Theory of Literature and Other Critical Writings

Kobo ebook | July 24, 2012

byNatsume Soseki, Michael Bourdaghs, Atsuko Ueda...

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Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) was the foremost Japanese novelist of the twentieth century, known for such highly acclaimed works as Kokoro, Sanshiro, and I Am a Cat. Yet he began his career as a literary theorist and scholar of English literature. In 1907, he published Theory of Literature, a remarkably forward-thinking attempt to understand how and why we read. The text anticipates by decades the ideas and concepts of formalism, structuralism, reader-response theory, and postcolonialism, as well as cognitive approaches to literature that are only now gaining traction.

Employing the cutting-edge approaches of contemporary psychology and sociology, Soseki created a model for studying the conscious experience of reading literature as well as a theory for how the process changes over time and across cultures. Along with Theory of Literature, this volume reproduces a later series of lectures and essays in which Soseki continued to develop his theories. By insisting that literary taste is socially and historically determined, Soseki was able to challenge the superiority of the Western canon, and by grounding his theory in scientific knowledge, he was able to claim a universal validity.

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Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) was the foremost Japanese novelist of the twentieth century, known for such highly acclaimed works as Kokoro, Sanshiro, and I Am a Cat. Yet he began his career as a literary theorist and scholar of English literature. In 1907, he published Theory of Literature, a remarkably forward-thinking attempt to underst...

Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) was the foremost Japanese novelist of the Meiji Era, known for his books Kokoro, Botchan, and I Am a Cat. Michael Bourdaghs is associate professor of modern Japanese literature at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Dawn That Never Comes: Shimazaki Toson and Japanese Nationalism and the tr...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:July 24, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231518315

ISBN - 13:9780231518314

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Natsume Soseki and the Ten-Year Project
Part One: Excerpts from Theory of Literature
Preface
Book 1: Classification of Literary Substance
Book 2: Quantitative Change in Literary Substance
Book 3: The Particular Character of Literary Substance
Book 4: Interrelations Between Literary Substances
Book 5: Group F
Part Two: Other Writings on Literary Theory, 1907-14
"Statement on Joining the Asahi"
"Philosophical Foundations of the Literary Arts"
"Preface" to Literary Criticism
"The Merits and Flaws of -isms"
"My Individualism"
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

There are treasures to be mined in this book -- insights into Soseki the man, Soseki the writer, Soseki the product of his time.