Organized Panel Session
What does it mean to have animals with our fiction? Christine Marran wants, rightly, our storytelling to be “obligate,” meaning, among other things “it describes what storytelling means for its subjects.” This panel brings together critics and writers to examine ways authors might write with the animals of the stories, rather than merely about them. When animals become the subjects, become the characters with agency and voice, rather than the anthropomorphized, or the metaphor, what do we discover about them? What are the ways that fiction might get at these questions?
This panel proceeds from the premise that a significant number of Japanese writers are engaging with these questions. We are interested in how they address the narrative and fictional-technical issues of such representation. To that end:
Poet, critic, translator Keijiro Suga is thinking about dogs, and explores the fiction of species and the fiction of Furukawa Hideo.
Mimi Long wants to know how Kobayashi Erika is using her cat-narrator to access a number of nuclear truths that don’t get much attention elsewhere.
David Holloway approaches this through a narratological reading of the Kanai Mieko’s rabbits.
Doug Slaymaker will read through Furukawa Hideo’s experiments with horses and bacteria.
All of us will address the attempts of these writers to write with, rather than merely about, non-human creatures in the world.