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Language and Desire: Mishima Yukio

Semester and Year SP 2014
Course Number IDSEM-UG1615
Section 001
Instructor Nina Cornyetz
Days Wed
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 2.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement HUM, GLOBAL


Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 29; Last Class: March 12.


The Japanese author Mishima has been called “everyone’s favorite homo-fascist.” And, he may be better known in the West for his performative suicide in 1970 by ritual disembowelment than for his writings. But he is well known for his fiction as well—a complex set of narratives that follow an aesthetic that privileges art above life, or reality. In this course we will read a selection of fiction by Mishima, alongside supplementary secondary sources, and screen the films Patriotism and Black Lizard , as well as various YouTube videos. We will ask: what can queer theory bring to an analysis of Mishima’s narratives? How and why did his life become so intertwined with his art? What was performative about his life and writings? Why have so many Western critics psychoanalyzed Mishima? We will hope to come away from the course with a better understanding of both Mishima the man and his literature.



Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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