In this study of the nuclear theme in Japanese intellectual and artistic life, John Whittier Treat argues that we have much to learn from Japanese writers and artists about the substance and meaning of the nuclear age. Treat recounts the controversial history of Japanese public discourse around Hiroshima and Nagasaki - a discourse alternatively celebrated and censored - from August 6, 1945, to the present day. He includes works from the earliest survivor writers, including Hara Tamiki and Ota Yoko, to such important modern Japanese intellectuals as Oe Kenzaburo and Oda Makoto. Treat argues that the insights of Japanese writers into the lessons of modern atrocity share much in common with those of Holocaust writers in Europe and the practitioners of recent post-structuralist nuclear criticism in America. In chapters that take up writers as diverse as Hiroshima poets, Tokyo critics and Nagasaki women novelists, he explores the implications of these works for critical, literary and cultural theory.
Treat summarizes the Japanese contribution to such ongoing international debates as the crisis of modern ethics, the relationship of experience to memory and the possibility of writing history. This Japanese perspective, Treat shows, both confirms and amends many of the assertions made in the West on the shift that the death camps and nuclear weapons have jointly signalled for the modern world and for the future.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 9780226811789 Number of pages: 508 Weight: 810 g Dimensions: 230 x 155 x 31 mm Edition: New edition
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