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Natsume Sōseki und die Zwecklosigkeit des Lebens als das Wesen der Modernisierung


Itō, Tōru (2012). Natsume Sōseki und die Zwecklosigkeit des Lebens als das Wesen der Modernisierung. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 66(1):103-128.

Abstract

This paper identifies as a starting point of Natsume Sōseki’s writing the consciousness of loss of life’s basis, brought about by modernization since the Meiji-restoration. The sensuality of the female figures emerging in his novels is explored as a concrete expression of that life abyss, a theme absent in the works of his contemporary, the painter Asai Chū, who accepted also the arts at the end of the 19th century. The paper examines Sōseki’s two ways of writing novels, in order to analyze his answers to that problematic collapse: the humanistic and the post-humanistic approach. While the former establishes a transcending point of view from which an author could regulate the process of events critically, the latter position remains in the same perspective as that of emerging figures and bears with their destiny as being its own. In conclusion it is suggested that the post-humanistic way – often noticed in Sōseki’s later works – suggests how to exist in the industrialized world today, where the purposefulness of being is ultimately defeated by a radically utilitarian technological world.

This paper identifies as a starting point of Natsume Sōseki’s writing the consciousness of loss of life’s basis, brought about by modernization since the Meiji-restoration. The sensuality of the female figures emerging in his novels is explored as a concrete expression of that life abyss, a theme absent in the works of his contemporary, the painter Asai Chū, who accepted also the arts at the end of the 19th century. The paper examines Sōseki’s two ways of writing novels, in order to analyze his answers to that problematic collapse: the humanistic and the post-humanistic approach. While the former establishes a transcending point of view from which an author could regulate the process of events critically, the latter position remains in the same perspective as that of emerging figures and bears with their destiny as being its own. In conclusion it is suggested that the post-humanistic way – often noticed in Sōseki’s later works – suggests how to exist in the industrialized world today, where the purposefulness of being is ultimately defeated by a radically utilitarian technological world.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 66 (2012) > 1
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
Language:German
Date:2012
Deposited On:04 Jun 2012 14:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:51
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-62870

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