“The Observable Mundane,” study of Chinese vernacular literature in Japan (SNU Press)
June 25, 2011
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Seoul National University Press has finally published my book, The Observable Mundane: Vernacular Chinese and the Emergence of a Literary Discourse on Popular Narrative in Edo Japan. It is a scholarly study of the impact of Chinese vernacular narratives on the conception of literature among Japanese writers and critics in the Edo period (17th-19th centuries). Emanuel argues that Chinese vernacular literature, because it has some of the great authority of the Chinese tradition, but employed common parole, inspired a new evaluation of the potential of the vernacular that adumbrated the rise of the modern novel. The Observable Mundane is the first book on Japanese literature published by Seoul National University Press.