2020: Early Freeze Warning - Cold War Culture

Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 18 | Issue 17 | Number 1 | Article ID 5461 | Sep 01, 2020
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus

Early Freeze Warning:  The Politics and Literature Debate as Cold War Culture

Michael Bourdaghs

This essay revisits the 1946-7 “Politics and Literature Debate” (Seiji to bungaku ronsō), a pivotal controversy among leftist Japanese writers and intellectuals that is conventionally cited as the starting point of postwar literary history. Situating the debate in tandem with three influential texts published at roughly the same time in the West—Lionel Trilling’s The Liberal Imagination (1951), Ruth Benedict’s The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (1946), and The God That Failed (1950), edited by Richard Crossman—the essay argues that the debate should be considered an early instance of the Cold War culture that would emerge globally in the decades that followed. ...

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