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Writing the Love of BoysOrigins of Bish nen Culture in Modernist Japanese Literature$
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Jeffrey Angles

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816669691

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816669691.001.0001

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Treading the Edges of the Known World

Treading the Edges of the Known World

Homoerotic Fantasies in Murayama Kaita’s Prose

(p.75) 2 Treading the Edges of the Known World
Writing the Love of Boys

Jeffrey Angles

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on Murayama Kaita’s work. It examines Kaita’s “Bishōnen Saraino no kubi,” (“The Bust of the Beautiful Young Salaino”), a tour de force full of hallucinatory qualities, proto-modernist language, and male homoerotic desire. In “Satsujin gyōja” (The murdering ascetic), male–male erotic desire plays a large role. “Akuma no shita” (“The Diabolic Tongue”) has clear homoerotic overtones. Both stories depict desire within contexts that involve crime and even murderous behavior. In these stories, Kaita implies that civilization with its concern for regulations and order suppresses the vital élan that informs sexuality and renders life dangerous and exciting. Additionally, Kaita’s poems treat male beauty as a source of powerful emotions and intense vitality.

Keywords:   Murayama Kaita, Bishōnen Saraino no kubi, male homoerotic desire, Satsujin gyōja, Akuma no shita, poems

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