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Lecture, 6/6: Claudia Honeywell: “One of the Ages When Things Begin: Genji and the Founding of the Japanese Aesthetic”
WHAT: St. John’s College Graduate Institute Summer Lecture Series
The Graduate Institute Summer Lectures are given by St. John’s tutors, last about an hour, are followed by discussion, and are free and open to the public.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 6, at 3 p.m.
WHO: Claudia Honeywell: “One of the Ages When Things Begin: Genji and the Founding of the Japanese Aesthetic”
WHERE: Junior Common Room, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College
CONTACT: 984-6000 (St. John’s College Switchboard)
Although the Tale of Genji has a political backdrop, Genji himself is portrayed as more concerned with the arts and with erotic pursuits. In her lecture, Honeywell will offer an account of how Genji’s eroticism promotes the emergence of a Japanese aesthetic, influenced by the Chinese arts but distinct from them. She will explore how Genji can be seen, in the first half of the novel, as the founder of a uniquely Japanese interest in his lack of resolution and imperfection; a look at the second half of the novel reveals how Genji’s new aesthetic merged with the Buddhist precept of evanescence to build an enduring framework for the development of Japanese art.