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For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature (Hardback)
  • For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature (Hardback)

For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature (Hardback)

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Hardback 488 Pages / Published: 01/03/2016
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Fiction created by and for the working class emerged worldwide in the early twentieth century as a response to rapid modernization, dramatic inequality, and imperial expansion. In Japan, literary youth, men and women, sought to turn their imaginations and craft to tackling the ensuing injustices, with results that captured both middle-class and worker-farmer readers. This anthology is a landmark introduction to Japanese proletarian literature from that period. Contextualized by introductory essays, forty expertly translated stories touch on topics like perilous factories, predatory bosses, ethnic discrimination, and the myriad indignities of poverty. Together, they show how even intensely personal issues form a pattern of oppression. Fostering labor consciousness as part of an international leftist arts movement, these writers, lovers of literature, were also challenging the institution of modern literature itself. This anthology demonstrates the vitality of the "red decade" long buried in modern Japanese literary history.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226068367
Number of pages: 488
Weight: 748 g
Dimensions: 231 x 155 x 30 mm

"For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution is an activist anthology: savvy, vibrant, and engaging. It grabs you, the reader, by the lapels and addresses you directly, with a rare sense of urgency not found in other such collections. This volume is not just welcome; it is an essential guidebook for navigating twentieth-century Japan's literary and political terrain."--Edward Fowler, University of California, Irvine
"For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution fills a major gap in our knowledge of the global movement to create a form for the expression of working people's lived experience during the 'red decade' of the 1930s. This collection opens views onto the struggles of diseased prostitutes, telephone linemen, muslin weavers, fishmongers, farmers, and factory workers, as well as the debates swirling among leftist intellectuals about how to forge solidarity and shape consciousness among men, women, and children; urban and rural dwellers; colonialized Koreans; and former geishas. The editors have brought to light a history hidden by repression and neglect."--Paula Rabinowitz, University of Minnesota
"The finely crafted translations of short fiction and criticism that compose this groundbreaking anthology underscore the crucial role proletarian writers played in the formation of modern Japanese literature. For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution demonstrates brilliantly how these writers critically engaged with the global proletarian movement as they sought to further the cause of class justice and anti-imperialist/antiwar struggle."--Theodore Hughes, Columbia University
"Two generations ago Frank Motofuji's translation of Kobayashi Takiji's 1929 The Crab Cannery Ship introduced English readers to what was once the world's most articulate left cultural project. Kobayashi experienced a 2008 best-selling boom in a Japan weary of two decades of economic decline, but Bowen-Struyk and Field note that scholars largely 'ignore' the genre. Now that has changed. These excellent translations of excellent writers make timely reading, as Marxism revives in the face of a current century that will be far different at its conclusion from today."--John Treat, Yale University
"The thread of thought underlying the stories in Field and Bowen-Struyk's anthology is not an obsolete or vanished one, but is, as Edmund Wilson eloquently established in To the Finland Station, one of the fundamental components of our contemporary consciousness."--Kyoto Journal
"Anyone wishing . . . to engage more deeply with Japan's proletarian literary movement--to a large extent unknown in the West--should reach for [this] English-language volume. . . . With For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution, literature professor Heather Bowen-Struyk and professor emerita of Japanese studies Norma Field have offered a work depicting the full range of the genre."--junge Welt

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