Show Less
Restricted access

Hermeneutics of Evil in the Works of Endō Shūsaku

Between Reading and Writing

Justyna Weronika Kasza

Evil is a salient component of Endō Shūsaku’s writing. Questions surrounding evil haunted the writer as a student of French literature, having discovered the works of Western authors like François Mauriac and Georges Bernanos. It is around the problem of evil that Endō would create his most renowned novels and the cross-cultural dimensions of the questions he posed on the nature of evil would make him one of the most widely translated Japanese authors.
This study offers new insight into the intellectual and artistic development of the author by focusing on a lesser known yet significant body of work: his essays and critical texts. The book is, on the one hand, an attempt to follow the path of thinking delineated by Endō Shūsaku himself and, on the other, a methodological approach to literary studies based on the application of selected categories of Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutics. Thus, the book accentuates the problem of subjectivity and personhood in Endō’s works, ultimately exploring the question, Who is the one who asks about evil?
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 5: The Enigma of Suffering in Deep River (1993)


← 206 | 207 →


The Enigma of Suffering in Deep River (1993)

Deep River tells the story of a group of Japanese people who travel together to India in order to visit places related to the life of Buddha and the holy sites of Hinduism. Each character in the novel is presented in two dimensions: the present one, as a participant on the journey, and a past one, in which the reasons for joining the tour to India are explained. The trip itself offers the travellers a period to reminisce and to reflect on difficult situations in their lives. For each of them, this journey is loaded with a strong spiritual dimension.1

In research on the issue of evil in Endō’s works, Deep River does not often feature as a representative example of the writer’s interest in this problem. More attention is paid to Endō’s other, earlier novels and short stories that treat this issue in a more concentrated manner. However, due to the interpretative perspective adopted in this study, it is precisely this novel that seems to me particularly significant in an attempt to understand Endō’s ways of transferring into fiction the topics and problems that he earlier identified within his critical texts and essays.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.