Japanese and Western Literature: A Comparative Study
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Japanese and Western Literature delves deeply into Japanese culture to discover the concepts that similarize and differentiate Japanese and Western literary creations. Paralleling Japanese literary creations and fundamental thought with those of the West, the author draws many illuminating comparisons: for example, between the novels of Murasaki Shikibu and Marcel Proust, between the Portuguese poet Torga and the haiku master Issa, and between the picaresque novel in Japan and in the West. Contrastive studies are also made into such concepts as time, nature, love, and tragedy.
This broad yet incisive survey of Japanese literarily genres and themes is more than a comparative study of literature, however; it is an attempt to grasp the core of Japanese culture by setting it against world culture. From this born a complex of new ideas and problems, and author is able to probe the extent of Western influence on Japanese fiction, poetry, and essays in the past hundred years.