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Fictions of Desire

Narrative Forms in the Novels of Nagai Kafu

Stephen Snyder

Publication Year: 2000

Stephen Snyder examines Kafu's fiction in terms of narrative strategy, placing him squarely within some of the most important currents of literary modernism--at the nexus of Naturalism and the largely antithetical development of the modernist reflexive novel.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press


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pp. v

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pp. vii-viii

This book began as a dissertation at Yale University and has evolved over several years with the help of a number of people and institutions. The initial research was done at the University of Tokyo with the support of a dissertation research grant from the Japan Foundation. ...

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pp. 1-7

Nagai Kafu was a flâneur, that urban "prowler" immortalized by the "first modernist," Baudelaire, in Le Spleen de Paris.1 Kafu's fiction, diaries, criticism, and occasional pieces document his perambulations in the modern(izing) metropolis that Tokyo had become by the beginning of the twentieth century, ...

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Chapter 1 Ogai, Kafu, and the Limits of Fiction

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pp. 8-33

J.Thomas Rimer's analysis of the nature of the friendship between Nagai Kafu and Mori Ogai identifies the themes that recur in any account of this relationship, indeed in any attempt to explain why there should have been a friendship at all between these two men of so genuinely different character ...

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Chapter 2 Maupassant and Amerika monogatari

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pp. 34-53

Though Kafu was of the opinion that his career as a writer began the moment he presented himself on the doorstep of the Ken'yusha writer Hirotsu Ryuro (1861 - 1929), Nakamura Mitsuo takes a more conservative view, labeling as "practice pieces" (shusaku) all the works from Kafus early period, ...

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Chapter 3 Udekurabe: The Demimonde East and West

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pp. 54-91

Udekurabe and Okamezasa are read together for the complementary picture they paint of two aspects of the Tokyo demimonde: the traditional, elegant shitamachi licensed quarter of Shimbashi and the more tawdry unlicensed pleasure districts mixed in among the bourgeois neighborhoods of the Yamanote. ...

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Chapter 4 Frustrated Form: Narrative Subversion in Okamezasa

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pp. 92-114

The circumstances surrounding the publication of Okamezasa, like that of Udekurabe, were less than simple. The journal in which the latter part of the novel was being serialized, Kagetsu (which Kafu himself edited in cooperation with and as a favor to one of his closest friends, ...

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Chapter 5 Bokuto kidan: A "Strange Tale" and the Self-Conscious Modern

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pp. 115-154

In the case of certain novelists, James Joyce or Shiga Naoya, for example, there is little difficulty in identifying the work that stands out as the masterpiece of a career. It is, simply, a work that dominates in scope, notoriety, and importance. While Finnegan's Wake may fascinate Joyce scholars, ...


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pp. 155-180


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pp. 181-188


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pp. 189-195

E-ISBN-13: 9780824862510
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824821470

Publication Year: 2000