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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of book Shock and Naturalization in Contemporary Japanese Literature contains a list of contents, preface and an introduction. It presents the main elements of shock-modernity through a discussion of Benjamin, focusing in particular on the themes of 'shock', 'porosity', 'aura', 'heightened consciousness', 'spleen', and 'hell'. Following Freud, Benjamin claims that people in modernity tend to protect themselves against the raw force of shock by developing a 'heightened degree of consciousness', which serves as a 'protective shield' against excessive external stimuli. This chapter presents the experience of naturalized modernity through a discussion of literature and particularly makes use of the writings of Murakami Haruki (1949), whose writings challenge the very premise on which Benjamin's framework is founded, namely the equation of modernity with the sensation of shock.

Keywords: Benjamin; Japanese literature; Murakami Haruki; naturalized modernity



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