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Shock and Naturalization in Contemporary Japanese Literature written by Carl Cassegard

 

Shock and Naturalization in Contemporary Japanese Literature written by Carl Cassegard

Overview:

This study introduces the concepts of naturalization and naturalized modernity, and uses them as tools for understanding the way modernity has been experienced and portrayed in Japanese literature since the end of the Second World War. Special emphasis is given to four leading post-war writers - Kawabata Yasunari, Abe Kobo, Murakami Haruki and Murakami Ryu. The author argues that notions of ‘shock’ in modern city life in Japan (as exemplified in the writings of Walter Benjamin and George Simmel), while present in the work of older Japanese writers, do not appear to hold true in much contemporary Japanese literature: it is as if the ‘shock’ impact of change has evolved as a ‘naturalized’ or ‘Japanized’ process. The author focuses on the implications of this phenomenon, both in the context of the theory of modernity and as an opportunity to reevaluate the works of his chosen writers.

Synopsis:

This study introduces the concepts of naturalization and naturalized modernity, and uses them as tools for understanding the way modernity has been experienced and portrayed in Japanese literature since the end of the Second World War.

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Title: Shock and Naturalization in Contemporary Japanese Literature

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