BD. Edmund Blunden

20. ‘The Two Japans’. Review of Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (see D9a), by Lafcadio Hearn, and The Civilization of Japan, by J. Bryan. Nation & Athenaeum 42 (January 1928): 542.


Blunden arrived in Japan to the chair in literature first occupied by Hearn, and would have been prodded at every turn to work toward becoming the ‘next’ Hearn. Blunden tries to lay the ghost to rest here (see BJ3a for Plomer’s expiation of the same spirit): ‘Hearn’s aromatic, soft, and empurpled prose accounts of Japan might be accepted with thanks, although one might not believe them—Hearn hardly believed them himself’, for his ‘misty indistinctions’ have the ‘obvious fault of plastering a delicate grace with sticky epithets’. Bryan’s work, by contrast, casts light on themes ‘camouflaged by Hearn’, and offers a ‘masterly and level-headed’ interpretation of histories of Japan as written by Brinkley (see D14), ‘Japanese authorities’, and others.





Home | Top | Previous | Next

Previous | Next


Creative Commons License