2016 marks the beginning of two years of anniversary commemorations for Natsume Soseki, the greatest literary figure of modern Japan: 2016 marks the centennial of his death in 1916; and 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1867.
In this talk, we start the anniversary celebrations with a fascinating literary tour around the London that Soseki inhabited during his two years in London from 1900 to 1902. Damian Flanagan will show us the boarding houses that Soseki lived in, located in different parts of the city, and introduce us to the people that Soseki met and lived amongst. Hear of the places in London that fired Soseki’s literary imagination and discover how Soseki’s experiences in the capital led to the emergence of his literary genius.
This is a journey not just to the London that Soseki actually experienced but the London which would continue to haunt Soseki’s imagination for the rest of his days, existing as an evolving dreamscape, a London painted as a vivid city of the mind.
Join us for a literary odyssey round London like no other, that will make you see the capital through entirely fresh, Sosekian eyes.
About the contributors
Damian Flanagan is an award-winning author and translator who has published a number of books on Japanese literature. He wrote his first book, a controversial study of Japan’s greatest modern author Natsume Soseki, in Japanese. His second book (The Tower of London and other Stories, 2005) told the story of Soseki’s experiences in Britain and won the US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. His third book, again in Japanese, was Natsume Soseki: Superstar of World Literature(2007). He has also written widely on Japanese politics, arts and society for publications including The Japan Times, the Asahi Shinbun, Newsweek and the Nihon Keizai Shinbun. Yukio Mishima is his latest book, published in October 2014. He lives in Manchester and Nishinomiya, Japan