The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature

The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature

Joshua S. Mostow, Kirk A. Denton, Bruce Fulton, Lewis Cook

Language: English

Pages: 813

ISBN: 2:00156467

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature

Joshua S. Mostow, Kirk A. Denton, Bruce Fulton, Lewis Cook

Language: English

Pages: 813

ISBN: 2:00156467

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This extraordinary one-volume guide to the modern literatures of China, Japan, and Korea is the definitive reference work on the subject in the English language. With more than one hundred articles that show how a host of authors and literary movements have contributed to the general literary development of their respective countries, this companion is an essential starting point for the study of East Asian literatures. Comprehensive thematic essays introduce each geographical section with historical overviews and surveys of persistent themes in the literature examined, including nationalism, gender, family relations, and sexuality.

Following the thematic essays are the individual entries: over forty for China, over fifty for Japan, and almost thirty for Korea, featuring everything from detailed analyses of the works of Tanizaki Jun'ichiro and Murakami Haruki, to far-ranging explorations of avant-garde fiction in China and postwar novels in Korea. Arrayed chronologically, each entry is self-contained, though extensive cross-referencing affords readers the opportunity to gain a more synoptic view of the work, author, or movement. The unrivaled opportunities for comparative analysis alone make this unique companion an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the burgeoning field of Asian literature.

Although the literatures of China, Japan, and Korea are each allotted separate sections, the editors constantly kept an eye open to those writers, works, and movements that transcend national boundaries. This includes, for example, Chinese authors who lived and wrote in Japan; Japanese authors who wrote in classical Chinese; and Korean authors who write in Japanese, whether under the colonial occupation or because they are resident in Japan. The waves of modernization can be seen as reaching each of these countries in a staggered fashion, with eddies and back-flows between them then complicating the picture further. This volume provides a vivid sense of this dynamic interplay.

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the slow but devastating effects on women of marriage and patrilineal culture, even when those marriages were superficially successful. In fact, much of the writing of the 1960s engaged questions of the meaning of the family, including work by male authors Shimao Toshio, Yasuoka Shotaro, and *Oe Kenzaburo. These men and their cohort wrote realist, often agonized, and sometimes darkly humorous explorations of the new structures and roles within the postwar family. The women writing about family in

shunjv), a mainstream literary magazine that achieved enormous popularity. Kikuchi would contribute greatly to the professionalization of Japanese writers. In 1935, he instituted Japan’s first— and most prestigious—literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. This and other major awards—the Naoki Prize and Noma Prize, for instance—remain a tangible index of the manner in which literary success is recognized in modern Japan. In the same sense that the profession of writing gradually took on respectability

the main character is in the wake of her decisive action. Two of the most touching stories in this vein are Kato Midori’s (1888–1922) “Attachment” (Shvchaku, April 1912) and Ogasawara Sadako’s (1887–1988) “Eastern Breeze” (Higashi kaze, April 1913) as both give vivid impressions of a woman’s youthful ambitions and romantic feelings frustrated by the transition to marriage, even to a “new man,” and motherhood. Such shows of vulnerability no doubt brought Seito readers closer to these writers and

widely agreed upon. Nonetheless, the shishosetsu form is described by critics as “the most salient and unique” in modern Japanese literature (Suzuki 1996:1). Perhaps the shishosetsu’s most important characteristic is the fact that, as Tomi Suzuki points out, “it was formulated on a polar axis that contrasted the Western novel with its Japanese counterpart” (1996:3). Characterizing the Anglo-European novel as fictional and impersonal, advocates of the shishosetsu emphasized its unmediated

“Moon on the Water” is focalized through Kyoko, who is struggling with the tension between her feelings of satisfaction in her sexually active and “normal” second marriage and her longing for the purity and beauty of her first. This same dynamic is found in one of Kawabata’s finest works, the novel The Sound of the Mountain (Yama no oto, 1954). In this case the narration is focalized through Ogata Shingo, a sixty-two-year-old man who feels death to be very close by. Shingo lives with his wife

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