The study of japanese setsuwa literature i will return to this methodological approach later the remainder of the book is devoted to a study of the many forms the grotesque takes in setsuwa narratives and the centrality of the body to its production chapter 2 analyzes three tales about fantastic detached body parts chapter 3 focuses . Ambiguous bodies sets out to situate a body of short tales setsuwa used foc on the human body and particularly on detached parts of it within the discursive realm of the grotesque lis critique is in large. Ambiguous bodies draws from theories of the grotesque to examine many of the strange and extraordinary creatures and phenomena in the premodern japanese tales called setsuwa grotesque representations in general typically direct our attention to unfinished and unrefined things they are marked by an earthy sense of the body and an interest in the physical. Ambiguous bodies draws from theories of the grotesque to examine many of the strange and extraordinary creatures and phenomena in the premodern japanese tales called setsuwa. Ambiguous bodies reading the grotesque in japanese setsuwa tales by michelle osterfeld li stanford ca stanford university press 2009 setsuwa are short japanese tales that depict extraordinary events illustrate basic buddhist principles or other asian religious and philosophical teachings and transmit cultural and historical knowledge 1
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