Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Insect-Music: Lafcadio Hearn’s Orphean Song

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This chapter chronologically examines Lafcadio Hearn's insect writings and the transformations of his treatment of the insect as an object of observation and as a literary subject. To his Western readers, Hearn introduced the Japanese custom of listening to insect-music as an example of an aesthetic sensibility which the West had yet to learn. 'Butterfly Fantasies' foretells Hearn's desire to find the Orient, namely Japan, as an ideal literary Utopia where he can let his language freely fly. Hearn finds two particular items in the exhibit, crafted 'cotton' insects and a musical instrument very similar to 'the ancient Greek seven-stringed lyre', which perfectly proved his belief in aesthetic and ethical Japan. 'Insect-Musicians' is an example of Hearn's attempt to write a philosophical essay on culture which is at once literary and scientific, or socio-historical, naturalistic, poetic, and critical.

Keywords: Butterfly Fantasies; cotton-insects; insect-music; Insect-Musicians; Japan; Lafcadio Hearn



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Lafcadio Hearn in International Perspectives — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation