History and Repetition

Kojin Karatani. Edited by Seiji M. Lippit

Columbia University Press

History and Repetition

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Pub Date: November 2011

ISBN: 9780231157292

272 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£26.95

Pub Date: November 2011

ISBN: 9780231157285

272 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£79.95

Pub Date: November 2011

ISBN: 9780231528658

272 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£26.95

History and Repetition

Kojin Karatani. Edited by Seiji M. Lippit

Columbia University Press

Kojin Karatani wrote the essays in History and Repetition during a time of radical historical change, triggered by the collapse of the Cold War and the death of the Showa emperor in 1989. Reading Karl Marx in an original way, Karatani developed a theory of history based on the repetitive cycle of crises attending the expansion and transformation of capital. His work led to a rigorous analysis of political, economic, and literary forms of representation that recast historical events as a series of repeated forms forged in the transitional moments of global capitalism.

History and Repetition cemented Karatani's reputation as one of Japan's premier thinkers, capable of traversing the fields of philosophy, political economy, history, and literature in his work. The first complete translation of History and Repetition into English, undertaken with the cooperation of Karatani himself, this volume opens with his innovative reading of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, tracing Marx's early theoretical formulation of the state. Karatani follows with a study of violent crises as they recur after major transitions of power, developing his theory of historical repetition and introducing a groundbreaking interpretation of fascism (in both Europe and Japan) as the spectral return of the absolutist monarch in the midst of a crisis of representative democracy.

For Karatani, fascism represents the most violent materialization of the repetitive mechanism of history. Yet he also seeks out singularities that operate outside the brutal inevitability of historical repetition, whether represented in literature or, more precisely, in the process of literature's demise. Closely reading the works of Oe Kenzaburo, Mishima Yukio, Nakagami Kenji, and Murakami Haruki, Karatani compares the recurrent and universal with the singular and unrepeatable, while advancing a compelling theory of the decline of modern literature. Merging theoretical arguments with a concrete analysis of cultural and intellectual history, Karatani's essays encapsulate a brilliant, multidisciplinary perspective on world history.
[The essays] are not for beginners, but will intrigue, challenge, and inform students of modern Japanese intellectual history and cultural studies,.. Highly recommeded. Choice
Karatani's intelligence is prodigious... His penetrating grasp of this world makes trenchant his concerns and makes them worthy of serious attention by all who think that modernity--as well as Japan's confrontation with and existence in it--deserves profound consideration. Journal of Asian Studies
Author's Preface to the English Edition
Introduction: On Repetition, Singularity, and Historicity, by Seiji M. Lippit
1. Introduction: On The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
2. History and Repetition in Japan
3. The Discursive Space of Modern Japan
4. The Allegory of Oe Kenzaburo: Football in the Year Man'en 1
5. The Landscape of Murakami Haruki: Pinball in the Year 1973, Translated by Hisayo Suzuki
6. The End of the Modern Novel, Translated by Michael K. Bourdaghs
7. Buddhism and Fascism
Glossary
Works Cited
Index

Read the chatper >History and Repetition in Japan. (pdf)

About the Author

Kojin Karatani is a Japanese philosopher and founder of the New Associationist Movement (NAM). His books in English include Origins of Modern Japanese Literature; Architecture as Metaphor: Language, Number, Money; and Transcritique: On Kant and Marx.

Seiji M. Lippit is associate professor of modern Japanese literature and culture at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Topographies of Japanese Modernism and editor of The Essential Akutagawa.