Barbara Słomka, Słów kilka o „nieobecności” w japońskiej prozie.



Barbara Słomka, A Few Words on “Absence” in Japanese Prose: through the eyes of Tsushima Yūko and Kawakami Hiromi

The author in her article covers the topic of the widely understood experience of the “absence” of a close person within the living space of the persona of the literary work as depicted in Japanese literature. She distinguishes three different manifestations of “absence”: the irreversible loss – death, physical absence, and the incapability to feel the presence of those present. Taking on the four works of contemporary writers Tsushima Yūko (Tsuki no manzoku, Full moon; Haha no basho, The mother’s place) and  Kawakami Hiromi (Kieru, They disappear; Manazuru), she analyzes the state of mind of the characters that are facing the “absence” of their loved ones and the ways they deal with the trauma. Comparing the approach to the topic adopted by the two writers, she arrives at the conclusion that despite their individualism, what they share is a seeking of consolation in both: the fantasy world on one hand, and on the other, a growing and stronger attachment to commonness to the point of its glorification. It is a feature of not only a literature that deals with a trauma arising from the loss of a beloved person, but a feature of Japanese literature in general.