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Write on Demand: Editors, Authors, and the Labor of Literary Publishing in Prewar Japan

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During the first half of the twentieth century, the role of the editor in Japanese literary publishing was defined and refined concurrently with the role of the author. As the professionalization of authorship proceeded, the role of the editor also became an independent function within the publishing industry. The new generation of editors that came of age in the late 1920s and 1930s in particular used their new-found independence to try to control the conditions of modern literary production and color the end products, literary works. For authors writing literature and for editors pushing them to produce on time, the tasks involved in publishing a book came to be considered distinct forms of labor. This article investigates the material conditions that were necessary for literary production and examines the ways in which authors and editors collaborated—negotiating conflict, confusion, and quirkiness—to produce many of the canonical works of modern Japanese literature.

Affiliations: 1: University of MassachusettsBostonSari.Kawana@umb.edu

10.1163/22106286-12341259
/content/journals/10.1163/22106286-12341259
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/content/journals/10.1163/22106286-12341259
2014-07-08
2017-11-23

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