Five Modern Japanese Novelists

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Columbia University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 113 pages
3 Reviews

The New Yorker has called Donald Keene "America's preeminent scholar of Japanese literature." Now he presents a new book that serves as both a superb introduction to modern Japanese fiction and a memoir of his own lifelong love affair with Japanese literature and culture. Five Modern Japanese Novelistsprofiles five prominent writers whom Donald Keene knew personally: Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, Abe Ko¯bo¯, and Shiba Ryo¯taro¯. Keene masterfully blends vignettes describing his personal encounters with these famous men with autobiographical observations and his trademark learned literary and cultural analysis.

Keene opens with a confession: before arriving in Japan in 1953, despite having taught Japanese for several years at Cambridge, he knew the name of only one living Japanese writer: Tanizaki. Keene's training in classical Japanese literature and fluency in the language proved marvelous preparation, though, for the journey of literary discovery that began with that first trip to Japan, as he came into contact, sometimes quite fortuitously, with the genius of a generation. It is a journey that will fascinate experts and newcomers alike

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kidzdoc - LibraryThing

Five Modern Japanese Novelists is a short introduction to five 20th century Japanese authors whom the author befriended during his years in Japan: Junichiro Tanizaki, Yasunari Kawabata (the first ... Read full review

Five modern Japanese novelists

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima, Kobo Abe, and Ryotaro Shiba: these great men of modern Japanese letters were all acquaintances of Keene (Columbia Univ.), and he writes in a ... Read full review

About the author (2003)

Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. He is the author of more than thirty books, including the definitive multi-volume history of Japanese literature, and, most recently, Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852--1912. He divides his time between Tokyo and New York City.


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