Trim: 6½ x 9½
978-0-7391-3875-5 • Hardback • May 2011 • $108.00 • (£83.00)
978-0-7391-3877-9 • eBook • May 2011 • $102.50 • (£79.00)
Margaret S. Key is associate director of the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Investigating the "Concrete Things" of Reality
Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Blurring the Boundary between the Fictional and the Real: Ishi no me and "Jiken no haikei"
Chapter 4 Chapter 3: True Lies and Dramatized Facts: Mokugekisha andMihitsu no koi
Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Memoir, Murder, and the Metafictional Aesthetic in Tanin no kao
Chapter 6 Chapter 5: Rethinking Abe: Objectivity as Epistemology, Ethics,and Art
Abe Kobo's writings are as fresh and relevant today as they were when he wrote them between 1948 and 1991. Margaret Key's analysis of them is a joy to read. Abe has been best known as a novelist of the absurd, but Key utilizes newspaper reportage and plays to read him in a new light. In a tight argument rendered in supple and sure prose, Key deftly locates Abe within Japanese intellectual history and restores to his work the ethical realist dimension it so rightly deserves.
— Bruce Baird, UMass
Dr. Key's study takes the unconventional view of focusing on the realisms in Abe's texts and through it sheds light on an aspect of his oeuvre, and of postwar Japanese literature in general, that has been too long neglected. Examining the ties between documentary movement and its offshoots to changing perceptions of political consciousness, Dr. Key sheds light on the complex interplay of politics, philosophy, and literary representation in this unique period of modern Japanese history.
— Mark Gibeau, Australian National University
Truth from a Lie: Documentary, Detection, and Reflexivity in Abe Kobo's Realist Projectis an illuminating book that complements the existing English-based scholarship on Abe.
— Journal of Asian Studies
Margaret Key is to be congratulated for writing an extremely intelligent book, one that is thoroughly researched and endowed with an understanding of Abe Kobo that is both broad (in the sense of the scale of information provided) and deep (in the sense of theoretical acuity).Japanese literary scholarship in the United States frequently suffers from an imbalance in offering up great reams of empirical data that are held together by frameworks and methodological assumptions that remain disproportionately slight and underexamined. Key’s work is quite unusual in this regard, and it is clear that she attains this depth by thinking not only of Abe but of literature in general.
— The Journal of Japanese Studies