A Sense of the City
Gala Maria Follaco, “L’Orientale” University of Naples
In A Sense of the City, Gala Maria Follaco examines Nagai Kafū’s (1879-1959) literary construction of urban spatialities from late Meiji through the early Shōwa period. She argues that Kafū’s urban critique was based on his awareness of the cultural sedimentation of the cityscape and of the complex relationship that it bore with the historical framework of modern Japan.
With the overall aim to define Kafū’s position within pre-war Japanese literature, Follaco touches upon key issues such as memory, class difference, and language ideologies; draws connections between his sojourn abroad and strategies of “mapping” the city of Tokyo in his literature; and takes into account works previously understudied, including his biography of Washizu Kidō and his photographs.