Literary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War by James DorseyLiterary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War by James Dorsey

Literary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War

byJames Dorsey, Douglas SlaymakerContribution byOgino Anna

Hardcover | April 30, 2010

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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 K?jin 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. All of the contributions to this volume consider this dimension of Ango's legacy, and it forms one of the thematic threads tying the volume together. The essays use Ango's writings to situate his accomplishment and contribute to our understanding of the potentials and limitations of radical thought in times of cultural nationalism, war, violence, and repression. 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. As a result, the reader will come away with a coherent sense of Ango the individual and the writer, a critical apparatus for evaluating Ango, and access to new translations of key texts.
James Dorsey is associate professor of Japanese at Dartmouth College. Douglas Slaymaker is associate professor of Japanese at University of Kentucky.
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Title:Literary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the WarFormat:HardcoverDimensions:214 pages, 9.39 × 6.55 × 0.76 inPublished:April 30, 2010Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739138669

ISBN - 13:9780739138663

Reviews

Table of Contents

Part 1 Essays Chapter 2 1 Introduction: The Scribbler and the Sage Chapter 3 2 The Irrational Will to Reason: The Praxis of Sakaguchi Ango Chapter 4 3 Paradox at Play: Ango as Japanese Humanist Chapter 5 4 Kataru koto nashi: A Brief Tour of Ango's Native Place Chapter 6 5 Sakaguchi Ango's Individual Cult(ure) Chapter 7 6 The Art of War: Sakaguchi Ango's "Pearls" and the Nature of Literary Resistance Part 8 Translations 9 7 A Personal View of Japanese Culture (Nihon bunka shikan, 1942) 10 8 Pearls (Shinju, 1942) 11 9 Discourse on Decadence (Darakuron, 1946) 12 10 Discourse on Decadence, Part II (Zoku darakuron, 1946)

Editorial Reviews

Homing in on the author's deliberate juxtaposition of individual and cultural identity formationBecause they successfully made the case for reconsideration of Ango's oeuvre, one hopes the editors will continue with this endeavor in their ongoing researchAngo's predilection for inverting or dismantling a series of binary oppositions hitherto viewed as inviolable that leaps off the pagesIn a carefully constructed thesis, James Dorsey goes to the heart of the debate on literary complicityDorsey's close reading of "Shinju," read as it is through the prism of Ango's hallmark "Daraku-ron," is indeed refreshing-as is his conclusion that, for all the conflicting interpretations of the work, "all is not lost."What we have here, in short, is a long-awaited "Ango reader," a collection that will be of interest to a wide range of Japan hands and one that provides plenty of scope and ideas for further investigation