Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Stephen Sheehi

Abstract

This thesis aims to explore the presentation of the body and its connection to the consciousness created within a multitude of existences. This presentation addresses the layers in which the female body is constructed in the works of Haruki Murakami, Moto Hagio, and Hadia Said, all of which deal specifically with the female body and consciousness. The angles used in this presentation will include a postmodern feminist interpretation of the body with regard to sexual politics.

The primary mediums in which these existences are contained will be printed and virtual modes of communication contributing to the construction of a global consciousness, through the utilization of broadcast, the internet, written letters, and electronic documentation. These methods offer an insight into the creation of the alternate and the mirrored body formed entirely in words and concepts as recreated by perceiving and observing other. Each narrator, respectively, offers a look into a presupposed body removed from the actual subject in non-physically, if sometimes tangible forms.

This exploration is concerned primarily with the female bodies represented in Said's and Murakami's works Artiste, Sputnik Sweetheart, and Kafka on the Shore, with a nod to the androgynous body in Hagio's The Heart of Thomas. The analysis will be done in regard to the formulation of identity in a local and trans-national setting, as the bodies are not limited to a substantially solid physical environment. The emphasis on location will be directed on the existence of the physical body as well, as interlinked with the issue of identity of those surrounding the virtual and recreated body. These subjects are firmly placed, however, within a historical context affording a time frame, if not situated chronologically. In order to explore the virtual existence of the recreated and mirrored body, it will be necessary to understand the frame they are initially created then removed from.

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