Preludes: On metaphorical spaces and the socio-political function of preludes in the Heian court

  • Author / Creator
    Reeves, Kristopher L
  • This paper focuses on a genre of Heian literature I have called preludes (jo 序). The sort of preludes examined here are those preserved in a number of twelfth century literary anthologies—more specifically, those preludes appended to collections of poems composed during public banquets held throughout the Heian period. These banquets, attended by elite individuals, served as complex loci of political maneuvering and literary interaction. While ceaselessly reaffirming the dominant hierarchy, preludes composed for such events reveal an equally incessant desire to re-coordinate this hierarchy. Preludes present us with a cosmology in which heterogeneous forces, men of different ranks, are coordinated in a mutually provocative relationship of endless oscillation. Such oscillation and coordination is made possible in virtue of certain shared metaphorical spaces constructed through, and experienced in, the literary world of the prelude itself.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Japanese Literature
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Oleh Ilnytzkyj (MLCS)
    • Dr. Mikael Adolphson (East Asian Studies)
    • Dr. Anne Commons (East Asian Studies)