Japan, France, and East-West Aesthetics: French Literature, 1867-2000

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 520 pages
Japan, France is the first comprehensive history of the idea of Japan in France, as tracked through close readings of canonical French writers and thinkers from the 1860s to the present. The focus is literary and intellectual, the context cultural. The discovery of Japanese woodblock prints in Paris, following the opening of Japan to the West in 1854, was a startling aesthetic encounter that played a crucial role in the Impressionists' and Post-Impressionists' invention of Modernism. French writers also experimented with Japanese aesthetics in their own work, in ways that similarly thread into the foundations of literary Modernism. Japonisme (the practice of adapting Japanese aesthetics to creative work in the West) became a sustained French tradition, in texts by such writers as Zola and Proust through Barthes and Bonnefoy. Each generation discovered new Japanese arts and genres, commented on the work of their predecessors in this vein, and broke still more ground in East-West aesthetics to innovate in the forms of Western literature and thought. To read literary history in this way unsettles Eurocentric assumptions about many of the French writers who are commonly considered the
 

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Contents

I
9
II
11
III
13
IV
22
V
26
VI
39
VII
45
VIII
57
XXV
241
XXVI
253
XXVII
265
XXVIII
276
XXX
298
XXXI
305
XXXII
315
XXXIII
331

IX
69
XI
81
XII
92
XIII
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XIV
120
XV
128
XVI
136
XVII
142
XVIII
179
XX
185
XXI
197
XXII
204
XXIII
225
XXXIV
346
XXXV
364
XXXVI
376
XXXVII
385
XXXVIII
391
XXXIX
408
XLI
416
XLII
419
XLIII
421
XLIV
489
XLV
509
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