Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Janice C. Brown

Second Advisor

Faye Y. Kleeman

Third Advisor

R. Keller Kimbrough

Abstract

This project seeks to determine the manner in which the early works of the Japanese writer Takeda Taijun present a response to the traumatic experiences accompanying the defeat of Japan following the end of the Pacific War and how this response contributes to conceptions of identity, subjectivity, and ethics in the post-traumatic society of modern Japan. The project will seek to interrogate Takeda's ideas and literary techniques through close readings of his early works across three separate thematic lenses: history, the traumatic, and the absolute (represented in the theoretical term of “landscape”). In interrogating Takeda's fiction in this manner, I intend to demonstrate that Takeda's conception of morality underwent a radical transformation in which he discovered an alterity of self emerging from the relief of the individual against the spatial immanence of history. This discovery allowed Takeda to develop a new conception of ethics privileging an interubjectival regard distinct from previous models of human relations based largely on the ethical blind spots inherent to “humanist” discourse within liberal capitalist society. The project includes two original translations of Takeda's work.

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