Clayton, Sarah Marshall
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By setting hermeneutical analysis within contemporary discourse, this dissertation reveals that in the period from the end of World War II to the early 1980s globalization in Japan occurring under the auspices of the same ideals that had sustained modernization produces alienation, even within their centers of production. Through practice these contradictions become naturalized and thus invisible. However, by representing the various intellectual positions connected to an ideal as constellations within specific settings, fiction offers a medium for sustained consideration or reconsideration of inherent paradoxes. These texts highlight and question aspects of globalizing ideals within specific contexts. Thus, the dissertation points to the importance of fiction in closing the distance between the global and local and adapting globalizing ideals to local environments, a function overlooked by institutional practices that favor science and technology over the humanities. This dissertation centers on four authors who employ a similar literary form to counter alienation. Through this methodology, Ishikawa Jun, Inoue Mitsuharu, Nakagami Kenji, and Abe Kōbō represent vying positions in the production of globalizing ideals set within contexts that, while fictional, are reflective of contemporary situations. This mode of representation combined with a lack of denouement produces a medium that simultaneously delegitimates certain globalizing ideals and encourages local adaptations or alternatives. In other words, these authors attempt to redress the distance between the global and local and resituate narrative production within specific historical and cultural contexts. The project delineates how these authors yoke a particular form to contemporary context to question dominant discourses and their underlying assumptions and reveals how fiction functions beyond representation to support localization of the global.