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EAS209H1F Notes for Nov. 16, 2010

East Asian Studies
Course Code
Eric Cazdyn

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EAS209 2010-11-16
¾ Next week Æ two guest speakers
o Janet Poole and Atsuko Sakaki
Read short stories next week
x Introduction
Kawashima Æ recommended
o Next week Æ 1 page response
o Quiz t in two weeks Æ today ~ next week
¾ Problems of Geography, space, and subjectivity
o Human Subjectivity Æ question isn[t Zwho am I[ but Zwhat is an /[
What might have ZI[ been in pre-modern period?
Smaller temporal shifts t is ZI[ this morning same as ZI[ in the afternoon?
Is this ZI[ stable from one geographical location to another geographical location
Zbody[ Æ Where does body begin and end?
- Begin with a clip Æ Butler piece Æ Miyoshi ÆChow
o Butler >> by questioning the ZI[Y
o Miyoshi >> shutaisei = subjectivity? Identity? Independence?
The central debate in immediate post war Japan
x Labour-political issues
x Literary issues
End of essay t provocative argument on limits of shutaisei debate
o Ray Chow >> problem of ZChinese-ness[
What happens when we modify everything with certain understanding of
¾ Clip
o Put into perspective of more abstract conversation on subjectivity
o A classic, bank-robbery movie
o Sabu, Drive
Scene of kidnapping
Starts at a Fancy French restaurant
Series of incidents
o Two Parts
x Æ impossible escape, the only thing that could save them is an
impossible event Æ individual events lead to the opening of door for
their way out
x Everyday life Æ non-coincidental, unspectacular
x Thousands of non-coincidences happen in everyday life, but some kind
of obsession over coincidence exists
x For a change to occur, there needs to be a radical, connection of
impossible events to happen
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2nd part
x If you want change, it can happen right now
x Can make the most impossible thing happen
x But in the end ^it was fate_
x Why do his whole Buddhist sayings matter?
o Shape now, make the nowYwhen it[s going to happen anyway
Slow Motion
x Time seems to take different speed
x Just about to run out of the restaurant, there[s a poster of France (What
Time is There?)
o Overlapping territories
Sabu[s films Æ Very much about impossible coincidences
x Title t Drive
o Problems of subjectivity
On one hand, has a subjectivity open, on the other hand, there[s a structure that
limits what the subjectivity can do
x Openness
o always redefining
o With will, can radically change who you are
Ex) Addiction can be overcome with will
x Structural Limitations
o Ex) addiction Æ Ybut ther[s also a structure that makes it
almost impossible to escape from addiction
What is so terrifying about the different parts of this problem?
x Is it more terrifying to be structured in such a way that there might be
any flexibility? Or is it more terrifying to have absolute freedom?
x Buddhist sayings Æ Buddhism t challenge to self, subject
o Ultimate teaching: there[s nothing
Nothing-ness Æ ultimate freedom
o ..or ultimate terror?
Miyoshi Æ it was precisely this idea that there wasn[t a stable subject who
could articulate structure why the militarist trajectory was taken from early
x Cultivate individual subjects Æ Hot militaristic fascism high-jacking the
state won[t happen again
o Supporting strong individuality
x But there[s also a critique of celebration of individual subject
o 1945 t nation is in total destruction Æ there needs to be a
sacrifice for reconstruction of nation
o Supporting collectivity
¾ Butler[s Article
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