Kb Abe Summary
by Kobo Abe

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Kb Abe Summary

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

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Displacement is a key theme of Kb Abe’s works. This displacement can take the form of a person’s being forced out of his or her home, as happens to the young man in Friends. It can also take the form of one’s being displaced from one’s own identity, as happens in many of Abe’s works, including The Face of Another. Perhaps most memorably, Abe’s works often present a displacement of the rational, whereby the absurd, the illogical, and the surreal invade and distort everyday reality. In many of Abe’s works, people become such things as sticks, cocoons, or walls; they are placed in situations that their rational minds tell them cannot be happening. Such displacement is, in Abe’s works, the result of modern society’s rationalized, ordered, and imposed understanding of the human experience.