12 even though he asserts that the defeat in war has

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Unformatted text preview: though I were turning into a calculating, unprincipled creature.7 If the burai-ha writers represented an extreme of overreaction to the social devastation of defeat and occupation, some of the more noted authors from the prewar period, at the other extreme, began writing again after the war almost as though nothing had happened. For example, Nagai Kafû, though distinctive for having remained silent while so many other writers spoke out to one degree or another in favor of the war, began immediately to publish the same kind of pleasure-quarter stories he had always favored. To the apure (après-guerre) generation of writers, the most infuriating symbol of continuity with the outmoded literary past was Shiga Naoya. As we saw in the last chapter, Shiga was associated with the patrician White Birch school of writers who made their debut about 1910, and devoted himself as a writer to a minute analysis and reanalysis of his emotional life and psyche and of his relations with his father, his wife, and others close to him. There was no one else who continued to be so thoroughly naturalistic—and thus, according to his critics, so egoistical—in his approach to writing as Shiga, and when he had the temerity to express his distaste for the work of one of the darlings of the new age, Dazai Osamu, the latter insultingly denounced him: “A certain Literary Master feigns distaste for my writings. But what of this Literary Master’s own writings? Do they presume to impart ‘truth’? What do they claim to be?”8 Other famous writers who flourished once more in the postwar period were Tanizaki Junichirò and Kawabata Yasunari. Tanizaki had begun to publish The Makioka Sisters serially during the war but was forced to stop by the military authorities, and publication was completed after the war. Culture in the Present Age 311 The Makioka Sisters is the story of the decline of a once affluent merchant house as revealed in the lives of four sisters after the death of their father, the head of the family. Perhaps Japan’s finest modern novel, the book is exceptional because of...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

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