The Postmonolingual Conditions in Japanese Literature Today: Yoko Tawada and Hideo Levy
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This thesis aims to reveal the postmonolingual conditions in contemporary Japanese literary fields in order to critically examine the monolingual paradigm, and to heighten academic interests in multilingual authors in Japan. ‘Postmonolingual’ is a critical term represented by Yasmin Yildiz, who criticizes the monolingual paradigm and the mother tongue concept. Based on theories by Yildiz, Jacques Derrida and Edward Said, I will discuss works by two multilingual authors, Yoko Tawada and Hideo Levy. Tawada is a Germany-based Japanese author who writes both German and Japanese; Levy writes in Japanese despite he is a native English speaker who worked as a Japanologist in the U.S. They show strong interests in language itself and similar preference for writing in languages which are not native to them. Tawada and Levy have travelled among places, languages and cultures. They have kept in a multilingual environment for creating a space for writing. In addition, their interest in Chinese and China build affiliative connections among languages, and Western and Asian countries.