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The educational arena (particularly at the middle and high school levels) is most responsible for disseminating this image of Sòseki; state-sanctioned textbooks have produced and reproduced Sòseki’s image as a moralist, viewing his works as a vehicle for ethical education. 54 Introduction: Natsume Sòseki and the Ten-Year Project 31 Not only is Sòseki a national writer, but he is also a literary giant who enjoys a godlike status, an image that still lingers in academia to this day. Author-centered strategies of reading remain strong and, as such, Sòseki’s own personal narratives often remain uncontested.

And so I set my bags down there. In terms of linguistic practice, London was the most expedient choice— for obvious reasons. I believed this to be true then and find no reason to doubt it now. Yet I had not come to England solely for the purpose of improving my language skills. Orders were orders, but I had my own agenda as well. I was free to satisfy my own desires insofar as I respected the broad outlines that Ueda had suggested. I believed that carry ing out research in literature in addition to acquiring linguistic proficiency was not merely a matter of following my own curiosity but, in fact, was also one way of obeying his instructions.

The strength of a scientific model lies in its capacity to account for new circumstances that could not have been foreseen by its author. It is testimony to Sòseki’s prescience that he could be transported to present-day Japan or North America and, despite superficial differences, would not be surprised by what he saw. His deceptively simple thermodynamic system of an ungoverned process of technological innovation, and a population driven to ever more frenzied activity by its labor-saving contrivances is predictive of the ability of faxes, e-mail, the Internet, and other aspects of the current telecommunications revolution to divide our time into ever-decreasing units for more effective exploitation in the work arena (the fundamental concern of both Introduction: Natsume Sòseki and the Ten-Year Project 25 Marxism and thermodynamics).

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