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Date 2021-04-22


Toward the Smelling Words: Representations of Smell and Scent in Modern Japanese Poetry


Tsuboi, Hideto

Lee, Wen-Ju (Translator)

Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University

Assistant Professor, Department of Oriental Languages and Cultures, TzuChi University


In the 19th century European discourse of sensibility, the sense of smell was degraded in the order of visualism. Similar phenomenon could be seen in Japan. Besides, the discourse of degeneration in modern Europe was deeply reflected in the smell representation of naturalism and symbolism literature. In Japanese, the sense of smell and of scent was differenced. The former was regarded negtive generally. Besides, it was explained with a public meaning, and the later was read in a personal, privite context. “Smell” was focused, and discoursed in the stench problem of metropolotan public health in the beginning of Meiji period. Inevitably, the frame that differentiate between private and public was loosed in literature and art field. In the order of visualism, how did smell challenge the predominated visual displine through literary language? This is what I try to answer in the thesis by researching the varible experiment of Japanese modern poetry after 20th century.

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