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The Politics and Literature Debate in Postwar Japanese Criticism, 1945-52 - New Studies in Modern Japan (Paperback)
  • The Politics and Literature Debate in Postwar Japanese Criticism, 1945-52 - New Studies in Modern Japan (Paperback)
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The Politics and Literature Debate in Postwar Japanese Criticism, 1945-52 - New Studies in Modern Japan (Paperback)

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£32.95
Paperback 358 Pages / Published: 23/03/2018
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In the wake of its defeat in World War II, as Japan was forced to remake itself from "empire" to "nation" in the face of an uncertain global situation, literature and literary criticism emerged as highly contested sites. Today, this remarkable period holds rich potential for opening new dialogue between scholars in Japan and North America as we rethink the historical and contemporary significance of a number of important issues, including the meaning of the American occupation both inside and outside of Japan, the shifting semiotics of "literature" and "politics," and the origins of crucial ideological weapons of the cultural Cold War. This collection features works by Japanese intellectuals written in the immediate postwar period. These writings-many appearing in English for the first time-offer explorations into the social, political, and philosophical debates among Japanese literary elites that shaped the country's literary culture in the aftermath of defeat.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739180761
Number of pages: 358
Weight: 531 g
Dimensions: 228 x 150 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This ambitious volume provides a long-missing perspective on Japanese literary production in the vortex of the immediate postwar. Indeed, one could argue we have been hard-pressed to understand the full import of postwar Japanese literature without it. Brought to life in translations by distinguished scholars, these essays allow us at last to situate fiction and poetry of the time in the context of the fraught intellectual debates of a society emerging from fascism. Moreover, in their passion and their sheer detail and nuance, these essays dissolve facile oppositions between communism and individualism, the aesthetic and the political, that have shaped Cold War frameworks for the study of Japan. Rather, they illuminate the commingling of modernism, Marxism, and existentialism in a vein of humanist discourse that could be said to constitute the specificity of Japan in the global postwar. -- Brett de Bary, Cornell University
This collection captures the energy and intensity of the exchange among Japanese writers and literary critics, known as the `Literature and Politics Debate' (1946-47), in which the autonomous status of literature was defended against the primacy of politics that the resurgent Marxist discourse powerfully promoted. The concise introduction and extensive annotations situate this intellectual debate within a larger historical context and offer a nuanced understanding of the controversy. Masterfully translated, the essays in this volume serve as essential sources for understanding the Japanese intellectual climate in the early postwar years. -- Yoshikuni Igarashi, Vanderbilt University

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