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Transformations of Sensibility: The Phenomenology of Meiji Literature (review)

Transformations of Sensibility: The Phenomenology of Meiji Literature (review) Transformations of Sensibility: The Phenomenology of Meiji Literature. By Kamei Hideo. Translation edited and with an introduction by Michael Bourdaghs. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2002. lxxii, 300 pages. $60.00. Reviewed by DOUGLAS HOWLAND University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee This is an expert translation of Kamei Hideo's monumental work of 1983, Kansei no henkaku, which figured prominently in the revitalization of Japanese literary criticism during the feverish 1980s. As the discipline turned away from routine emphases on the positivistic construction of literary history, the publication history of given texts, and author studies (p. lx), Kamei's unique contribution to this retheorization of Japanese literature was to investigate the literary expression of "sensibilities." These sensibilities include both overt and incipient attitudes and awarenesses on the part of an author and the characters that he or she creates, and they are objectified in the language of an author's narrative, which makes them available as knowledge of--and for--authors, characters, and readers. Kamei is especially interested in how objectified sensibilities contribute to self-knowledge and selfconsciousness, for he argues that the transformation of sensibilites in literature can be related causally to the transformation of sensibilities in readers. This is literature's critical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

Transformations of Sensibility: The Phenomenology of Meiji Literature (review)

The Journal of Japanese Studies , Volume 30 (2) – Jul 30, 2004

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Society for Japanese Studies.
ISSN
1549-4721
Publisher site
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Abstract

Transformations of Sensibility: The Phenomenology of Meiji Literature. By Kamei Hideo. Translation edited and with an introduction by Michael Bourdaghs. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2002. lxxii, 300 pages. $60.00. Reviewed by DOUGLAS HOWLAND University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee This is an expert translation of Kamei Hideo's monumental work of 1983, Kansei no henkaku, which figured prominently in the revitalization of Japanese literary criticism during the feverish 1980s. As the discipline turned away from routine emphases on the positivistic construction of literary history, the publication history of given texts, and author studies (p. lx), Kamei's unique contribution to this retheorization of Japanese literature was to investigate the literary expression of "sensibilities." These sensibilities include both overt and incipient attitudes and awarenesses on the part of an author and the characters that he or she creates, and they are objectified in the language of an author's narrative, which makes them available as knowledge of--and for--authors, characters, and readers. Kamei is especially interested in how objectified sensibilities contribute to self-knowledge and selfconsciousness, for he argues that the transformation of sensibilites in literature can be related causally to the transformation of sensibilities in readers. This is literature's critical

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Jul 30, 2004

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