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The Aesthetics of Strangeness
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The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan

W. Puck Brecher

Abstract

Eccentric artists are “the vagaries of humanity” that inhabit the deviant underside of Japanese society: This was the conclusion drawn by pre-World War II commentators on most early modern Japanese artists. Postwar scholarship, as it searched for evidence of Japan's modern roots, concluded the opposite: The eccentric, mad, and strange are moral exemplars, paragons of virtue, and shining hallmarks of modern consciousness. In recent years, the pendulum has swung again, this time in favor of viewing these oddballs as failures and dropouts without lasting cultural significance. This book corrects ... More

Keywords: Japanese artists, early modern Japan, eccentricity, Edo period, madness, individualism, strangeness, Japanese traditions, Chinese traditions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780824836665
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836665.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

W. Puck Brecher, author
Washington State University

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