Lafcadio Hearn is a writer unusually hard to classify, certainly in terms of the conventional, institutionalised categories of genealogy, geography or language. Hearn could be claimed as a major American, Japanese, Irish or Greek author, or all of these at once, as well as being a notable translator into English of French, Japanese and Chinese. Long before globalisation became a word in common use and “world literature” was established as a field of academic study, Hearn was a genuine writer-without-borders, making him a singular figure from the past who is our contemporary, or perhaps the future. He ranged widely, and…
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