Representations of the Exotic in Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature

Readers worldwide have long been drawn to the foreign, the exotic, and the alien, even before Freud’s famous essay on the uncanny in 1919. Given Japan’s many years of relative isolation, followed by its multicultural empire, these themes seem particularly ripe for exploration and exploitation by Japanese writers. Their literary adventures have taken them inside Japan as well as outside, and how they internalized the exotic through the adoption of modernist techniques and subject matter forms the primary subject of The Alien Within: Representations of the Exotic in Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature, by Leith Morton.

“Leith Morton adds an exciting and valuable dimension to this field of criticism by introducing some relatively unknown but important writers and providing original and stimulating discussions of others who are under-treated but significant. By helping us look at these literary figures in a different light, he adds new layers to a fascinating subject.” —Susan Napier, Tufts University

February 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3292-6 / $56.00 (CLOTH)