• Inventing Saikaku: Collectors, Provenance, and the Social Creation of an Author

    Author(s):
    Molly Des Jardin (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Archives, Library & Information Science
    Subject(s):
    Archival studies, Information science, Japanese literature, Japanese studies, Literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    19th Century, Authorship, book history, collecting, social networks
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6RK97
    Abstract:
    The late nineteenth century was a crucial moment in Japan, driven by new conceptions of authorship and literary narratives. An influential world of collecting and compilation gave birth to those changes, but its workings are still poorly understood. By showing how compilers assembled the 1894 Kōtei Saikaku zenshū (The Edited Complete Works of Saikaku), this article reveals the significance of the world of collecting and publishing for understanding the literary history of the period, and exposes our unexamined assumptions in contemporary treatment of literary sources. Because Saikaku zenshū indicates contemporary ownership (provenance) of each text within its covers, it lays bare the network of collectors behind its publication, and sheds light on how an author is created through the compilation of his works: in other words, the specific individuals who advocated for and actively participated in a discourse of Saikaku as the key to modern Japanese literature drove his recognition as an important figure, and ensuing popularity. I argue that the backbone of canonization consists of these committed individuals. Here, it is collectors and fans themselves whose collecting, editing, publishing, and contribution to literary discourse ensured that Ihara Saikaku became a part of the conversation and thus the canon.
    Notes:
    This is the non-copyedited, pre-print version of the article.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution
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