Dennitza Gabrakova "The Desert Islands of Utopian Cartography"

1 November, 2007 Academic English Seminar

On October 31, we had a talk by Dennitza Gabrakova. The title of her talk is "The Desert Islands of Utopian Cartography," and it is a re-reading of Japanese postwar literature from her unique perspective. The audience asked many questions and commented on her talk.


Let me report her talk briefly. After the World War II, there were literatures on remote islands. In her talk, Gabrakova picked up Hino Keizo's novella Dream Island. By interpreting interests in remote islands, we can reveal consciousness that permeates us living in an island country. Furthermore, such a reading can invite us to a deeper level of spacial imagination. In such imagination, the desire for a place is the one for nowhere, that is, for utopia.


Gabrakova re-reads Dream Island in relation to Gilles Deleuze's "The Desert Island," the geo-philosophical text. Some might want to examine whether such a discussion is helpful. Or, how do Deleuze's notions of recreation and separation correspond to Dream Island? But various themes presented in the talk were a great opportunity for each of us to think about them further.

(Originally reported by Yuki Tanaka; excerpted and translated by Kei Yoshida)

Comment from Dennitza Gabrakova:

I am really grateful to the members of UTCP for their careful listening and warm attitude. All the questions I received regarding my paper were interesting, thought-provoking, and some were really fantastic. With a very small exception, all my listeners were not specialists in Modern or Contemporary Japanese literature; however, their reaction to my research proved to me the wide scope of problems training in philosophy and abstract thinking allows to cover.

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