Chiasmatic Narrative and Twisted Subjectivity in Kanai Mieko's Boshizô

Mary A. Knighton


The article provides a reading, from a psychoanalytic point of view, of Japanese writer Kanai Mieko’s short tale Boshizô (Portrait of Mother and Child), published in 1992, as a “twisted” or “contorted” parable of the construction of female subjectivity. Establishing connections between the form and the content of the novel, the essay analyzes how Kanai’s use of the rhetorical figure of the chiasmus structures the internal narrative of the novel at the same time that it reflects the process of formation of female subjectivity and desire. The novel becomes, thus, a staging of the female Oedipus complex which plays out its twists.

Paraules clau

Japanese literature; psychoanalysis; Kanai Mieko; Boshizô; female subjectivity; Oedipus complex; female desire; incest

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EDITEN: GRC Creació i Pensament de les Dones (Universitat de Barcelona) i GRC Cos i Textualitat (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

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