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Abe Kobo And The Triumph Of Shock

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Chapter Summary

Abe's short novel Just Like a Human has the form of a letter written by the protagonist to his wife. The portrayal of women in Abe's later works also reflects the tendency for the ideal of authenticity to fall apart in the two models of personal identity and inner nature. In these works, the sandwoman, so to speak, tends to be replaced by two less complex kinds of females. One the one hand, there is the malevolent, hostile female, who is intent on harming the protagonist. On the other hand, there are female characters who appear to be symbols of inner nature and Utopian counter-images to modernity. The triumph of the secretary and the cruel fate of the girl at the end of Secret Rendezvous fit in well with the reading of it as a story of the triumph of shock.

Keywords: Abe Kōbō; authenticity; hostile female; modernity; personal identity; shock



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