A History of Japanese Literature by W. G. Aston

By W. G. Aston

This can be the earliest precise survey of the voluminous jap literature released in English, starting from the Archaic interval (before A.D.700) throughout the 19th century romanic fictions, to the socalled Tokyo interval finishing in 1898.

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This difference culminates in their final scene. In Loti’s version, sneaking in on Chrysanthème, Pierre finds her greedily testing the value of the silver coins he left her “with the competent dexterity of an old money-changer” while singing a “little pensive bird-like song which I daresay she improvises as she goes along” (lii). In Régamey’s telling, to distract herself from her sorrow, Chrysanthème sings “the sad song of the moneylender. . ” Loti’s version justifies the narrator’s contempt for Chrysanthème and thus for Japan.

Loti’s version justifies the narrator’s contempt for Chrysanthème and thus for Japan. For Régamey, the sensitive and faithful Chrysanthème’s awakening to Loti’s cruelty leads her to attempt suicide. ”66 Although still little known, the Pink Notebook more recently has attracted passing scholarly notice. ”67 Ultimately Vercier and other recent readers have been more ambivalent, however. Matt K. ”69 For Vercier, Loti’s great defender, Régamey’s approach ends up justifying the original … 30 … I ntroduction Madame Chrysanthème.

They describe Kyosai as a bohemian artist indifferent to respected customs and as a cartoonist deeply concerned with current politics, antagonistic toward religion, and willing to face prison for his critiques of both the preand postrevolutionary governments in Japan. Guimet’s breathless account of the “duel” between Régamey and Kyosai explicitly debunks “the claim that Japanese artists are incapable of portraiture” and insists that the Western and Eastern artists are equals: twin paradigms of the romantic ideal of the avant-garde artist as social outsider and political subversive.

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