Minae Mizumura

This portfolio of Minae Mizumura’s writing is meant to open up the depth as well as the range of her work. Her compact and illuminating essay ‘On Translation’ (PDF) offers a fascinating historical sketch of how the domains of indebtedness, originality and paraphrase came to be so intertwined in modern Japanese literature—casting in the process light on her own work, always humming with the presence of other texts or even other other sign systems. It is as if she always speaks in a dual voice.

A talk she has over the years given at several US universities on the genealogy of her semi-autobiographical work Shishosetsu from left to right, and an abstract of sorts in which she summarizes and samples her rewriting of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights under the defiant title A Real Novel offer two instances of her critical canniness, and the ferocious self-reflexive scrutiny to which she subjects her writing self.