taidan histories

anne mcknight annekmcknight at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 22:48:48 EDT 2008

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions on *taidan* reading.

I guess in the realm of *sokkibun*, Fukuzawa would be another example, and
he does weigh in on current affairs--insofar as tall tales about the high
seas and evading *bakumatsu* death threats constitute current affairs.

Miyoshi is also an interesting thought; I will have to follow up on that.

And Murakami...where to begin. After having read his 900-page magnum opus on
fascist survivalists in the fin-de-siècle Arctic, I think his TV show might
make me explode. But I do think he is a key figure in recent
*taidan*history, as he certainly has his finger on the pulse of all
the latest
*3-men kiji* and *shakai* *mondai*. Not to mention his place in film
history, given that Miike's *Audition* was based on one of his novels, to
cite just one link.


Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages & Cultures (EALC)
Taper Hall, 356P
University of Southern California
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California 90089-0357  USA
tel: 213-740-3706
fax: 213-740-9295
mcknight at usc.edu

On 4-Jun-08, at 2:52 PM, Mark Anderson wrote:

Dear Anne,
I've read a taidan on Ozaki Koyo's Gold Demon (Konjiki yasha) in which Mori
Ogai and Koyo himself participated that dates from 1898 or 1899. So the
genre goes at least that far back. They were discussing the novel in
relation to female gender roles, images of capitalism in world literature,
Nietzsche, and contemporary German trends toward connecting morality and
biology. They weren't commenting on public affairs per se, though, as your
post-war example discusses.

As for the technology used in recording or transcribing the discussion, I
imagine sokkibun shorthand is the method most likely to have been used
though I have no hard evidence for this and have never seen a discussion of
the matter. As you will recall, sokkibun had been widely institutionalized
in literary, legal, and journalistic contexts by then. Rimbara, Miller, and
Vincent have all written on sokkibun in relation to late nineteenth century
Japanese literature.


Mark Anderson

Anne McKnight wrote:
Good morning,

I'm wondering if anyone has ever read any good histories or sketches of the
genre of the taidan. I'm sure many of you have your favorite taidan
"highlights and lowlifes," as I do. And I read a piece a while back about
Etô Jun and Ôe Kenzaburô as taidan pioneers, in the sense of weighing in, as
artistes, on public events and current affairs, especially vis-a-vis
cultural nationalism and what postwar literature should be or do. It would
probably be too much to ask for references that describe the use of
recording and documenting technologies (e.g. film and tape), their impact on
print culture and the shapes it takes (such as taidans), but if anything of
that general angle comes to mind, I'd be especially interested in hearing
about it.

Thanks for any leads!

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