1990 年 32 巻 p. 49-61
Arishima Takeo published his literary criticism “BRAND”（「ブランド」）in “BUNBU-KAIHO”（「文武會報」），a biannual magazine, during the years 1909 to 1912. This work has been looked upon as suitable material to study his early thoughts. In this work he introduced the dramatic poem “Brand,” written by Henrik Ibsen in 1866, and expressed his view of life, view of history and view of the State.
Properly speaking, this dramatic poem succeeded to the tradition of European religious plays. But he tried to make his comments from a social scientific point of view. He had interested himself in the social science those several years and his effort was clearly influenced by the then current of European literature, especially, Herford’s criticism.
He was attracted by the subject of this dramatic poem, the necessity of political reforms, the completion of individual character, and the motto of “All or Nothing.”
To appreciate the slogan of “All or Nothing,” he had to examine a large number of footnotes written by Herford. Finally he came to the conclusion that this motto was most valuable and determined to lead himself by this maxim. But on the other hand Herford had said “A doctrine such as ‘All or Nothing’ obviously lent itself to the most extreme fanaticism.” There were opposite ideas about it.
Arishima thought the quality of the fanaticism depended altogether on the spirit in which this rigid and absolute formula was applied to the actual world of growing, relative, and imperfect life.