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'She's Got Tears in Her Eyes': The Language of Masochistic Violence and Power in the Work of Kono Taeko


King, EL, 'She's Got Tears in Her Eyes': The Language of Masochistic Violence and Power in the Work of Kono Taeko , Crossroads, 3, (2) pp. 69-76. ISSN 1833-878X (2009) [Refereed Article]


Imagine a woman, her back naked, holding herself steady waiting for the blow that must come from her lover. He is wielding a rope or rod, something that makes a noise as he stands over her. This is a scenario that could occur in any one of Kôno’s early writings such as ‘Ant SwarmEor ‘Toddler HuntingE(1961, 1964; ‘Ant SwarmEor ‘Toddler HuntingE trans 1991). The question that has to be asked of such a scene is not ‘who is in control?E but rather ‘who has the power?EIt is easy to assume that the dominant figure is that of the male; he is the one standing and it is he who holds in his hand an implement with which to inflict pain. It is the male who is in control of the situation and who will deal all of the blows onto the woman’s flesh. However, it is the woman who has the power in the scene. It is her fantasy that they are acting out. In Masochism in Modern Man Theodor Riek defines three main characteristics of masochism: fantasies, suspense and demonstration. This paper, building on Gretchen JonesEarticle ‘Subversive strategies: Masochism, gender and power in Kôno Taeko's ‘Toddler-Hunting,’’ seeks to examine Kôno’s early work in terms of these three characteristics in order to explore the roles of power and language in her violent fantasies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Literature in Japanese
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:King, EL (Dr Emerald King)
ID Code:56703
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Asian Languages and Studies
Deposited On:2009-05-21
Last Modified:2010-04-20

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