Literature with Other Arts
Edited By Haun Saussy and Gerald Gillespie
Science, Literature and Art. An Introduction to Modern Criticism through Kobayashi Hideo
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An Introduction to Modern Criticism through Kobayashi Hideo
Fukuoka University, Japan
Literature has long been considered as an activity between Art and Science, located between the beautiful and the true. In modern times, because of the development of natural science, the true seems to receive more importance than the beautiful. It is not only advertising and journalistic writing that seek to persuade audiences of their “truth” more than their “beauty”; even authors producing fine literature “for the happy few” find more dignity in “truth” than in “beauty.”
The origin of the belief that literature could deliver truth began in the 19th century in Europe under the influence of astonishing progress in science and technology. Novels changed their nature then from narrative entertainment to a photographic rendition of real life; even poetry that had traditionally had the function of realizing linguistic beauty took part in the vogue of realism, sometimes with the aim of “confessing” a poet’s personal malaise as can be seen in Baudelaire or Verlaine.
This change was not exclusive to Western literature. We find it too in literature of other regions of the world that had to modernize themselves by Westernization. The modern Japanese literature that began with the reception of Western literature of the 19th century, for example, followed the line of realism whose best examples have been found in novels.
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