漱石『草枕』にみる西洋美学の受容と翻案 : 画工の絵にならない俳句的な旅
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Influence of Western aesthetics on Soseki's Kusamakura
This paper will show that Soseki's Kusamakura can be situated in a branch of western aesthetical theory, concerned with explicating the difference between poetry and painting. While Soseki was greatly involved with western aesthetics, in particular 18th-century literary theory, his enthusiasm for it was, however, originally based on an interest in Chinese and Japanese arts and literature, especially Haiku, the Japanese traditional 47-syllable poem. Soseki's novels could, therefore, be defined as a kind of adaptation from western modern novels. In the Meiji period, Soseki became one of the first official students to study abroad and went to London, where he studied 18th-century English literary works and tried to arrive at the general definition of 'literature' in comparison with those of East Asia. He also experienced at first hand the glory and gloom of the first industrialized country in the world. After coming back to Japan he was to become a real modem novelist, in contrast to the naturalistic novelists dominant in Japan at that time. Soseki tried to exclude a consistency of plot or story from his literary world. He often stressed the importance of the spirit of 'Sketch' (or 'Shasei') in his works. This is why Soseki might be considered a descendant of the western theory developed in English modern novels, such as Sterne's Tristram Shandy. As a result, Soseki stands prominently in the world of arts and literature current at the turn of the 19th century to the 20th. His Kusamakura is a symbolic work which illustrates this notion observed above.