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Basho as a Post-Pastoral Poet (ポスト・パストラル詩人としての芭蕉)

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This essay is an attempt to explore Basho Matsuo’s establishment of haiku as a significant moment in the history of Japanese literature where the perception of nature was drastically changed. It is often assumed that Basho’s poetry exemplifies aesthetic harmony between human beings and nature. However, with the help of recent critical discussions on the idea of nature I will argue that Basho’s poems entail intriguing paradoxes between, for example, the natural and the artificial, or between the legacy of the past and the perception of the present. A reconsideration of the literary, religious and social dimensions of Basho’s work will help us clarify how the poet, having mastered a range of styles, whether classical or contemporary urban, exposed himself to nature during his journeys in order to establish a new structure of aesthetics. I will draw on the “post-pastoral” debate to position Basho’s achievement among the great traditions that have expanded the possibility of representation by striking a subtle balance between uncritical acceptance and wholesale rejection of literary tradition.〔概要〕本論は、松尾芭蕉による俳諧の確立を、日本文学史において自然認識を大きく変容させる重要な時機として考察する試みである。しばしば芭蕉の詩作は、自然と人間との間の美的調和を典型的に示すものと考えられている。しかし、自然の観念をめぐる最近の議論を踏まえるならば、芭蕉の詩は《自然なもの》と《作られたもの》、《過去の遺産》と《現在の知覚》等々のあいだの興味ある逆説を内包していることがわかる。芭蕉の作品の背後にある文学的、宗教的、社会的諸次元を再考していくことにより、芭蕉が、古典から同時代の都市の流行まで多様な様式に習熟したのち、旅において自らを自然に曝し、新しい構造を持つ美学を構築したことが示されるであろう。「ポスト・パストラル」の議論を参照しながら、筆者は芭蕉の達成したものを偉大な伝統のうちに据えてみたい。その伝統とはすなわち、文学伝統の無批判な受容と総体的拒絶とのあいだの精妙なバランスをとることによって、表現の可能性を拡大する伝統である。This article is in Japanese.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Sciences, Konan UniversityJapan ; 2: 甲南大学文学部人間科学科日本


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