Time and Intertextuality in the Medieval Court Diary Utatane
This paper explores intertextual expressions of temporality by way of Utatane (Fitful Slumbers, ca. 1238), a medieval memoir describing the unhappy love affair between a young lady-in-waiting and a courtier of higher standing, and her vain efforts to get over her lover. Through a close reading of the work’s beginning and end, it will be demonstrated how intertextual techniques are used in Utatane to inscribe the past into the present and to express the protagonist’s temporal sensations. Hereby it will be argued that, while allusions underline the protagonist’s dissatisfaction with the present and her longing for the past, they may also be read as encrypted expressions of nostalgia for the Heian period’s court culture. At the same time, they demonstrate the author’s sophistication, an important ‘social capital’ of court ladies at the time.