I’m happy to report that the volume on the Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki, which I have co-edited with Reiko Abe Auestad and Alan Tansman has been published as the latest issue of Josai University’s Review of Japanese Culture and Society. The publication was so delayed that the issue date is 2017, which makes the title “Reading Soseki Now” a little…ironic.
But I could not be prouder of the content, which includes: Reiko Abe Auestad’s beautiful reading of why she used to hate Kokoro but learned to love it by reading it through the lens of affect rather than moralism; Pedro Bassoe on the care Soseki took with the design of his books and the designers he worked with; Andre Haag on how the characters in The Gate casually drop a mention over breakfast of the assassination of the Japanese Resident General of Korea by the Korean anti-colonial activist An Jung-guen, read through Anne-Lise Francois’s theory of “open secrets”; Angela Yiu’s subtle reading of how the “nostalgic homosociality” and self-consciously literary qualities of Soseki’s travelogue Here and There in Manchuria and Korea allowed Soseki to distance himself from jingoistic rhetoric; Ken Ito’s refreshing reading, via Rita Felski and Bruno Latour, of Kokoro as a powerful “non-human object” that keeps coming back to life even after it has been grotesquely dismembered in excerpted form in high school textbooks;