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The Youth of ThingsLife and Death in the Age of Kajii Motojiro$
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Stephen Dodd

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838409

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838409.001.0001

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Modernism and Its Endings

Modernism and Its Endings

(p.36) 2 Modernism and Its Endings
The Youth of Things

Stephen Dodd

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines Kajii Motojirō's use of a modernist literary approach in order to give voice to the question of death and endings. It begins with an overview of some of the broader outlines of modernism that informed Kajii's work. It then considers the question of mortality in relation to the broader culture in which Kajii was nurtured. In particular, it discusses the ways in which trauma, history, and memory figure in modern Japanese literature. It also explores some of the issues surrounding the very question of the extent to which it is possible to give literary shape to one's own demise. The chapter concludes by turning to Kajii's short story “Winter Days” and how it addresses the “unknowable” matter of death and endings.

Keywords:   death, Kajii Motojirō, endings, modernism, mortality, trauma, memory, Japanese literature, Winter Days

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