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Lafcadio Hearn As An American Writer

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Chapter Summary

Lafcadio Hearn's literary fame has arisen because he is the author of lastingly significant books on Japan; but it is best to remember him as an important writer at every stage of his career. His literary persona, 'we', is American and at every stage of his career he wrote for an American market and readership. All his books, even those written in Japan, were published in America, and most of his journalism was destined for American newspapers and magazines. At the end of his life he was thinking of leaving Japan to return to America. The importance of Hearn's path-breaking lectures delivered in Tokyo on English and American literature can hardly be sufficiently stressed. He writes about Japan as a foreigner, and his foreignness is that he is an American writer. Hearn as an American writer deserves sustained scholarly reassessment.

Keywords: American newspapers; American writer; Japan; Lafcadio Hearn

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