“Braving the Fog”: Natsume Soseki’s The Tower of London

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Author: Andreas Pichler, Aix-Marseille Université, France
Published: May 2013
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.2.1.04

Citation: Pichler, A. (2013). “Braving the Fog”: Natsume Soseki’s The Tower of London . IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.2.1.04


Abstract

Sōseki’s encounters with London during his two years’ stay from 1900 to 1902 were for the first time published in the English language under the title The Tower of London in 2005. Fog – as a material meteorological substance and as a literary metaphor – not only occurs frequently in his stories but is tied to question of darkness when depicting London on the brink of modernity at the turn of the last century. This article is guided by a form of critical literary analysis that draws on a meteorological concept in an attempt to link literature and fog, the British capital and modernity, and the innovative approach of a Japanese encountering the foggy maze of late-Victorian London. The investigation into the meteorological aspects of fog to comprehend Sōseki’s “fog-like light” will shed some light upon a possible process of rendering the darkness gradually brighter.

Keywords

London fog, Sōseki, The Tower of London, cultural and geographic alienation, modernism