Why Read Food in Modern Japanese Literature?
This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to address the following questions: When food appears in literature, what can we read in it? And how much can we, and should we, read into it? How has that food in the text been read by various readers over time? What factors affect our reading? Why, indeed, should we bother to pay attention to food in literature? It attempts to do so by examining wide-ranging examples taken from Japanese literary texts written since the beginning of the twentieth century. The remainder of the chapter discusses novels such as Tanizaki Jun'ichirō's Tade kuu mushi (1929, trans. Some Prefer Nettles, 1955) and Tsubouchi Shōyō's Shōsetsu shinzui (The Essence of the Novel, 1885). An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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