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Topographies of Japanese Modernism


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fissures of Japanese Modernity 1. Disintegrating Mechanisms of Subjectivity: Akutagawa Ryunosuke's Last Writings 2. Topographies of Empire: Yokomitsu Riichi's Shanghai 3. Mapping the Space of Mass Culture: Kawabata Yasunari's Scarlet Gang of Asakusa 4. Negations of Genre: Hayashi Fumiko's Nomadic Writing 5. A Phantasmatic Return: Yokomitsu Riichi's Melancholic Nationalism

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Lippit offers the first book-length study in English of Japanese modernist fiction from the 1920s to the 1930s. Through close readings of four leading figures of this movement-Akutagawa, Yokomitsu, Kawabata, and Hayashi-Lippit aims to establish a theoretical and historical framework for the analysis of Japanese modernism.

About the Author

Seiji M. Lippit is assistant professor in the department of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the editor of Essential Akutagawa.


This is a far-reaching and penetrating work that will be indispensable to rethinking the questions of modernity and postmodernity. -- Kojin Karatani Here is a dazzling modernist work that questions our fictional assumptions, captures the impact of the new, and enlarges the perimeters we permit 'ourselves.' -- Donald Richie Japan Times Richly suggestive... always engaging... an impressive contribution to the field. Choice Topographies of Japanese Modernism is an accomplished addition to the growing scholarly literature on the 1920s and 1930s. This study achieves a fine balance between addressing broad historical and critical topics and providing detailed analyses of a small number of important texts...a fine piece of scholarship... is thoughtful and carefully researched, and it makes a fascinating period in Japanese literary history more accessible to literary scholars across the academy. -- Dennis Washburn, Dartmouth College Journal of Japanese Studies In his excellent bookTopographies of Japanese Modernism, Seiji M. Lippit explores Japanese modernism of the 1920s and 1930s... The result is a richly argued and intellectually exciting entree into one of the most significant periods of modern Japanese fiction...Topographies is a superb contribution to our knowledge of twentieth-century Japanese literature. -- Susan Napier Monumenta Nipponica Lippit's book is destined to become an indispensable guide to modernist Japanese fiction. -- Ken K. Ito Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

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