Bargen, Doris G.
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ISBN 10: 0824818016 ISBN 13: 9780824818012
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Book Description Univ of Hawaii Pr, 1997. Condition: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP85516288

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