This article discusses a prose narrative rendition of haptic sensation felt across the cinematic screen in Kanai Mieko's novel Yawarakai tsuchi o funde, (When Treading on Soft Earth, 1997). The author, who laments the loss of multisensorial effects of film in video format in her essays, strategically engages videos in this narrative that is filled with instances of watching and remembering cinematic scenes while being interrupted by banal occurrences in the everyday lives of urban consumers. That specific scenes elaborated or repeatedly revisited in this novel are evocative of skin touching other materials, either visible on screen or imagined by the spectator, resurrects the obliterated corporeality and materiality of lived bodies and space-time in image-saturated 1980s Japan. With its thematic focus on the restoration of tactility in visual and textual mediums, its structural preference for the Deleuzean “fold,” which cannot be reduced to a point, line, or flat plane, and its publication format that defies the norm of mechanical reproduction, Kanai's novel effectively challenges ocularcentrism, the normative modern novel, and the order of print culture, as well as destabilizing the legitimacy of the transcendental and disembodied subject, whether it is a narrator, viewer, or reader of the book in question.

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