This title was first published in 1980. In twentieth century Japanese literature, the opposition and interaction of realism and romanticism on the level of literary concepts, and of Marxism and aestheticism (including, in part, modernism) on the level of literary ideology, supplies a most vital basis for writers searching for new methods of literary expression, fostering debates among the writers and creating the setting for active experimentation with style, form and language. This study is a result of an extended stay in the United States by the author who turned increasingly toward questioning and evaluating my own relation to Japan's literary heritage. For Japanese who have witnessed (at least intellectually) the violent attraction to and rejection of foreign cultures of many of their predecessors in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, and their final, often sentimental and abstract, glorification of the Japanese cultural heritage, nihon kaiki (return to Japan) still presents enormously complex intellectual as well as emotional problems.

chapter |12 pages


chapter 7|26 pages

Kawabata’s Dilettante Heroes