Front cover image for Decadent Literature in Twentieth-Century Japan : Spectacles of Idle Labor

Decadent Literature in Twentieth-Century Japan : Spectacles of Idle Labor

"Ikuho Amano examines the significance of "decadence" in the context of twentieth-century Japanese literature. Decadence, the literary theme and motif surviving through the history of literary and cultural discourses in Japan since antiquity to the present, holds a key to understand the wide range of social consciousnesses that cannot be always molded by a given social mainstream. Drawing on the economic issues prevalent in twentieth-century fictions, the book argues that non-productive labor plays an integral part of modern society and culture while accommodating the entropic excess of modern society. Subversive practice of economy is in particular a recurrent theme in Japanese Decadent literature, including waste, squandering, wagering, and excessive generosity. Through these deviant dealing of resources such as money and body, the decadent individuals negotiate with modern utilitarian ideologies of society based on labor and production, showcasing their desire and dream outside the circle of diligence and productivity"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2013
Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2013
Criticism, interpretation, etc
viii, 243 pages ; 23 cm
9781137382573, 1137382570
Introduction: The Making of Decadence in Japan
One. Immature Decadents: The Waste of Useless Men in Indulgences : Two Novellas by Oguri Fūyō and Iwano Hōmei
Two. The Decadent Consumption of the Self: Naturalist Aestheticismin Morita Sōhei's Sooty Smoke
Three. Decadent Returnees: The Dialogic Labor of Sensibility in Nagai Kafū's Sneers and Ueda Bin's The Vortex
Four. Taishō Malaise as Decadence: Self-Reclusion and Creative Labor in Satō Haruo's A Pastoral Spreen and Tanizaki Jun'ichirō's A Fool's Love
Five. Decadence Begins with Physical Labor: The Postwar Usethe Body in Sakaguchi Ango's The Idiot and Tamura Taijirō's Gateway to the Flesh
Six. Decadence as Generosity: Squander and Oblivion in Mishima Yukio's Spring Snow
Seven. Capitalist Generosity: Decadence as Giving and Receiving in Shimada Masahiko's Decadent Sisters
Conclusion: Toward Japanese Decadence: The Dynamics of Energy from Waste to Living Labor