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The Mirror And The Masquerade Theories Of Vision

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces a set of paradigms to the visual formulations of Occupation-period fiction, both to illuminate the recuperational strategies in that fiction and in some cases to expose the limits of the theoretical tools. The theorists discussed in the chapter range from Jacques Lacan, with his universalist and a historical model of the role of vision in subject-formation, through a number of scholars who discuss vision in contexts of historically and culturally specific power relationships, to Michel Foucault, with his historicized model of panoptic discipline. The discussion ends by relating several paradigms to Yamazaki Masakazu's discussion of Zeami Motokiyo's theoretization of vision in identity, riken no ken (view of the detached image), and its relation, in turn, to the situation of Japanese people under Allied Occupation. Zeami turned this dissonance of identity, requirement of dissimulation, into an active exploration of the nature and possibilities of performance, masquerade, and transformation.

Keywords: allied occupation; Jacques Lacan; masquerade theories; Michel Foucault; recuperational strategies; Yamazaki Masakazu; Zeami Motokiyo



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