Literary Mischief Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-04-30
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
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Sakaguchi Ango (1906-1955) was a writer who thrived on iconoclasm and agitation. He remains one of the most creative and stimulating thinkers of twentieth-century Japan. Ango was catapulted into the public consciousness in the months immediately following Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces in 1945. The energy and iconoclasm of his writings were matched by the outrageous and outsized antics of his life. Behind that life, and in the midst of those tumultuous times, Ango spoke with a cutting clarity. The essays and translations included in Literary Mischief probe some of the most volatile issues of culture, ideology, and philosophy of postwar Japan. Represented among the essayists are some of Japan's most important contemporary critics (e.g., Karatani Kojin and Ogino Anna). Many of Ango's works were produced during Japan's wars in China and the Pacific, a context in which words and ideas carried dire consequences for both writers and readers. This collection of essays and translations takes advantage of current interest in Sakaguchi Ango's work and makes available to the English-reading audience translations and critical work heretofore unavailable. Book jacket.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introduction: The Scribbler and the Sagep. 3
The Irrational Will to Reason: The Praxis of Sakaguchi Angop. 23
Paradox at Play: Ango as Japanese Humanistp. 35
Kataru koto nashi: A Brief Tour of Ango's Native Placep. 65
Sakaguchi Ango's Individual Cult(ure)p. 79
The Art of War: Sakaguchi Ango's "Pearls" and the Nature of Literary Resistancep. 97
A Personal View of Japanese Culture (Nihon bunka shikan, 1942)p. 137
Pearls (Shinju, 1942)p. 163
Discourse on Decadence (Darakuron, 1946)p. 175
Discourse on Decadence, Part II (Zoku darakuron, 1946)p. 187
Indexp. 197
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