HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: Critical Aesthetics: Kobayashi Hideo, Modernity, and Wartime Japan, from Harvard University PressCover: Critical Aesthetics in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 318

Critical Aesthetics

Kobayashi Hideo, Modernity, and Wartime Japan

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$39.95 • £31.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674032842

Publication Date: 09/15/2009

Text

275 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World, subsidiary rights restricted

This study revolves around the career of Kobayashi Hideo (1902–1983), one of the seminal figures in the history of modern Japanese literary criticism, whose interpretive vision was forged amidst the cultural and ideological crises that dominated intellectual discourse between the 1920s and the 1940s.

Kobayashi sought in criticism a vehicle through which to rhetorically restore to the artistic work an aura of concreteness that precluded interpretation and instead inspired awe, to somehow recover a literary experience unmediated by intellectual machinations. In adhering firmly to this worldview for the duration of World War II, Kobayashi came to assume a complex stance toward the wartime regime. Although his interweaving of aesthetics and ideology exhibited elements of both resistance and complicity, his critical ethos served ultimately to undergird his wartime fascist stance by encouraging acquiescence to authority, championing patriotism, and calling for more vigorous thought control.

Treating Kobayashi’s influential works and the historical context in which they are rooted, James Dorsey traces the emergence of a modern critical consciousness in conversation with such concerns as the nature of materiality in capitalist culture, the relationship of narrative to subjectivity, and the nostalgia for beauty in a time of war.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self, by Julie Sedivy, from Harvard University Press

Lost in Translation: Reclaiming Lost Language

In Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self, Julie Sedivy sets out to understand the science of language loss and the potential for renewal. Sedivy takes on the psychological and social world of multilingualism, exploring the human brain’s capacity to learn—and forget—languages at various stages of life. She argues that the struggle to remain connected to an ancestral language and culture is a site of common ground: people from all backgrounds can recognize the crucial role of language in forming a sense of self.