Donald Keene

Modern Japanese Literature

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This critically acclaimed volume by Donald Keene is now considered the standard canon of modern Japanese writing translated into English. The book includes concise introductions to the writers as well as an historical introduction by Professor Keene. Modern Japanese Literature is the product of two great traditions: the native, which goes back 1300 years, and the Western, first introduced to Japan about 150 years ago. The combination of these very different traditions gave birth to a literature that stands as a unique product of the meeting of East and West.

This volume is telling testimony to this historic meeting, and includes many works considered classics written from 1868 to the present day. Here in the stories, plays, and poetry of modern Japan is a mixture of the familiar and the strange. It is a fascinating and insightful guide to the thoughts and lives of Japanese today. The volume is sure proof that modern Japanese literature is an important part of the literary heritage of the world.


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