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Shintai de Yomu Fantasy: Frankenstein kara Mononoke Hime made

(Decoding the Body in Fantasy Fictions: from Frankenstein to Princess Mononoke)

Ed. Yoshida, Junko (Abe Miharu, Hosokawa Yuko, Yoshida Junko)

Kyoto: Jinbunshoin, 2004, Dec.


ISBN: 4-409-24071-4

        The book analyzes various metaphors of the body in fantasy fictions.

The first part of the book focuses on female reproduction in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books, illustrating how Mary’s nightmarish experience with reproduction is represented by the freak’s traumatic life, and how a similar experience with female reproduction in Tehanu is generated.

       The second part decodes and analyzes the representation of the body in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber relying on the key phrase, “monstrous feminine.” The book argues that the bodies of both male and female vampires in Dracula paradigmatically represent the political-economic structure of the British Empire, and that in Carter’s stories contemporary female bodies under the cursed spell of the old myth struggle for their redemption and freedom through their transformation.

         The third part of the book focuses on the female body as an interface between civilization and wilderness in Peter Dickinson’s Eva and Miyazaki Hayao’s film, Princess Mononoke, and examines how the border is dissolved in each of the works. In Eva the female body of the adolescent protagonist functions as that of a shaman possessing a viewpoint shaped by culture and nature. Meanwhile in Princess Mononoke, the adolescent female body functions as that of an abjected other from the viewpoint of the male protagonist, Ashitaka.