Donnerstag, 21. November 2019, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

The Power of Story-Telling.

Some Reflections on Reading Japanese Short Narratives

Katarzyna Sonnenberg (Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie, Seminarraum Jap 1
Spitalgasse 2, UniversitätsCampus Hof 2, Eingang 2.4, 1090 Wien


"The longer you look at one object, the more of the world you see in it; and it’s well to remember that the serious fiction writer always writes about the whole world, no matter how limited his particular scene”. (Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Novels)

Story-telling is one of the most natural ways of human expression of what is both particular and sharing in the general human condition. The exploration of themes and characters is to some extent limited by the length of the narrative but the “shortness” in good stories does not affect either the completeness or the depth of the depicted worlds. The lecture, while referring to the works of Natsume Sōseki, Higuchi Ichiyō, Kunikida Doppo, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Dazai Osamu, will address possible reasons why short narratives have been interesting for readers, critics and modern writers throughout the world. It will focus on the manners in which the texts make the readers see, hear, smell, taste, touch and, thus, remember the worlds they encounter in the works of fiction.

Katarzyna Sonnenberg, Ph.D., is assistant professor at the Department of Japanology and Sinology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow. She pursued her studies in Japanese language and

literature at the Jagiellonian University, Kanazawa University and Ochanomizu University with a research focus on the narrative strategies in early-modern and modern Japanese literature. She has published various literature-related articles and monographs (for example, Opowiadanie siebie. Autobiografizm Higuchi Ichiyō [Narrating the Self. Autobiography and Fiction in Higuchi Ichiyō’s Works] 2014) and translated a number of works by Higuchi Ichiyō, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Dazai Osamu, Hiraide Takashi and others into Polish.


Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften/Japanologie und AAJ (Akademischer Arbeitskreis Japan)


Mag. Angela Kramer
Universität Wien
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie