Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Press Release #3

This just in from Meredith Howard, Publicity Director of Columbia University Press:
Dear Behold My Swarthy Face:
Columbia University Press is pleased to announce the publication of The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, Abridged Edition, edited by J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel.Featuring choice selections from the core anthologies The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From Restoration to Occupation, 1868-1945, and The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From 1945 to the Present, this collection offers a concise yet remarkably rich introduction to the fiction, poetry, drama, and essays of Japan's modern encounter with the West. Spanning a period of exceptional invention and transition, this volume is not only a critical companion to courses on Japanese literary and intellectual development but also an essential reference for scholarship on Japanese history, culture, and interactions with the East and West.
The first half covers the three major styles of literary expression that informed Japanese writing and performance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: classical Japanese fiction and drama, Chinese poetry, and Western literary representation and cultural critique. Their juxtaposition brilliantly captures the social, intellectual, and political challenges shaping Japan during this period, particularly the rise of nationalism, the complex interaction between traditional and modern forces, and the encroachment of Western ideas and writing. The second half conveys the changes that have transformed Japan since the end of the Pacific War, such as the heady transition from poverty to prosperity, the friction between conflicting ideologies and political beliefs, and the growing influence of popular culture on the country's artistic and intellectual traditions. Featuring sensitive translations of works by Nagai Kafu, Natsume Soseki, Oe Kenzaburo, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, and many others, this anthology relates an essential portrait of Japan's dynamic modernization.
J. Thomas Rimer is emeritus professor of Japanese literature, theater, and art at the University of Pittsburgh.
Van C. Gessel is professor of Japanese literature at Brigham Young University.
To find out more about this work click here.
With best wishes,
Meredith Howard, Publicity Director, Columbia University Press

1 comment:

leoboiko said...

It’s good to see Chinese-language poetry is getting more and more recognized as an important Japanese literary genre.

The authors listed above still feel a little too much Keene-canon though. But I guess they’re using the power of canon for marketing copy; the actual table of contents (visible on amazon) seems a bit more diverse.