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4854 - ¿Writing and the Japanese body in Mario Bellatin¿s fiction¿

This presentation will explore the potential relationship between writing, physical deformity, and the creation of an ostensible Japanese origin for the characters in Mario Bellatín’s short novels, El jardín de la señora Murakami , Shiki Nagaoka: una nariz de ficción , Biografía ilustrada de Mishima , and a short story, “Bola negra.” Overall, Bellatin resorts to Japanese characters to distance himself from his own writings, as if it were the culture that is the most alien to his own. His lucubration about reading and writing are sometimes accompanied of exocitizing and orientalist overtones, which he even mocks on occasion. Even if Japan is used as a literary mask to avoid providing specific temporal and spatial frameworks, the image of this culture that stays in the readers’ mind ends up being associated with submission, physical deformity, suicide, decapitation, missing body parts, and cruelty to people and animals. However, Bellatin seems to be aware of and comfortable with this. Cultural authenticity, therefore, is not one of the author’s concerns. He plays with his own reception of a Japan translated and mediated by other westerners, perhaps because the other Japan would be inaccessible to him.

Author: López-Calvo, Ignacio (University of California, Merced, Ud States of Am / USA)

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