Tricksters and Cosmopolitans and East-West Literary Imagination reflect on obscured cross-cultural connections in the histories and geographies of literary productions that span the globe. Both Magosaki and Hakutani identify and mediate those links, which have been rendered illegible by academic and disciplinary or geographical and linguistic divisions. Their signal achievements are to challenge us to reconceptualize the way we think about literary traditions by reading and writing across fields.

Tricksters and Cosmopolitans is a unique literary-historical study that attempts to conceive connections between literary analysis and the study of book history and between theories in African American and Asian American literary criticisms. In her opening methodological remarks, Magosaki proposes to approach “the production of the Asian cosmopolitan subject” (1) with a liberal yet subversive application of “Signifying” (3). According to Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s seminal book The Signifying Monkey (1988), the theory...

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