Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 33 (2002) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/
The fifth annual convention of the George Eliot Fellowship of Japan was held at Tokai University in Kanagawa on Saturday, I December 2001. The morning session began with a welcome speech by Kyoichi Ono, Chief of the Foreign Language Center of Tokai University. He said that George Eliot and Shigeyoshi Matsumae, the founder of Tokai University, had some similarities: both of them lived through a turbulent age; both sustained an interest in religion and humanity; both had insight into the significance of modem civilization.
The first paper was presented by Tomoko Kanda, an assistant at Nihon University. She analysed 'The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton' in the light of gossip. She thought that, through being involved in the narrator's gossiping about characters, the reader was made to perceive gossip as coloured by self-content. In the second paper, Maiko Otake, a part-time lecturer at Tsuda College, suggested that Silas Mamer did not have so much to do with nostalgia for the past as with the view of contemporary society and science. She pointed out that George Eliot regarded the slow imperceptible change in the society as ideal. In the third paper, Akiko Sekiguchi, a part-time lecturer at Tokai University, compared the poignant humour in Middlemarch with the mild humour in Cranford. She explained that this had something to do with the difference between the two societies: Cranford was a sort of utopia, separated from the outside world while Middlemarch was pluralistic and unstable, closely connected with the real world. The fourth paper by Chieko Watanabe, a professor at Bunka Women's University, was 'Bildungsideen beyond Goethe's Faust - George Eliot's messages left in the relationship between Gwendolen and her mother in Daniel Deronda'. She argued that, though the Gwendolen-plot was based on Faust, its conclusion surpassed Faust and established the original Bildungsideen.
The afternoon session began with the general meeting, presided over by Yoshitsugu Uchida, the vice-president of the George Eliot Fellowship of Japan and a professor at Kansai Gaidai University. The board of trustees and steering committee were re-elected, and Shizuko Kawamoto, a professor at Tsuda College, gave an address as vice-president of the Fellowship. Hiroshi Oshima, a professor at Hyogo University of Teacher Education, reported on the project to complete a bibliography of George Eliot in Japan.