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The fox and Dr. Shimamura

Author: Christine Wunnicke; Philip Boehm
Publisher: New York : New Directions Publications, 2019.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The Fox and Dr. Shimamura toothsomely encompasses Japan and Europe, memory and actuality, fox-possession myths and psychiatric mythmaking. The novel begins near the story's end, in Dr. Shimamura's retirement. A feverish invalid, he's watched over by four women: his wife, his mother, his mother-in- law, and a nurse (originally one of his psychiatric patients). His mother is busily writing and rewriting his  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christine Wunnicke; Philip Boehm
ISBN: 9780811226240 0811226247
OCLC Number: 1105978030
Notes: Originally published as Der Fuchs und Dr. Shimamura by Berenbberg Verlag in 2015.
Description: 160 pages.
Other Titles: Fox and Doctor Shimamura
Responsibility: by Christine Wunnicke ; translated by Philip Boehm.

Abstract:

"The Fox and Dr. Shimamura toothsomely encompasses Japan and Europe, memory and actuality, fox-possession myths and psychiatric mythmaking. The novel begins near the story's end, in Dr. Shimamura's retirement. A feverish invalid, he's watched over by four women: his wife, his mother, his mother-in- law, and a nurse (originally one of his psychiatric patients). His mother is busily writing and rewriting his biography, Between Genius and Madness. As an outstanding young Japanese medical student at the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. Shimamura is sent--to his dismay--to the provinces: he is asked to cure scores of young women of an epidemic of fox possession. He considers the assignment a joke, believing it's all a hoax, until he sees a fox moving under the skin of a beauty. He comes to believe not just in fox possession, but also that he in fact "cured" the young woman with a kiss, by breathing in the fox demon (the root of his lifelong fever). Next he travels to Europe and works with such luminaries as Charcot, Breuer and (briefly) Freud himself (whose methods he concludes are incompatible with Japanese politeness). The ironic parallels between Charcot's hack theories of female "hysteria" and Japanese ancient folklore--when it comes to beautiful writhing young women--are handled with a lightly sardonic touch by Christine Wunnicke, whose flavor-packed language is a delight"--

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