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13 May 2011 @ 03:16 pm
Home stretch!!  
32 page Epistolary paper - finalized, edited, sent to prof wed
27 page Kotani transcription - done done done
12 pages of Translation paper
24 pages Kotani translation
20 sentence diagrams

Left to do:
5 pages Translation paper (thought it will probably be around 10 more)

I know my updates have been so very very boring - my whole life has revolved around being able to get work done and walking the dog.  I'd never evern translated anything other than a couple of pages, so attempting roughly 30 pages of theoretical Japanese seemed practically impossible.

Yet, it got done.  So for those who might be curious about what I was translating, here are some choice quotes:

from the intro:


Changes in feminist movement and theory, twenty years of upheaval … both the SF novel The Left Hand of Darkness and the essay "Is Gender Necessary?" were exposed in that upheaval, passed through it, survived, and are still significant works. These two works have done more than present the various problems between text/context, novel/criticism, expression/interpretation that influenced "one author." While the former has been left as it is and the latter has been revised many times, they reflect not only a history of dynamic survival, but also the history of feminism.

from the section discussing historical androgyny:


For example, the fact that especially androgynous perfection can be the object of our writerly love may be aesthetic. What is this thing beauty? The ideology that forms this "beauty" in itself has long been the target of feminist theory. Because our sensitivity toward feeling "beautiful" has been guaranteed by means of patriarchal power systems…. Of course, it is a fact that this turbulent waterway, is flowing into the classical framework of beauty, even when we look at a thesis like this.

from the section "summarizing" the story:


Genly is bewildered by witnessing the reality of these aliens who have both sexes. Before long he is forced to go on an escape journey with the hermaphrodite Estraven in this harsh land. That is to say, by means of a confrontation between "winter" and "hermaphrodite", Genly Ai cannot help step into the problem on "sexual difference." Moreover, actual "females" do not exist there. "Females" are possibly lurking inside the metaphoric structure of "Winter," or in a part of the hermaphrodite in a dismantled state. In this way, Gethen's journey may be the journey exploring the mysterious "femininity" through the space where "females" are absent.

oh, and then she brings up Jung:


Jung's term 'anima' is the feminine gender inside Genly Ai, and the travel around Gethen the journey for Ai's self discovery, and finally Ai's psychological structure is Gethen's view of the world. Before Ai, Estraven (when gendered feminine) was the anima of Ai himself.

and then there are like 20 pages after that

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl
your royal pie-nessentrenous88 on May 13th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
You can dooo eeeet, woohooo! *throws confetti and quietly sweeps it up so you can write*
my monkied brain: buffywill - *glomp*katekat1010 on May 13th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks darling!!! But you can totally leave it on the floor with the dog hair - i'm planning on finally vacuuming tomorrow! :D
literate and stylish: smart is sexy! Indy!mishloran on May 13th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
Why are you translating it?

It is crazy. But crazy impressive and also crazy interesting. The history of hermaphrodites is an interesting and somewhat little-touched-on subject, from what I gathered from my (admittedly Western-centric, as I was concentrating on Roman evidence for hermaphroditism) research for my MA, but likewise there is evidence for hermaphroditism as both 'other' and not - mostly other, which is strange when you consider that the hermaphrodite straddles both positions of female and male, feminine and masculine at one time - but mostly the impression I got anyway, it is the femininity of the hermaphrodite which explains issues regarding masculinity, with what the hermaphrodite is not (in relation to binary pairs?) rather than what he/she is.

Okay so I went off on one a little there and I'm SURE it didn't make any sense because it's gone 11.30pm and frankly my brain doesn't work beyond that kind of time at night.

But! You are crazy impressive and crazy awesome. <3
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on May 13th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
1) the professor wouldn't let us translate fiction - it had to be non fiction, and it was the only one that was relevant to my interests

2) it is relevant to my interests - i wrote a paper two semesters ago that i'd kind of like to rework for publication about sci fi hermaphrodites as fantasies of non-post gender (in Japanese fiction of course)

3) my advisor is thinking of putting together a book of translations of her essays, so this might be a way to get a publishing credit :D

now, my brain is sort of sizzled, but you'd probably really love her section where she talks about the roots in western mythology.

and i love the idea of hermaphrodite being both other and not - i wonder if it's useful as opposed to erasing gender categories (like some feminism argues for)... the hermaphrodite body is useful because it has both, nothing has to be erased, so there's no post-gender world.

so the last sentence - it's the femininity of the hermaphrodite which explains issues regarding masculinity - how does that work? and whose masculinity?

My frustration is that the word for hermaphrodite and the word for androgynous in Japanese is the *same* word, and it's made up of four characters: 両性具有

両 (dual) 性 (sex/gender) 具 (husband/wife - ie used by romantically linked couples to refer to each other) 有 (being/existence)

and i would *really* love to know the historical roots of that term.

and heee, thanks baby! hopefully the prof thinks what i did was ok too!
literate and stylish: smart (or not) is sexy! Han!mishloran on May 14th, 2011 08:14 am (UTC)
It would be brilliant if you could get published!! Exciting!

As far as I can remember (it was a long time ago), the hermaphrodite in relation to the ancient Roman world (Augustan era), I was arguing, can tell us what it is to be masculine [for a Roman male, a vir - where we get the word 'virility' and other such manly traits (!)], in what is lacking, as the negative aspects of being a hermaphrodite are evident in the feminine traits, rather than the masculine. By being at once both feminine and masculine - which seems to be shown by being female and male, somehow reflected in the personality traits - the negatives can be projected onto the female, the feminine. Not sure if I have really explained that very well, but essentially because the hermaphrodite is seen as a deviant and not-wanted thing, the feminine aspects of the hermaphrodite can be seen to be those which are 'subverted' and unwanted for the male? Sensemaking? Or not. I have no idea...

Also hermaphrodite births are (again, to my knowledge), in Roman 'historiography' texts (eg. Livy, Tacitus, Pliny The Elder - texts which puport to report true representations, rather than 'fiction' texts such as those written by the poets (I took a few tales from Ovid's Metamorphoses and looked for evidence of sex 'deviance' or 'change' in the historical texts) found almost exclusively in portents of evil things to come - off the top of my head I believe that at the birth of Nero (a 'bad' emperor) a hermaphrodite was born, likewise a snake with two heads, the heavens thundered and set all 14 districts of Rome on fire by lightning etc.

REALLY interesting (and for you, annoying) that the word for hermaphrodite and androgynous is the same in Japanese - presumably this means that the term is mapped onto feminine/masculine not just male/female, but overtly, and so it may be possible to say that modern hermaphrodites do not need sex to show their androgyny - they become both one and the other by their androgynous nature revealed not in binary sex, but in (more fluid?) gender. Again, not entirely sure if I've explained myself well there.
cordelianne: Cordy Cheerleadercordelianne on May 14th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
You can do it!! *cheers you on*

Cordelia in my icon cheers you on too.
my monkied brain: xander - excitedkatekat1010 on May 22nd, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
lol i did it darling!! and it was all from the fantastic cordy icon! :D and your cheers!