(3/24/01 8:05:11 am)
|Oriental fairy tales/myths|
I've read a number of reworkings of fairy tales, all of which were Western until I recently stumbled across Neil Gaiman's reworking of a Japanese fox-tale (Dreamhunters). Can anyone recommend any good anthologies/authors who have reworked Oriental fairy tales, in the original language or English?
(3/24/01 8:33:31 am)
|Contemporary Asian tales...|
Do you have a preference for which Asian culture? There is a wealth of Chinese-American literature that weaves/rewrites well known Chinese tales and there is also a good number of contemporary Japanese authors (some in translation, some American-Japanese)...and recently I've fallen into Vietnamese-American authors and Korean-American authors. This has been a current interest of mine and so I've been assembling lists myself...let me know what you are more interested in. There are a number of good solid anthologies of folk tales...and a lot of great novels that use these tales as starting points. One other place I'd recommend having a peek, is Terri Windling's site on the Endicott Studio (www.endicott-studio.com) and look in the "Forum" for the articles by Heinz Insu Fenkl who is a wonderful author and translator of Korean folktales--he also looks at contemporary retellings and movies.
There are quite a few retellings of the Kitsune (fox wife) tales. Ellen Steiber did a fabulous one but I am drawing a blank as to which anthology it appeared in---Terri will know!
I love all the different versions of China's great trickster epic, "The Monkey King" and there are wonderful versions of it--from Arthur Waley's translation (a classic) to Maxine Hong Kingston's contemporary retelling, "Tripmaster Monkey" and another wonderful contemporary retelling by Mark Salzman called "The Laughing Sutra."
(3/24/01 11:50:06 am)
:-) I felt the same way after stumbling across Dreamhunters this past summer. Actually, it was a huge part of the inspiration for my thesis -- I'm looking at the evolution of the presentation of kitsune tales, to state it very briefly. So if that takes your fancy, I've got mountains of kitsune references filed away! Right now I'm reading Kij Johnson's novel _The Fox Woman_, which weaves the old lore together quite competently (and also fits brilliantly into my thesis! ;->).
Unfortunately, the main collections of Japanese lore in English that I've been able to find were all written around the turn of the century, so you just know that good old Edwardian sense of propriety got in the way of the translations ...
(3/25/01 9:59:40 am)
|a couple more titles|
I just remembered a couple of other titles you might enjoy: Lafcadio Hearn's, "Kwaiden" a turn of the century collection of odd Japanese tales. Charming in its own way by an early European collector. Also one of my favorites, Ryunosuke Akutagawa's collections of fantastic short stories ("Japanese Short Stories" translated by T. Kojima) and also his collection with the title story, "Rashomon" (from which Kurosawa made his famous film.) Akutagawa's tales are eerie and very edgy, wonderful things. Many of them are derived from traditional tales and some of them are completely original--but its almost impossible to tell the difference. Also he has a series of tales about the Kappa, these funny water trickster figures.
(3/26/01 6:42:56 am)
|Asian fairy tales|
Hmm, I was just going to recommend Kij Johnson's novel The Fox Woman, but Laura beat me to it! Ellen's Steiber's goregous novella "The Fox Wife" is published in the anthology Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears. She said she'd be back on this board sometime soon, so if you have any questions about her treatment of the tale, you can ask her directly. I also second Midori's recommendation of Heinz Insu Fenkl's articles in the Forum section of the Endicott Studio web site, particularly the one called "Dangerous Women," which discusses fox women stories. And his wonderful novel Memories of My Ghost Brother, which is "magical realist autobiography," is woven through with Korean folktales and highly recommended to everyone on this board. Maybe someday we'll get him to pop in on this chat board too. Particularly if there is an Asian folktale thread running....
(3/26/01 10:43:04 am)
I'll throw in on Kij Johnson's novel The Fox Woman. I just attended the ICFA with her, and picked up a copy. What I've read so far is quite wonderful. We discussed the book a little bit. She spent seven years researching it, and it's really quite an accomplishment.
(3/26/01 4:12:15 pm)
Thanks for your recommendations (looks like I'll have a lot to read this summer ^_^)!
Right now, I'm minoring in East Asian studies but focusing mostly on China/Japan. (Unfortunatly, I haven't learned very much about Korea in the general courses)
I would prefer to read Japanese tales (esp after reading The Pillow Book and various contemporary Japanese authors), especially kitsune ones! (Laura, your thesis sounds fascinating! Are you a fan of Gaiman/Yoshitaka?)
I would also like to read Chinese tales. The only Chinese folklore I have read came from books my father gave me when I was a child. They were interesting but the stories are now too moralizing for my tastes (although the ones about intelligent young boys showing up their peers aren't so bad :P) I have a sneaking suspiscion they have been altered from the originals... Those trickster monkey stories sound fun! I remember watching the story played by acrobats every new year...
Thanks again for all your suggestions ^_^
(3/30/01 7:51:01 pm)
>minoring in East Asian studies
graduate or undergrad? which school do you attend? i'm looking for a school with a good Asian department for my gradaute studies, which will be in comparative literature.
>prefer to read Japanese tales ... especially kitsune
well, lots of kitsune references in modern manga and anime, if that interests you.
as i don't speak Japanese myself, all my references are in English. here's a few good ones to start with, and most cover lots of lore beyond just kitsune.
Hearn, Lafcadio ed. Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. 2 vols. New York: AMS Press, 1969.
Ury, Marian. Tales Of Times Now Past: Sixty-Two Stories From A Medieval Japanese Collection. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. [these are tales from the Konjaku monogatari]
Gordon Smith, Richard ed. Ancient Tales And Folklore Of Japan. Illustrated by Mo-No-Yuki. London: A. & C. Black, 1908.
Gubler, Greg. “Kitsune: The Remarkable Japanese Fox.” Southern Folklore Quarterly 38 (1974): 121-34.
that's a basic primer.
>Are you a fan of Gaiman/Yoshitaka?)
always, and especially now. hope they collaborate again some day. i met them both at Dragon*Con last year, so my copy of Dreamhunters is signed by both, complete with a sketch. ::grins with pride::
(3/31/01 12:07:54 pm)
|Re: Asian lore|
Thanks for the pointers! I'll be taking Modern Standard Japanese this summer so I'll keep an eye out for any interesting manga/anime reworkings that crop up.
Right now, I'm a part time undergrad at U of Toronto. I don't know how U of T's department fares compared to other universities but there are a lot of good resources for East Asian studies in their library system as well as an East Asian museum library and the Japan Foundation library right by campus. Hm. When I go back to school this summer, I'll ask about it for you.
>at Dragon*Con last year, so my copy of Dreamhunters is
>signed by both
(4/2/01 6:21:20 am)
|U of T|
I hope you'll all forgive me for the completely off topic post,
I just thought it was funny that you're taking East Asian studies
at the University of Toronto - my little sister will be entering
that program there in the fall. Is it as good as we've been led
charlotte, who's east asian knowledge is limited to the contents of the Book of the Five Rings, unfortunately...
(4/2/01 3:55:37 pm)
|Re: U of T|
She'll probably be taking EAS102Y first (i think that's it)... The prof I had was Guisso and I'm assuming he'll be teaching it again. He's a very engaging prof and the lectures are interesting. However, I found the course to be *very* easy - there were so many ESL students, they couldn't make the tests/essays too difficult. Having said that, this could also have been partly b/c of changes they had to make due to the TA strike... It was a fun course to take although we only had *two* lectures on Korea.
Like I said, I'm not sure how their program adds up to other universities' but from what I've seen they offer a much wider range of courses including EA languages compared to other CN unis...