Feline Affinities Between E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr and Natsume Sōseki’s I Am a Cat

  •  Val Scullion    
  •  Marion Treby    


Natsume Sōseki (1867-1916) was an eclectic writer and voracious reader during a historical period when western literary influence flourished in Japan. This article hypothesizes that the German novel, The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr (1819-1821), by E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), is as strong a formative influence in terms of structure and satirical perspective on Sōseki’s novel, I Am a Cat (1905-1907), as other satiric contenders. It pursues this argument by examining correlations between these two polyphonic novels which mix many registers and discourses in a similar way. Biographical, historical and literary analysis underpins this comparison.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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