Shanghai: A Novel by Yokomitsu Riichi (Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies)

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9781929280018: Shanghai: A Novel by Yokomitsu Riichi (Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies)

Published serially between 1928 and 1931, Shanghai tells the story of a group of Japanese expatriates living in the International Settlement at the time of the May 30th Incident of 1925. The personal lives and desires of the main characters play out against a historical backdrop of labor unrest, factional intrigue, colonialist ambitions, and racial politics.

The author, Yokomitsu Riichi (1898-1947), was an essayist, writer, and critical theorist who became one of the most powerful and influential literary figures in Japan during the 1920s and 1930s. He looked to contemporary avant-garde movements in Europe -- Dadaism, futurism, surrealism, expressionism -- for inspiration in his effort to explode the conventions of literary language and to break free of what he saw as the prisonhouse of modern culture.

Yokomitsu incorporated striking visuality into a realistic mode that presents a disturbing picture of a city in turmoil. The result is a brilliant evocation of Shanghai as a gritty ideological battleground and as an exotic landscape where dreams of sexual and economic domination are nurtured.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Japanese novelist and essayist Yokomitsu Riichi (1898-1947) first published Shanghai serially between 1928 and 1931. Filled with beautiful and disturbing imagery, it focuses on the lives of a group of Japanese expatriates living in Shanghai, a veritable cauldron of political and social unrest. In a time of strikes and riots, idealism and despair, people of various cultures (from sullen prostitutes to sketchy businessmen, including a man who exports human skeletons) try to make sense of life and love in their shifting, chaotic world. Dennis Washburn's graceful translation is augmented by an insightful afterword.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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