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Metaphorical Circuit: Negotiations Between Literature and Science in 20th Century Japan

119 Metaphorical  Circuit
Joseph A. MURPHY
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Metaphorical Circuit argues that the division of knowledge between literature and science in the modern university produced a necessity to choose that became a central, animating tension for Japanese intellectuals in the early 20th century. Each chapter begins with a point in an author's work where mathematical representation becomes an issue in negotiating the boundary, and follows the analysis to a wall, or a point of indeterminacy, that leaves the author again with a heterogeneous field. | 238 pages


  • List of Illustrations Foreword by Sidney Perkowitz Preface
  • Introduction
  • The Fourth Possibility in Sōseki's Theory of Literature
  • Do the Math: The Physics of the Terada Torahiko and a Non-Reductive Creativity
  • Incomplete Perspective: Deconstruction as a Technical Issue in Karatani Kojin
  • Maeda Ai: Topology and the Discourse of Complexity
  • Contemporary Stakes: The Science Wars
  • Bibliography
  • Index


  • [Murphy's] explanation of scientific theories is impressively reader-friendly. ... This publication is an ambitious and important scholarship that bridges Japan studies and science studies, two fields that have unfortunately had little interaction so far.

  •  Joseph A. MURPHY received a Ph.D. in Japanese Literature and Film from Cornell University, and has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His articles have appeared in Post Script, East-West Film Journal, Japan Forum and Swiss Journal of Asiatic Studies. He is currently Associate Professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

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