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Natsume Soseki versus William Shakespeare (an open lecture)

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UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

Gower Street

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WC1E 6BT

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Date, Time and Venue:

Tuesday 25th July 2017

16:00-17:30 Soseki Public Lecture
"Natsume Soseki versus William Shakespeare: Two Heavyweights of World Literature"
Speaker: Dr. Damian Flanagan
Venue: the Gustave Tuck LT, 2nd Floor, South Junction, Wilkins Building, Gower Street WC1E 6BT
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps/gustave-tuck-lt

18:00-Reception
-Library exhibition on Japan-UCL interaction
-Presentation by Matsuyama Higashi High School students
-Herb tea demonstration etc.
Venue: North Cloister, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps/north-cloisters



Content:

This year is the 150 year anniversary of the birth of Soseki Natsume, one of the most outstanding Japanese novelists of the 20th century. Soseki studied at University College London (UCL) from 1900 to 1902 after teaching English at the Matsuyama Junior High School (currently Matsuyama Higashi High School) and the Fifth High School (currently Kumamoto University). After returning to Japan, he worked in Tokyo University and started his life as novelist based on his experiences in the U.K. As a consequence of his time in the UK, his work became influenced by Shakespeare and a range of contemporary British novelists. Soseki may be not as famous as Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima, but he is very influential in Japan. In fact, as most Japanese students are exposed to his work including Kokoro in high school, his stories are regarded as culturally iconic and common sense for Japanese people, much like Shakespeare in the U.K. Even, Haruki Murakami, who is thought of as a possible future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, admits that Soseki is his most favourite Japanese novelist. Soseki’s face was on the 1000 yen note for achievements during his lifetime.

This July, we have organised the third UCL-Japan Youth Challenge. This is a special summer school for British and Japanese High School/Sixth Form students. This year’s theme is “Soseki in the UK.” To celebrate this anniversary, we have invited four students and a teacher from the Matsuyama Higashi High School, the setting of his famous novel Botchan. As part of “Soseki in the UK”, we will run a special lecture "Natsume Soseki versus William Shakespeare: Two Heavyweights of World Literature" by Dr. Damian Flanagan, an expert on Soseki. In respect to this, the Iwanami Shoten, Publishing House, which published Soseki’s books from the beginning, will donate a complete set of Soseki’s works to the UCL library.

A special lecture by Dr. Damian Flanagan:

Dr. Damian Flanagan will present a special lecture about Soseki Nataume through a British perspective. Dr. Flanagan is an award-winning author and an expert on the works of Soseki, he has authored two books on Soseki: The Natsume Soseki the Japanese Don’t Know and Natsume Soseki: Superstar of World Literature, and also translated The Tower of London: Tales of Victorian London which Soseki wrote based on the experience in London. He won a prestigious Japan-US Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature for this translation.

His books about Soseki:


Soseki Reception:

A formal reception will follow the lecture, attended by Iwanami Shoten, Publishing House and the Japanese Embassy. At this reception, we will observe a ceremony, in which Iwanami Shoten, Publishers donate their gift, Soseki Zenshu (comprising all the books of Soseki’s novels), to UCL, a presentation by the students from Matsuyama Higashi High School and a herb tea demonstration.



Registration: Please register on this page

Participation fee: free

Cosponsored by

CLAIR, Embassy of Japan in the UK, Japan Foundation, Iwanami Shoten, Publishers, Matsuyama city, Matsuyama Higashi High School, UCL, UCL-Japan Youth Challenge Committee, UK Japan Institute

Supported by

Mitoco Kawachi Corporation, UCL Global Engagement Office

Enquiries:

Please contact Dr. Yasu Takeuchi at UCL-Japan Youth Challenge Committee on y.takeuchi@ucl.ac.uk

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Date and Time

Location

UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

View Map

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