English Criticism in Japan: Essays by Younger Japanese Scholars on English and American Literature

English Criticism in Japan: Essays by Younger Japanese Scholars on English and American Literature

Compiled and Edited, with an Introduction, by EARL ROY MINER
Copyright Date: 1972
Pages: 348
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    English Criticism in Japan: Essays by Younger Japanese Scholars on English and American Literature
    Book Description:

    This collection of essays has been compiled in the hope of making scholars in the rest of the world more familiar with Japanese studies in English literature. By revealing to Western scholars the insights and criticisms of their Japanese colleagues they should help to expand the arena of intellectual discussion and improve its quality. The essays are the work of younger scholars from several leading Japanese universities. They range widely over English and American literature, stretching in time from Chaucer to T. S. Eliot, and in subject from the concept of "the royal" in Shakespeare to the involuntary memory as discovered by Coleridge. The writers have some uniquely Japanese perspectives, not of the hackneyed "East meets West" type, but insights stemming, the editor suggests, from these writers' experience of their own very rich literary tradition.

    Originally published in 1972.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7035-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Ε. M.
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xxiii-2)

    The essays that follow can best be examined without an officious guide. The history, and especially the recent history, of English literary studies in Japan may be considered another matter. In spite of the international character of Japanese scholarship and criticism of English and American literature, the essays collected here take root in an educational heritage markedly different from that familiar to the personal experience of any but a Japanese reader. No doubt many Western readers will think they find Japanese traits in these essays. But what seems more immediately remarkable to me is that an educational system with a...

  7. Problems in Chaucerʹs Description of Women
    (pp. 3-18)
    Shinsuke Ando

    It is widely recognized that the descriptions of women in medieval European literature were generally written according to patterns prescribed in the traditional rhetorical or poetic manuals. The same is evidently true of English poetry, and Chaucer’s relationship to this tradition of European literature claims first attention in any investigation of the problems involved in his description of women.

    Edmond Faral has presented what might be regarded as the established rules for the formal description of a person drawn inductively from various examples found in medieval authors.¹ He demonstrates the order of description the medieval poets generally followed, proceeding from...

  8. Time and Colin Clout, the Shepherd
    (pp. 19-29)
    Haruhiko Fujii

    Time in Spenser’sShepheardes Calenderhas three aspects. There is, first, a cyclic stream of time rotating endlessly. Next, there are a few moments when time stops and the shepherds enjoy a fleeting but intense joy in living. Finally, Colin Clout has a personal consciousness of time as a never returning stream flowing toward a definite end: his death. The aim of the present essay is to examine the nature of these three aspects of time, especially the nature and function of Colin Clout’s consciousness of time.¹

    The concept of time as a cycle is readily suggested by the plan...

  9. The Concept of the Royal in Shakespeare
    (pp. 30-48)
    Minoru Fujita

    In his last tribute to Hamlet, Fortinbras says that he was likely “to have proved most royal.” The ideals and values invested in the wordroyalmake it a richly complex term, one no doubt owing something to politics and society in Shakespeare’s day, but one more important to us for its symbolism and its representation on the Elizabethan stage. We may hypothesize that the idea had much to do with the civic tradition of pageantry and that Shakespeare shared with his audience theatrical as well as esthetic associations in their conceptions of “the royal.” The evidence to support this...

  10. Time and Truth in King Lear
    (pp. 49-83)
    Soji Iwasaki

    The problems ofKing Learcenter on the father-daughter relationship between Lear and Cordelia. The other characters are more or less subsidiary, supplying the main themes with antitheses, analogies, variations, intensifications, and ironies. And the issues concerning Cordelia are much less complicated and more appropriate as a starting point than those of Lear, for the heroine as a role and as a character is “drastically simplified and, as we may say, dehumanized,”¹ her life as wife and queen being rather strangely shut out of the play. Lear as a role and a character alters in stages. The obvious changes in...

  11. Exit the Fool
    (pp. 84-100)
    Hidekatsu Nojima

    Sο Lear cries out just before his death. And then, embracing the body of Cordelia, he dies of frantic joy, believing her lips to move. The words have an unquestionable dramatic actuality on the stage. In the context of this scene, “my poor fool” must refer to Cordelia. This is today the interpretation supported by most critics. There is, however, another theory, that this phrase should be literally applied to the Fool, who vanished from the stage with the enigmatic words, “And I’ll go to bed at noon,” long ago, in act 3, scene 6. It is no wonder indeed...

  12. The Decadence of John Fordʹs Tragedies
    (pp. 101-114)
    Takashi Sasayama

    There is probably no other major dramatist in English on whom critical opinion has been so widely divided as John Ford. As early as the first quarter of the last century, Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt were irreconcilably opposed to each other in their appraisal of the final act ofThe Broken Heart.¹ There has since been a long series of arguments on the merits of his work. Some critics, have insisted upon a “modernity” exemplified in his daring exploration of the human psyche, while others have refused to see in his plays more than an ingenious apparatus designed for...

  13. ʺCelestial Lightʺ: The Irradiating Ideas of Paradise Lost
    (pp. 115-155)
    Hiroichiro Doke

    Christianity assisted in redirecting human thought by making man the center of the universe. Bringing man to the front stage of world history, Christianity can be said to be anthropocentric. From this view, it might be questioned whetherParadise Lostis a human or, in my sense, Christian epic, for in it only two persons, Adam and Eve, appear, while all the other characters are superhuman beings. In order to answer this question I shall have to take a somewhat roundabout route.

    In the first place, Aristotle begins hisMetaphysicsas follows:

    All men by nature desire to know. An...

  14. George Etherege and the Destiny of Restoration Comedy
    (pp. 156-169)
    Tetsuo Kishi

    We tend to forget that the earliest Restoration comedies, when they were first produced, were not “Restoration comedies” at all, but simply “comedies.” Such was no doubt the case with Sir George Etherege’sThe Comical Revenge; or, Love in a Tub. The play was produced in 1664, twelve years beforeThe Man of Modeappeared and seven years before Wycherley made his debut withLove in a Wood. This was the year Vanbrugh was born, and six years before Congreve’s birth. In other words, the genre we now refer to as “Restoration comedy” was virtually nonexistent in 1664.

    This obvious...

  15. Who is Lucy?-- On the Structure of Wordsworthian Imagination
    (pp. 170-186)
    Yasunari Takahashi

    In the entireæuvreof Wordsworth, perhaps few poems can rival a group of five tiny poems in their simple charm and their unquestioned popularity. On the other hand, these poems have been one of the greatest victims (or lures, if you like) of biographical curiosity, attracting a host of mystery lovers (Japanese among them) around a riddle which seems perhaps only less enticing than the question, “Who is the Dark Lady?” What has been curiously lacking amid this tumult of futile passion is a serious discussion of the poems as independent literary works of art. Or perhaps it is...

  16. The Involuntary Memory as Discovered by Coleridge
    (pp. 187-198)
    Kimiyoshi Yura

    In a chapter on Coleridge, René Wellek states that Coleridge’s appeal to the unconscious “is simply the teaching of Schelling” and therefore concludes that it cannot be used as a claim for Coleridge’s “greatness.”¹ In this essay I propose to examine the justice of such an assertion. There appears in a volume of his manuscripts, compiled by Kathleen Coburn together with other published sources, a very striking account by Coleridge of the act of our involuntary memory and the mystery it involves.

    I feel that there is a mystery in the sudden by-act-of-will-unaided, nay, more than that, frustrated, recollection of...

  17. The Implications of Dejection: An Ode
    (pp. 199-232)
    Hisaaki Yamanouchi

    Among Coleridge’s poetic works,Dejection: An Odestands out as a direct presentation of a critical moment in the poet’s mental history. In this poem the poet is deeply despondent, and he fears that he is losing his “shaping spirit of Imagination.” From this we tend to assume that Coleridge’s poetic genius is being jeopardized and that he is failing as a poet. The assumption may be correct up to a certain point, but imagination is not merely the power of writing a poem. It is the faculty, as the poet’s later critical theory tells us, that intervenes as a...

  18. The Education of George Gissing
    (pp. 233-258)
    Shigeru Koike

    George Gissing wrote these hopeful sentences to his sister from Italy in 1888. How this short passage epitomizes all the aspirations, and the frustrations, too, of Gissing’s life. The education itself must be the work of his life—and itwas, in fact. But how much he had to pay for it!

    He seems to have been obsessed from his earliest days with the notion that his “little life” should be “rounded” with persistent study. A typical illustration of this can be found in a self-caricature which, according to his sister Ellen, he drew at the age of fourteen. He...

  19. The Dissociation of Ideas in Whitmanʹs Democratic Vistas
    (pp. 259-270)
    Masayuki Sakamoto

    Thomas Carlyle published an essay entitled “Shooting Niagara: And After?” in the August 1867 edition ofMacmillan’s Magazine, charging democracy with bringing the death of culture. This essay, reprinted in the New YorkTribunefor August 16 by Horace Greeley, understandably started a series of heated discussions in the United States. Walt Whitman, too, in compliance with the request of the editors ofThe Galaxy, contributed an essay entitled “Democracy” to the magazine. Needless to say, as an ardent defender of American democracy, Whitman intended it to be a refutation of Carlyle’s charge. Nevertheless, the current inclination of American society...

  20. Isabelʹs Freedom: On Henry Jamesʹs Portrait of a Lady
    (pp. 271-285)
    Tsugio Aoki

    Henry James’s novelThe Portrait of a Ladyis a complex and highly finished work of art, which can be appreciated in a variety of ways. If, however, we seek to understand the American character of James’s fiction, we must examine the question of freedom in Isabel’s attempt and failure to explore life. She was freed, of course, from economic restrictions by wealth inherited from her uncle. Freedom meant for her, however, not only a deliverance from restrictions but also a positive responsibility toward herself and toward the world. And at the core of her sense of duty there was...

  21. Τ. S. Eliot on Hamlet and His Problems
    (pp. 286-300)
    Shoichi Yamada

    In 1919 T. S. Eliot wrote a critical essay on Hamlet and his problems well known today for his judgment of “artistic failure” passed upon Shakespeare’s play and also for the phrase “objective correlative,” which he employed in an argument well seasoned with the words “feeling” and “emotion.”

    My purpose is not to investigate this essay from the standpoint of a Shakespearean scholar, since I am not one. But I do not think a thorough knowledge of Shakespearean criticism is indispensable to understanding Eliot’s work as poet or critic. My concern is rather with trifles, or seeming trifles, that is,...

  22. Index
    (pp. 301-306)