The book examines how and under what conditions the ‘alien’ is first experienced in a concrete encounter and is then constructed in writing and reading, i.e. is made available in texts and then re-created in the process of text reception. This process is exemplified by taking German texts about ‘Alien Japan’ over a period of more than 100 years, analysing them and examining their transmission and transformation in literary and cultural history. The work also reflects on questions of the conditions, scope, and boundaries of understanding the alien other.
Uta Schaffers, Universität zu Köln.