The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States

The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States

by Rebecca Suter


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Murakami Haruki is perhaps the best-known and most widely translated Japanese author of his generation. Despite Murakami’s critical and commercial success, particularly in the United States, his role as a mediator between Japanese and American literature and culture is seldom discussed.

Bringing a comparative perspective to the study of Murakami’s fiction, Rebecca Suter complicates our understanding of the author’s oeuvre and highlights his contributions not only as a popular writer but also as a cultural critic on both sides of the Pacific. Suter concentrates on Murakami’s short stories—less known in the West but equally worthy of critical attention—as sites of some of the author’s bolder experiments in manipulating literary (and everyday) language, honing cross-cultural allusions, and crafting metafictional techniques. This study scrutinizes Murakami’s fictional worlds and their extraliterary contexts through a range of discursive lenses: modernity and postmodernity, universalism and particularism, imperialism and nationalism, Orientalism and globalization.

By casting new light on the style and substance of Murakami’s prose, Suter situates the author and his works within the sphere of contemporary Japanese literature and finds him a prominent place within the broader sweep of the global literary scene.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674028333
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 06/30/2008
Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs , #298
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Suter is Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  1. The Japanization of Modernity
  2. Murakami Haruki, Japan and America
  3. Language and Culture
  4. Literature and Identity
  5. In Other Worlds

  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index

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