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The Other Women's LibGender and Body in Japanese Women's Fiction$
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Julia C. Bullock

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833879

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833879.001.0001

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The Body of the Other Woman

The Body of the Other Woman

(p.127) Chapter 5 The Body of the Other Woman
The Other Women's Lib

Julia C. Bullock

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the function of the body of the Other Woman as a trope for expressing the highly ambivalent attitude toward intimacy among women by focusing on three works of fiction: “On the Road” (Roj?, 1964) by Kōno Taeko; “Intercourse” (Majiwari, 1966) by Takahashi Takako; and “Bad Summer” (Warui natsu, 1966) by Kurahashi Yumiko. All three texts attempt to problematize the coherence of the category of “woman” itself by highlighting the differences among women, even as they acknowledge the potential for similarity or connection. They variously figure the body of the Other Woman as an object of desire, fear, and identification in ways that incorporate other women textually as privileged sites of self-knowledge. The doppelganger, or second-self, motif frequently appears in these texts as a means of depicting an Other that is simultaneously not other yet always somehow out of reach of the protagonist.

Keywords:   Other Woman, intimacy, women, Kōno Taeko, Takahashi Takako, Kurahashi Yumiko, desire, identification, doppelganger

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