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Purloined Letters
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Purloined Letters: Cultural Borrowing and Japanese Crime Literature, 1868-1937

Mark Silver


This book argues for a reassessment of existing models of literary influence between “unequal” cultures. Because the detective story had no pre-existing native equivalent in Japan, the genre's formulaic structure acted as a distinctive cultural marker, making plain the process of its incorporation into late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Japanese letters. The book tells the story of Japan's adoption of this new Western literary form at a time when the nation was also remaking itself in the image of the Western powers. It calls into question conventional notions of cultural domination ... More

Keywords: detective story, Japan, cultural domination, cultural resistance, intercultural transfer, crime writing, Japanese literature, Edogawa Ranpo, Okamoto Kidō

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780824831882
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831882.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark Silver, author
Connecticut College

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