Tagged: book review, japanese literature, japanese short stories
20 August 2008
The Oxford book of Japanese short stories
edited by Theodore W. Goossen.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997. (2002 printing) ISBN: 0192833049
For all you Kurosawa buffs, here’s a chance to read “In a Grove”…and some other seminal works in one volume. For those who love Mizoguchi, here’s your read for “Sansho the Steward”. This excellent collection includes about a hundred years’ worth of superior Japanese short stories, and concludes with contemporary stories.
Kawabata’s here, and his “The Izu Dancer” is one of the gentlest of stories in his disturbing, aesthetic ouvre. I loved “Passage in Fudaraku” by Inoue Yasushi, and “Portrait of an old Geisha” by Okamoto Kanoko, and there’s a good Mishima one, too, about a Kabuki actor who plays women.
And, if you are geeky like me, you will appreciate the information in the frontispiece. However, if you want to get straight to the riveting stories, that’s cool too! Incredibly readable book, and gets my highest recommendation.
Here’s a list of some of the short stories in the volume:
Sansho the Steward / Mori Ogai — The third night / Natsume Soseki — The bonfire / Kunikida Doppo — Separate ways / Higuchi Ichiyo — The peony garden / Nagai Kafu — Night fires / Shiga Naoya — Aguri / Tanizaki Junichiro — Blowfish / Satomi Ton — Portrait of an old geisha / Okamoto Kanoko — In a grove / Akutagawa Ryunosuke — The bears of Nametoko / Miyazawa Kenji — Spring riding in a carriage / Yokomitsu Riichi — Carp / Ibuse Masuji — The Izu dancer / Kawabata Yasunari — Lemon / Kajii Motojiro — The accordion and the fish town / Hayashi Fumiko — The flower-eating crone / Enchi Fumiko –Blind Chinese soldiers / Hirabayashi Taiko — In the forest, under cherries in full bloom / Sakaguchi Ango — Passage in Fudaraku / Inoue Yasushi — Merry Christmas / Dazai Osamu — The expert / Nakajima Atsushi — The rifle / Kojima Nobuo — Unzen / Endo Shusaku — The bet / Abe Kobo — Three policemen / Yoshiyuki Junnosuke — Onnagata / Mishima Yukio — Toddler-hunting / Kono Taeko — Mr. Carp / Mukoda Kuniko — The duel / Kaiko Takeshi — Prize stock / Oe Kenzaburo — A very strange, enchanted boy / Tsushima Yuko — The elephant vanishes / Murakami Haruki — Desert dolphin / Shimada Masahiko — Dreaming of Kimchee / Yoshimoto banana.
22 August 2008
Thanks for the heads-up, Coco! This indeed looks like a fine collection of short stories, and there appears to be practically no overlap with The Showa Anthology that I mentioned earlier.
I’ll put this on my reading list.
24 August 2008
Thanks, I’ll add this to a bunch of books I plan to buy–and even read someday 🙂
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