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Ambiguous BodiesReading the Grotesque in Japanese Setsuwa Tales$
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Michelle Osterfeld Li

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759755

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759755.001.0001

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Fantastic Detached Body Parts

Fantastic Detached Body Parts

(p.52) Chapter 2 Fantastic Detached Body Parts
Ambiguous Bodies
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines setsuwa tales about detached parts that either act independently from the body or are otherwise fantastic in a severed state. The analysis of three setsuwa suggests that fantastic detached body parts are sites of tension between conflicting desires and ideologies. The chapter explains that the tales are positioned to undermine people in the highest positions of authority and highlight the vulnerability and loss of the protagonists.

Keywords:   detached body parts, setsuwa, desires, ideologies, positions of authority, vulnerability, protagonists

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