positions 13:2 Fall 2005 this transparent visionâthe sign of modernityâvisible through his experimentation with the literary imagination. Rampoâs writing continues to hold literary value for present-day readers not because of its self-induced exoticism, but because of its self-reï¬ective gaze on the nature of modern society through its literary explorations of bodily senses. Before turning to Rampoâs own texts, it is necessary to trace the critical history that has relegated Rampoâs literary imagination to the premodern past. The writings by Tanaka YÃ»ko, Matsuyama Iwao, and Yumeno KyÃ»saku provide representative responses to his writings. The early modern historian Tanaka YÃ»ko ï¬nds a shared space between Rampoâs literary world and the Edo (1600â1868) cultural sphere, both of which she deï¬nes as liminal spaces excluded from modernity. After stating that Rampo incorporates in his work the colorful displays of phantasmagoria, bloodshed, and the grotesque found in Edoâs carnivalesque displays, she continues: If [phantasmagoria, bloodshed, and the grotesque] appear nonmodern (hikindaiteki), that is because there was a style of carnivalesque shows in the Edo [culture] that satisï¬ed the desire for them, and modern [Japan] excluded this style of shows from itself. However, that was only a superï¬cial exclusion, and it was impossible to
positions asia critique – Duke University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2005
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