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Fault Lines: Cultural Memory and Japanese Surrealism (Cultural Memory in the Present) Paperback – February 1, 2002
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"But for those who have been baptized by the force of a peculiar language that emerged a century ago, Surrealism, with its inherent violence, fault lines, and dreams, Sas's masterful analytical performance would appear like a luminous guiding post, simultaneously pointing toward the past and the future. We will remember this work." (Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies)
"Miryam Sas's Fault Lines is an important contribution to an area of Japanese studies that has been largely neglected, the Japanese avant-garde. . . . Sas's close readings of Japanese surrealist translations, poetry, and criticisms are compelling. . . . Fault Lines contains no shortage of insights into a diverse international movement." (The Journal of Asian Studies)
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The book analyzes the writings of Takiguchi Shuzo, Nishiwaki Junzaburo, Kitasono Katsue, and others whose work was associated explicitly with the Surrealist movement in Japan. It also incorporates readings of other experimental works and postwar performances that reflect the wider impact of these avant-garde ideas. The author argues that a vision of alterity, a foreign space located somewhere beyond, plays a crucial role in formulations of avant-garde praxis in both the Japanese and French contexts. Here exploration of Japanese notions of the Surreal, calling for a rereading of received notions about French avant-gardes, leads to a reconfiguration of this period, written less as a narrative history of literature than as the nonlinear route of a multivalent dialogue.
Japanese Surrealism is important both for the specific questions it raises and for its exemplary place as an encounter between cultures, literary movements, and languages. As a movement that challenges and breaks apart clear and bounded conceptions of language, poetry, and the transmissibility of meaning, Japanese Surrealism reframes the relation between content and consciousness and is thus a particularly strong and revealing case of cultural interaction. What this avant-garde encounter makes apparent is that inherent discontinuities and fragmentations within individual cultures can also become crucial opportunities for productive intersections between distant realities and distant cultures.
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