Kuki Shuzo: A Philosopher's Poetry and Poetics

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Hardback: $58.00 $40.60
ISBN-13: 9780824827557
Published: April 2004

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376 pages
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  • About the Book
  • Kuki Shûzô (1888–1941), one of Japan’s most original thinkers of the twentieth century, is best known for his interpretations of Western Continental philosophy. His works on and of poetry are less well known but equally illuminating. During his eight years studying in Europe in the 1920s, Kuki spent time in Paris, where he wrote several collections of poetry and many short poems in the tanka style.

    Included in this volume are these Paris poems as well as other verses that Kuki appended to a long essay on poetry, “Rhymes in Japanese Poetry,” written in 1931. Included as well are translations of two of Kuki’s major critical essays on poetry, “The Genealogy of Feelings: A Guide to Poetry” (1938) and “The Metaphysics of Literature” (1940).

    Michael Marra, one of the West’s foremost authorities on modern Japanese aesthetics, prefaces his translations with an important essay that gives an account of the current state of Kuki studies in English and presents an intriguing and original interpretation of Kuki’s writings. Marra argues that there is an unresolved tension in Kuki’s thought between a desire to overcome the rigid schemes of metaphysics, garnered from his knowledge of French and German philosophy, on the one hand, and a constant hesitation to let those schemes go, which is expressed in his verse.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Michael F. Marra, Editor

    • Michael F. Marra, Translator

    • Michael F. Marra, Translator