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The Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature provides a comprehensive overview of how we study Japanese literature today. Rather than taking a purely chronological approach to the content, the chapters survey the state of the field through a number of pressing issues and themes, examining the ways in which it is possible to read modern Japanese literature and situate it in relation to critical theory. The contributors, drawn from an international array of established experts in the field as well as promising young researchers, represent a wide variety of critical approaches, giving the study a broad range of perspectives.
The handbook will feature three realms of literary production - fiction, poetry, and the critical essay, treating each mode of expression as part of a wider whole – the literary output of modern Japan. This approach also does away with arbitrary lines drawn between modes of production, drawing attention to the idea of the bunjin as a ‘person of letters’ and providing a more realistic assessment of how writers have engaged with ideas – not labelled a ‘novelist’ or ‘poet’ but a ‘writer’ who may at one time or another choose to write in one form or another.