Archive | October, 2013

PROFILE: Tatsushi NARITA (成田興史)

2 Oct

PROFILE: Tatsushi NARITA (成田興史)


Tatsushi NARITA was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942. He is currently Visiting Scholar, Barker Center, Harvard University and a member of Executive Council, International American Studies Association (IASA). He taught at Nagoya City University and is now Professor Emeritus; he is also President, Nagoya Comparative Culture Forum (NCCF).

A specialist in T. S. Eliot, he discovered a biographical piece of evidence entitled “Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904: Stockholder’s Coupon Ticket,” a privileged ticket booklet which the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company issued to “T. S. Eliot.”

Narita’s early papers discussing the discovery include “Fiction and Fact in Eliot’s ‘The Man Who Was King’” (Notes and Queries, 1992) and “The Young T. S. Eliot and Alien Cultures: His Philippine Interactions” (The Review of English Studies, 1994). He also wrote “How Far is T. S. Eliot from Here?: Eliot and his Imagined World of Matahiva” in How Far is America from Here? (Rodopi, 2004) and “The T. S. Eliot of 1905 and Transpacific American Studies: Prolegomenal Considerations” in America’s Worlds and the World’s Americas (Legas/ University of Ottawa, 2006).

As late as 2009, Narita published “Young T. S. Eliot as a Transpacific ‘Literary Columbus’: Eliot on Kipling’s Short Story” in Beyond Binarisms; Comparative Literature (Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplana, 2009), which is a selected proceedings of the 18th Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association (the ICLA/ AILC) held at Rio de Janeiro in 2007. A drastically revised version of this article was published in book form in 2011, complete with 33 original photographs supporting the thesis, as T. S. Eliot and his Youth as “A Literary Columbus” (Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan). Ronald Bush refers to Narita’s discoveries in his Prehistories of the Future (Stanford 1995).

Narita has been actively concerned with international conferences. During 2003-2007 he served the International American Studies Association (IASA) not only as an Executive Council member but also as Co-chair, Committee of Membership, Finance and Development; and Co-Convener, Working Group entitled Asia/ Pacific/ America(s). Focusing on transpacific American studies, he organized relevant sessions. Narita is Founding President, Nagoya Comparative Culture Forum, Japan (NCCF-Japan).

In 2006, at the request of the late Professor Emory Elliott, Distinguished Professor, University of California at Irvine and Director, Center for Ideas and Society, UCR, Narita participated in the Presidential Forum dealing with internationalization of American Studies, a forum which was organized and chaired by Professor Elliott as President, American Studies Association (ASA) at its Annual Meeting.

In the same year, Professor Ronald Bush, St. John’s College, Oxford University invited Narita to his Oxford Graduate Seminar on American Literature. The lecture Narita delivered was entitled “The Young T. S. Eliot and his Virtual Transpacific Crossings: His 1905 Composition of Short Stories.”

Marsh and Däumer characterized part of Narita’s theses in the following terms: “The larger significance…is, first of all, that the cross-cultural interest shaping the older Eliot’s conviction that ‘poetry begins…with a savage beating a drum in a jungle’ importantly antedates his anthropological studies at Harvard, and second, that Eliot’s seemingly autochthonous modernization (as Pound described it) had a source in his early and critical cognizance of the treatment of indigenous people. While short and rather sketchy at times, this essay provides invaluable support to the growing sense, among scholars of modernity, of the profound enmeshment of modernist technique with cross-cultural and transnational awareness, whether empathetic or inimical” (American Literary Scholarship, 2005: 181-82). (As for Dennis Dutton on Tatsushi Narita, see

He is author and editor of several books. He has given conference papers in Japan, the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, Korea, India, Turkey and Cyprus. He was Visiting Scholar at Harvard University at more than several different occasions working with the late Professor Walter J. Bate, Professor James Engel and Ronald Bush, now at St. John’s College, Oxford.

For years he worked at Nagoya City University and is at present Professor Emeritus. He has long been focused on T. S. Eliot’s links with the 1904 World Fair of St. Louis. He is right now working on a new project, drawing on another biographical discovery of equal importance, a project in which he includes an attempt to cast an entirely new light on The Waste Land.

Google Search results for “Tatsushi Narita”:

——- Narita’s works include the following:

[1] “Fiction and Fact in T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Man Who Was King’”. Notes and Queries(Pembroke College, Oxford University), 39 (2), June, 1992: 191-92.

[2] “The Young T. S. Eliot and Alien Cultures: His Philippine Interactions”. The Review of English Studies (Oxford University Press), New Series, 45 (180), November, 1994: 523-25.

[3] T. S. Eliot and his Cross-Cultural Interactions: His American Years. Nagoya: Kogaku Shuppan,1999.

[4] “How Far is T. S. Eliot from Here?: Eliot and his Imagined World of Matahiva”. How Far Is America from Here? Proceedings of the International American Studies Association First World Congress. Ed. Paul Giles, Theo D’Haen, Djelal Kadir and Lois Parkinson Zamora. Amsterdam: Rodopi, April, 2004: 271-82.

[5] “The T. S. Eliot of 1905 and Transpacific American Studies: Prolegomenal Considerations”. America‘s Worlds and the World’s Americas. Ed. Amaryll Chanady, George Handley and Patrick Imbert. Ottawa: Legas/University of Ottawa, September, 2006: 53-62.

[6] “Tsukuba Exposition 1985″. Encyclopedia of World’s Fairs and Expositions. Ed. John E. Findling and Kimberly D. Pelle. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland, 2008: 364-67.

[7] “Young T. S. Eliot as a Transpacific ‘Literary Columbus’: Eliot on Kipling’s Short Story”. Beyond Binarisms: Discontinuities and Displacements: Studies in Comparative Literature (Selected Proceedings of the 18th Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association). Ed. Eduardo F. Coutinho. Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplano, 2009: 230-46.

[8] T. S. Eliot and his Youth as “A Literary Columbus”. Nagoya: Kogaku Shuppan, 2011.

*Google search results for “Tatsushi Narita”: