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An Essay on Kawabata Yasunari and the Izu Dancer

Author QuLeXin
Tutor FuXiaZuo
School Harbin University of Science and Technology
Course Japanese Language and Literature
Keywords Kawabata Yasunari The Izu Dancer narratology
Type Master's thesis
Year 2014
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Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972) is a famous writer of Japanese literarycharacteristics, who occupies a vitally important position in Japanese literary world.In1968, he became the second Asian writer who got this unusual honor after Tagorefor his works Snow Country, The Old Capital, and Thousand Cranes. His works arefamous for their concise and exquisite style of writing. The Izu Dancer more followsthis style of writing. The novel is fresh and refined and is refreshing for readers. TheIzu Dancer, a short story written by Kawabata in1926, is his most distinguishedrepresentative early work. At the beginning of publication, the Izu Dancer caused agreat sensation in Japan and had a profound effect on readers.From the angle of narratology, the theme of The Izu Dancer mainly has threeaspects, namely the extrication of “the rooted nature of an orphan”, the recoveredconfidence and the gratitude to love. After contacting with the dancer’s love, thedeformed soul of the orphan, who longed for love, was healed. The evaluation of “agood man” enabled him to recover and rebuild his confidence. He showed a greatcare over and was grateful to the pure and ingenuous love between the dancer andhimself.Characters in The Izu Dancer were traceable in reality, but Kawabata changeda bit, which was out of cherishing The Izu Dancer and the character prototypes. Theapplication of Greimas’ agent model in The Izu Dancer mainly was the effects ofsubject and object, helper and opponent on the theme and plot development. Eachcharacter shaped in The Izu Dancer was closely related to the theme expression andplot development.When creating The Izu Dancer, the implied author Kawabata was in thestruggle of adolescent’s restlessness, ignorance of love and introspection of “therooted nature of an orphan”. Such implied author dominated the narrative in The IzuDancer, reflecting the real author’s state of life and his desire for getting confidenceback and healing trauma. The narrator “I” who narrated the whole work in The IzuDancer was a speaker created by the implied author Kawabata. The voice of the implied author was expressed out through the narrator’s saying.

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