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Description - The Uses of Memory by Timothy J. van Compernolle

The pioneering writer, Higuchi Ichiyo (1872-1896) has been described as "the last woman of old Japan," a consummate stylist of classical prose, whose command of the linguistic and rhetorical riches of the pre-modern tradition might suggest that her writings are relics of the past with no concern for the problems of modern life. Timothy Van Compernolle investigates the social dimensions of Ichiyo's artistic imagination and argues that she creatively reworked the Japanese literary tradition in order to understand, confront, and critique the emerging modernity of the Meiji period. For Ichiyo, the classical canon was a reservoir of tropes and paradigms that could be reshaped and renewed as a way to explore the socio-political transformations of the 1890s and cast light upon the human costs of modernization. Drawing critical momentum from the dialogical theory of Mikhail Bakhtin, the author explores in five of Ichiyo's best known stories how traditional rhetoric and literary devices are dialogically engaged with discourses associated with modernity within the pages of Ichiyo's narratives. In its close, sensitive readings of Ichiyo's oeuvre, "The Uses of Memory" not only complicates the scholarly discussion of her position in the Japanese literary canon, but also broaches larger theoretical issues.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674022720
ISBN-10: 0674022726
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 186mm x mm)
Pages: 250
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 29-Sep-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Timothy J. van Compernolle

Timothy J. Van Compernolle is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the College of William and Mary.

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